Saluting our Heroes: Making history through the unexpected

December 8th, 11:18 AM EST

FORT GORDON, Ga. (WFXG) - In any career, roles may change but the ‘why’ never leaves. That’s true for a local soldier who wanted to find a new challenge. Captain Derrick Kozlowski not only found that, but also paved the way for others too.

Cpt. Kozlowski considers his journey unexpected.

"So really, the reason I went and joined the Army was to get away from school. Now, you know, fast forward 16 years, I have three degrees.” said Cpt. Derrick Kozlowski, U.S. Army Signal School student. 

However, it’s a journey he feels grateful for.

"I was really excited, you know, still nervous, obviously don’t know what to expect yet." said Cpt. Kozlowski. 

Cpt. Kozlowski’s began in the Infantry. He later became a warrant officer. Now, he’s the first signal soldier to join the Direct Commission Program.

"I've always tried to seek the hard assignments and challenge myself each day in and day out, and push not only myself, but also those around me. So, to truly come here and have this opportunity it…It’s just a blessing.” said Cpt. Kozlowski. 

Cpt. Kozlowski didn’t let an initial no deter him.

"About five days before the board, I got a call…Hey, we need your packet today...I would say the biggest takeaway from all of this and the timing and what it’s taught me is to continue to be a humble leader.” said Cpt. Kozlowski. 

With his yes, he opens a new door for himself and others.

"That really stuck to me – that now there’s this new path that there’s an official path that they can become an army officer.” said Cpt. Kozlowski. 

Fox54 salutes Captain Derrick Kozlowski.

"Never accept, you know, this is as far as I can go.”

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