Some of you know him as Chalee Jr. His friends and family know him as Tank. But most of his military brothers and sisters know him as the dude from the facebook videos.
Aviation Administrationman 2nd Class Charlie Lee Adams Jr., has become an internet star of sorts, especially among those in the military. His videos, many of which have gone viral, showcase Adams as a variety of characters you will find in the Navy. Whether he is a chief holding a uniform inspection, or a junior enlisted Sailor trying to get off work early, his videos shed light and humor on what being a Sailor in the Navy can often be like.
“I’m always going to work, writing jokes, trying to lighten the mood in the work center,” said Adams. I’ve been in almost 10 years now. You see a lot of things that might make you mad or get under your skin, but at the end of the day, we kinda laugh about it … because we all go through it.”
The motivation for the first video Adams ever made came one day when he felt his shop’s work was done for the day and was hoping the work center supervisor would let him go – with no such luck.
“So just me by myself in a room, talking to myself, recording myself,” said Adams. “I posted it on Facebook not thinking too much of it. I think it was like 40 seconds long. I posted it, went to sleep, woke up the next morning and notifications were going crazy on my Ipod and my phone. I’m like, ‘wow.’ So after the comment, the likes, all the sharing – when I woke up that morning it was up to like, 20k views.”
And people wanted more. His friend requests went through the roof; so much so that he reached the maximum allowable friends Facebook allows a non-celebrity or organization to have – causing him to start a new page as an entertainer, which is exactly what most people think he is.
“I’ve been recognized in public,” said Adams. “I’ve been noticed in Walmart, bars, downtown Jacksonville, Florida at the Katt Williams show, and many other places. It’s always a great feeling, especially when they ask me to take a picture. It still catches me off guard. And the main question is when is my next video?”
Adams said that he loves being a positive influence on people. He said it is a great feeling to get a message from a shipmate letting him know that he made them laugh or helped turn their day around.
“The first video I ever saw he was pretending to take an advancement exam,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Shay Meade. “He was looking at it like it was in a foreign language. He was taking off his jacket because it was too warm, then putting it back on because it was too cold, blaming everything for his inability to focus on the test. It was hilarious. Then after the test he looks at his answer sheet and thinks there are too many As marked and he doesn’t like the pattern so he starts erasing. It was hilarious because I think we’ve all been there. We’ve all had that moment where we get up from the test and think, yep, just failed that one.”
Since starting these videos Adams has become more popular, not only online, but in person.
“I’ve been asked to host retirements, weddings, and bring business and people to new businesses,” said Adams. “It gets overwhelming sometimes to be honest, but I’m still getting to do what I love.”
Adams said his ultimate goal is to eventually get paid for his passion, but in the meantime his reward is raising morale for his military family.
“At the end of the day I do this for all my brothers and sisters in the military,” said Adams. “I gotta keep us laughing. I gotta give us something to talk about. So that’s what I do it for. I do it for us; I do it for ya’ll.”
By Terrina Weatherspoon, Defense Media Activity (Originally published in December 2015)