Staff Sgt. Auxtyne Omoregbee feels blessed. Truly blessed to be where he is today, considering where he came from. The 39-year-old Nigeria native wideband satellite network coordinator from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 53rd Signal Battalion, is about to wrap up a nine-year Army career, with a job in the civilian sector waiting for him the day he gets out.
“I feel like it’s just time to move on and begin the next chapter in my life,” Omoregbee said. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunities the United States has provided for me and my family, especially the Army for offering me the chance to better myself, and I thank God for bringing me to where I am at today.”
Omoregbee grew up in Benin City, Nigeria, and spent the first 29 years of his life there.
“It was very difficult compared to the United States,” he said. "Opportunities there compared to the United States are like comparing a 14-inch black and white TV to a 200-inch 3-D movie screen,” he jokes.
Life was different for sure. He grew up in a house rented out to numerous families. His elder brother took five of his siblings under his roof and were all crammed into two rooms within the house. Money was tight, but Omoregbee’s elder brothers put their education aside to work and put him through college.
He obtained a bachelor’s degree in industrial chemistry but couldn’t find a job in his field, so he took one in hospitality managing a petroleum staff club. Omoregbee wanted more though and decided it was time to follow in his older brother’s footsteps and wished to come to the U.S. and join the Army.
He put in for a visa and was it was approved. It was the opportunity of a lifetime.
Omoregbee came to the U.S. on April 2, 2010, on a temporary visa, which turned into permanent residency a year later. He settled in Tacoma, Washington, where his older brother was living. His brother Oscar came to the U.S. and joined the Army in 1997. Auxtyne’s plan was to do the same, serve his new country and gain citizenship through his service.
Omoregbee shipped off to basic training in September 2012 and gained his citizenship during this time. His fort MOS was as a combat medic stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. He enjoyed his time there, which he said was spent half the time downrange in the field with 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.
While stationed at Fort Bliss, Omoregbee completed his master’s degree in information technology, along with five professional certifications, all paid for using Army tuition assistance, a lot of which was done in the field working out of his tent.
In 2016 Omoregbee had the opportunity to reclassify into the 25 series military occupational specialty – satellite communications – the job he originally wanted upon enlisting but wasn’t qualified for as he did not possess a top-secret clearance due to his lack of citizenship. It only took three-and-a-half years, but Omoregbee now had the clearance.
He said life as 25 Sierra the last four years in Colorado Springs has been good, and a lot less physically demanding than a combat medic in an infantry unit.
“The schools to become a satellite systems controller are mentally challenging and stressful, but once you get through all that and start working the job, it’s not so bad,” Omoregbee said. “Unlike combat arms, I’m not at risk of injuring myself as a 25 Sierra, except maybe my fingers,” he jokes.
With skills developed during his service, Omoregbee will leave the Army in early August and immediately start his new job at Verizon as a cybersecurity solutions architect, where he will be doing security technical designs and take the role of an architectural expert for sales opportunities across multiple vertical and geographic regions.
Omoregbee lives with his wife Jessica and two stepchildren in Colorado Springs. He enjoys travelling, architecture, riding his bike and watching basketball.
He said he doesn’t miss Nigeria, but he does miss his family there, whom he sends money to periodically.
“I don’t think anyone who comes from where I do takes living in the U.S. for granted,” he said. “We have opportunities here that I would not have had in Nigeria.”