For Hersson Ceballos, being committed to one’s responsibilities is something that is very important to him – whether that’s as a college student, father, and husband, musician, or soldier. Ceballos knows that being great at any one of those roles takes dedication, discipline, and a go-getter attitude.
He learned those traits as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve. He became the first person in his family to join the Army Reserve when his son was born.
“I started changing my life around,” Ceballos says. “I got more serious. I started investing in myself. It made me realize that maybe life’s not about you. I spoke to a recruiter and said, ‘I’m determined to join the military, but I want to be present as much as I can for my family.”
He wanted to be a father who was there for his son, something he did not experience as a child. He told himself a long time ago that if he were ever to become a father, he didn’t want to miss out on his child’s life.
“The Army Reserve offers a lot of flexibility and for me, that was a key point,” he says.
Born and raised in Medellín, Colombia, Ceballos knew early on what he wanted out of life. He loved music and wanted to perform in front of thousands of spectators. He wanted to make his family proud.
“Music to me was something very important in life,” he said. “My abuela (grandma) and my tío (uncle) used to wake me up with old-school ballads. I used to dream about being on stage and making that connection with the audience.”
At age 10, Ceballos moved to New York with his mother. At first, everything seemed very foreign to him. He had trouble assimilating to the culture. But soon enough, he started to adapt to his situation and his surroundings, and “things started falling into place.” Still, there were tough times at home. At one point, there was no money to pay the rent, and his family had to find another place to live.
“Unfortunately, there are some things you can’t control,” he says. “You can either sit there and cry about it, or you can put your best foot forward and just be positive.”
Later in life, putting his best foot forward meant joining the Army Reserve so he could take care of his family financially. In the Army Reserve, Ceballos works as a food inspector currently in the role of a training non-commissioned officer, ensuring Soldiers in his unit are ready to go. Although when he first joined the Reserve he didn’t think school was in his future, his plans changed when he got more experience in the military and saw that they were offering him something special.
“I realized, ‘Hey, having school and the military is actually a benefit,’” he says. “Not only is it paid for, but it also helps you [get promoted].”
Along with being the first U.S. Army Reserve Soldier in his family, Ceballos has become the first person to go to college, too. He’s completed his associates in Math and Science and hopes to earn his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He also hopes to make it as a musician, a talent he has passed on to his son.
“I want to take advantage of this opportunity that the military gives me,” he says. “How I’m able to accomplish so many things throughout the day like going to work, coming home, being a family man, taking care of my education [and] my music is because of all the values that I’ve learned in the military. I need to be the very best that I can [be] for my family.”
U.S. Army Reserve
Part-time service. Full-time success.