Being an asset to a unit, company, organization, community, or indeed your family is something to aspire to and strive for. U.S. Army Specialist Fadj Mallouhi, a Syrian-born Soldier, is definitely an asset to his unit.

Born in Syria but raised in the United States, Spc. Mallouhi is now using his cultural and language expertise to assist his unit and fellow troops in their deployment to the Middle East.

“Being from Syria helps me in a lot of ways, including bringing diversity in my section, being paid more for knowing another language, and being a valuable asset to my unit as I communicate with locals and translate information,” said Spc. Mallouhi in a press release. “It could save someone’s life and keep people within our unit from being disrespectful to the civilians here.”

U.S. Army Spc. Fadi Mallouhi (Photo by Capt. Travis Mueller)

Mallouhi is a Computer/Detection Systems Repairer assigned to Headquarter Support Company, 628th Aviation Support Battalion, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade. He and his unit are currently deployed to the Middle East in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the fight against the Islamic State.

Mallouhi was born in Allentown, near Pennsylvania, to Syrian emigres. Adding more flavor to the story is the fact that Mallouhi’s father served in the Syrian military’s special operations forces before he came to the U.S.

During his childhood, Mallouhi regularly traveled to Homs in Syria, the birthplace of his family. It was during those trips that he learned so much about Syrian and Arabic culture.

“The way I see it, I’m in a position to inform and highly encourage others to respect and learn the lifestyle,” said Mallouhi. “This can make the Army have better mission-capable Soldiers and have fewer incidents that could cost American lives.”

Mallouhi provided a great example of how American troops have been offending the local population, thereby losing an opportunity to gain their hearts and minds.