By Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Lt. Cmdr. Jude Ezedike, a sailor from ISU Ancient Kingdom, IMO State-Nigeria, is serving at Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC), located in Norfolk, Virginia.
Ezedike, a 1994 ISU High School graduate, joined the Navy 26 years ago.
“I joined the Navy to give back to the USA after being successful on the 1995 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery, which allowed me automatic immigration and residency to the USA from Nigeria,” said Ezedike. “I also joined the Navy to complete my college degree.”
Skills and values learned in the Navy are similar to those found in Nigeria.
“Growing up in Nigeria, a third-world country, I learned the importance of hard work which I do not take for granted,” said Ezedike. “I love learning new things which the Navy gave me the opportunity to do. Education and a great work ethic are very important. These virtues have helped me become a successful naval officer.”
According to Navy officials, MARMC provides services to ensure ships and their crews are able to fulfill their missions with minimal repair and maintenance downtime. MARMC works with a range of equipment, such as powerful generators system control technology, valves, weapon systems and replenishment equipment that is continuously subject to extreme conditions. MARMC supports over 70 ships operating in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf region.
With 90% of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.
Serving in the Navy means Ezedike is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy is important to our national defense by power projection and our readiness to support and defend the oppressed around the world to include our presence contribute to our national defense,” said Ezedike. “It makes us the greatest Navy in the world.”
Ezedike has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.
“My proudest accomplishment in the Navy was when I earned my commission as a naval officer in 2008 after 11 years servicing as an aviation maintenance technician aboard aircraft careers and aviation squadrons,” said Ezedike. “Another accomplishment was operating with Nigerian Navy during Obangame Express, a multi-national exercise off the Gulf of Guinea in 2012.”
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Ezedike as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a tradition providing the Navy the nation needs.
“The Navy has been good to me and my family,” added Ezedike. “Using the Navy tuition assistance program (GIB Top Up), I earned two associate degrees, a bachelor’s degree, three master’s degrees and I’m currently working on my Ph.D. I have been to numerous schools and training that helped shape the sailor and officer that I am today.”
Ezedike places a great deal of value on education as evidenced by graduating from Florida A&M University in 2005, Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University in 2007, Naval Postgraduate School in 2014 and Webster University in 2016.