As a rising tycoon of the New York underworld, Remi Adeleke’s choices were leading him down a destructive path. But no matter how deeply he became involved in his criminal enterprises, he just couldn’t shake his mother’s voice in the back of his mind.

“There were those lessons she instilled in me that would always be in the back of my mind. So that’s why I got out of the illegal stuff I was doing. It wasn’t because somebody told me I needed to. It was because when we were kids, my mom would tell us all the time there were consequences for our actions.”

“So when I got caught in a situation where the products I’d sold someone went bad earlier than they were supposed to and my life was threatened, that was kind of the spanking I needed – my wake up call. ‘Okay. This horrible thing could happen to me. I could get killed. So I need to stop.’ That was when I just said, ‘I’m done with this life. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m not going to do this anymore.'”

It was Remi’s moment of decision. But an even more incredible message was on the way.

“I had to have this wake up call, and after this situation I’d gotten into with this drug deal, for six months I really did nothing. Then, six months later, I heard a voice speak to me. Now, at the time I didn’t think it was God’s voice. I thought it was my subconscious. But I just felt this presence saying urgently, that you need to get out of here. And that joining the military was the answer.”

“I didn’t want to do it! Because the military was so contrary to everything I was – everything I believed in. But finally, after all this battling back and forth, I went to a recruiter and signed up for the navy. It turned my life around.”


Remi Adeleke is a speaker, an actor from films like Transformers: The Last Knight, and a former Navy Seal. He’s the author of the just-released Transformed: A Navy Seal’s Unlikely Journey.

On the Road with Remi Adeleke

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