NOSC PH Sailor becomes U.S. citizen

Engineman 2nd Class Moikeha J. Keogh

Story and photos by MC2 (SW) Mark Logico

Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

A Sailor assigned to the Navy Operational Support Center, Pearl Harbor (NOSC PH) took his oath of citizenship in front of his family and co-workers at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services in Honolulu on Nov. 2.

Engineman 2nd Class Moikeha J. Keogh, who was born in the Republic of Palau, is one of several foreign nationals who raised their right hands to pledge their allegiance to the United States of America during a citizenship ceremony.

“It feels pretty good to be a citizen,” Keogh said. “Getting my citizenship opened a lot of other job opportunities in the Navy. I was denied orders once before for not being a citizen. I won’t be running into that problem again and also, of course, the opportunity to vote is very important.”

Keogh was born on the Republic of Palau, an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean about 500 miles east of the Republic of the Philippines. In 2004, U.S. Navy recruiters from Guam arrived in Palau to meet with Keogh.

“Recruiters from Guam flew over to Palau, and they do the ASVAB test twice a year,” Keogh said. “Initially, I took the test to go in the Army, but I scored high enough for the Navy recruiter. The Navy recruiter pulled me aside and asked me to join the Navy instead of the Army.”

Since then, Keogh said he had no regrets about joining the Navy. Keogh has been in the Navy for more than six years, most of it aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Dubuque (LPD 8). While assigned to Dubuque, he has deployed twice, visiting foreign ports such as Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong.

In early 2010, Keogh transferred to NOSC PH, where he had time to process his application for naturalization.

“It wasn’t too difficult, just a lot of paperwork and patience was required,” Keogh said. “It’s a lot of waiting for papers and confirmations to come in the mail. And being on shore duty gave me time to get everything done and sent in.”

While assigned to NOSC PH, Keogh supports the Reservists side by providing the fleet with fit-ready Reserves to mobilize as needed. Chief Hull Technician (SW) Robert Thompson, the command’s senior enlisted advisor, said Keogh processes orders for more than 650 Reserve personnel, supporting 32 different commands around the Navy.

With more than 20 personnel in the command, Thompson said that Keogh brings a different dynamic to the table.

“We have folks that come to Hawaii and don’t get out and visit all the beautiful places on the island,” Thompson said. “They go to downtown and go to Waikiki, Restaurant Row, and that’s the extent of their experience. Coming from another beautiful island in the Pacific, he brings that outlook that there are other things to do and that some of our folks have never even heard of. We actually had several talks with him telling the staff about where he’s from. Some people haven’t even heard about Palau. We would get a geography lesson from him.”

Keogh is married and has a three-week-old son. He said he plans on furthering his career in the Navy in hopes that he will buy his own house in Hawaii one day.

The NOSC’s mission is to ensure Reservists are ready and fully integrated into the active force, so they can rapidly deploy in support of the fleet in the event of a partial or full mobilization.

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Category: News