By CE1 Marshall Boos, CSFE Detachment Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Public Affairs
CECR John Ross Alexis proudly displays his U.S. Citizenship certificate after taking the oath administered at CSFE Det. SAFB, Wichita Falls, Texas, Sept. 2. (Photo by CE1 Marshall Boos)
Construction Electrician Constructionman Recruit John Ross Alexis, a Navy student attending Construction Electrician (CE) ‘A’ School at the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Detachment Sheppard Air Force Base (CSFE Det. SAFB), Texas, took an Oath of Citizenship from Immigration Field Officer Robin Carpenter, Wichita Falls, Texas, Sept. 2.
“I always admired the opportunities that America has to offer. I only wanted the chance to pursue my ambitions, and become whatever I wanted,” Alexis said. “It felt really good when I swore my oath to the United States. I knew so many things were going to be different for me.”
“It’s truly exciting to see young men and woman humble themselves and serve in the U.S. Armed Forces,” said Lt. j.g. Leonardo Calderon, officer in charge, CSFE Det. Sheppard, “Witness[ing] Sailors making a difference in their careers brings great credit upon themselves and shows the caliber of Sailors we have today.
“I want to congratulate CECR Alexis for being persistent and continuously challenging himself through obstacles and completing his citizenship,” said Calderon.
Alexis was born in San Fernando, Trinidad, but grew up in Granada where he worked on a dive boat. “I always liked being on the water, and knew that I wanted a job where I could be around the ocean,” he said.
“I grew up seeing the United States on TV and in the movies,” Alexis said. “Many people where I am from, including me, dreamed of moving to the United States and starting a career.”
Alexis moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., when he was 21 after he received his permanent residency card and worked for an electrical company doing installation and maintenance. “I really liked the career field I was working in, and I wanted to stay in it,” he said.
“Since my days working on the dive boats, I knew that I wanted to join the U.S. Navy,” Alexis continued. “I started doing research on what rates I would be interested in, and that’s when I found out about the Seabees. I was excited that I could join the Navy, and still stay in the same career field. The knowledge and work experience that I could gain with the Navy would make it easier to get a job when I get out.”
After Alexis completed basic training in Great Lakes, Ill., he traveled to CSFE Det. SAFB to begin training to become a CE. During command indoctrination, he found out about the citizenship program. Utilitiesman 1st Class (SCW) Daniel O’Fallon, program coordinator, encouraged Alexis to submit his package to apply for citizenship. “I really enjoy helping students get on the path to citizenship,” said O’Fallon. “It’s great to help them achieve the dream becoming an American.”
So far this fiscal year, CSFE Det. SAFB has assisted nine students in completing their citizenship packages with direct support from the Dallas Immigration Office.
For more information on the CSFE Det. SAFB, visit: https://www.netc.navy.mil/centers/csfe/sheppard/