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    Nigerian born Soldier seeks Best Warrior title

    Soldiers tackle warrior tasks during 2014 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition

    Photo By Michel Sauret | Staff Sgt. Folarin Durosawo, a training noncommissioned officer from Dallas with the...... read more read more

    JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, NJ, UNITED STATES

    06.27.2014

    Story by Staff Sgt. Rufus Stuckey 

    U.S. Army Reserve Command

    LAKEHURST, N.J. - At 19 years old, his family migrated to the U.S. from Nigeria. Twelve Years later, he is a full-time Army Reserve Soldier competing in the 2014 U.S. Army Reserve Best Warrior competition.

    “Most people wouldn’t migrate if they had it good where they were at, and it was the same case with my parents,” said Staff Sgt. Folarin L. Durosawo.

    Now 30, Durosawo is a health care specialist with 456th Area Support Medical Company out of Somersworth, New Hampshire, and a member of the Active Guard and Reserve. AGR Soldiers serve full time to provide support to the unit members.

    Both, AGR and Reserve Soldiers are competing for Best Warrior.

    The competition tests Soldiers' resiliency and warrior skills in physical fitness, rifle and pistol marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat, land navigation, 8-mile ruck march, urban operations and several mystery events throughout the week.

    Durosawo’s upbringing had taught him to look for opportunities to succeed in everything he does.

    “Growing up in a country and not having much, you tend to have the drive to want to succeed wherever you go, whenever you have the opportunity,” Durosawo said. “Ultimately, I do have the drive to want to do everything I can to succeed, especially in this competition.”

    After growing up in Nigeria, Durosawo’s family migrated to the U.S., settling in Dallas, Texas.

    He now lives in New Hampshire with his wife, Adedimpe, and their 2-year-old daughter, Eniola.

    Things weren’t always bad growing up in Nigeria for Durosawo.

    “The first ten years of my life,” he said. “You could say my family was a middle-class family. I went to a private school all the way until I was in the fifth grade – it was somewhat of a decent upbringing.”

    He was enrolled in college in Nigeria and was dating his future wife. He had just finished his first year of college pursuing a degree in demographics and social statistics, but his plans changed.

    Durosawo said things changed when his father lost his job as an accountant with the Nigerian Government after about 15 years. They could no longer afford to do many of the things they had grown accustomed to.

    His family decided to move to the land of opportunity - the United States.

    “When I came here I was trying to find schools that had something similar to that [a degree in demographics and social statistics],” Durosawo said. “I didn’t really find anything.”

    A month later, with the help of his sister, he found himself in the Army.

    “My sister was the one who called the recruiter on my behalf – she was supposed to join, too,” but his sister never did, he said. “She was supposed to join the reserves and I was supposed go active – we still talk about it ‘till today.”

    Durosawo admits he was considering the military before his sister put the wheels in motion.

    “I thought about serving,” he said. “I wanted something that was tangible – the military was definitely the right path for that. I wanted discipline and the chance to serve. It was during the time – with the whole thing – with Afghanistan and I wanted to do my part.”

    He did his part with two deployments to Iraq and continues every day with plans to stay until retirement.

    He joined the Army late in 2002 and left for basic training in Jan. 2003. In 2007, after several years on active duty he transferred to the Army Reserve.

    “I’ve always wanted to at least do 20 years in the military – that was after my first five or six years,” Durosawo said. “I like the camaraderie. I like the organization. I just like everything military-wise, so I made the decision then.”

    Although he still misses family in Nigeria, Durosawo has no regrets about moving to the U.S.

    “It’s what we wanted to do, and it came at the right time,” he said. “It’s great, good enough to make me want to serve and protect the culture – the things that make the country great. It’s just like any other place. It’s got its ups and it’s got its downs – but it’s got more ups than downs,” he said. “More than anything, you have the freedom to express yourself and you have the opportunity to better you life.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.27.2014
    Date Posted: 06.27.2014 01:45
    Story ID: 134613
    Location: JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, NJ, US

    Web Views: 606
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN