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    From Turkmenistan to NRD Atlanta

    NRD Atlanta

    Courtesy Photo | 171014-N-ZZ999-010 DOTHAN, Ala. (October 14, 2017) Personnel Specialist 1st Class...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Navy Recruiting Command

    ATLANTA - Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW/IW) Orazali Aydogdiyev was born in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan.

    Aydogdiyev visited the United States for the first time in 2003 as an exchange student to Elkhart, Indiana. The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program he participated in is a competitive, merit-based scholarship program funded by the U. S. Department of State. FLEX students who pass multiple rounds of testing earn a scholarship to spend an academic year in the United States living with a volunteer host family and attending a U.S. high school.

    After attending high school for a year in the U.S., Aydogdiyev returned home. However, he was able to come back to the U.S. the following year to attend Indiana University, South Bend campus. He also tried his hand with various business ventures to include real estate management, flipping homes, project management for corporate America, and finally retail.

    This five-year first class petty officer ran a chain of novelty stores in Michigan before joining the Navy in 2012.

    “I almost joined the Marines because the Marine recruiters were the ones who were kind of active in my area,” said Aydogdiyev. A salesman by nature, Aydogdiyev struck up a conversation with two Marine recruiters who passed his store in the mall, and the idea to serve in the military was born.

    “The Navy recruiter who recruited me was AME2 Newton out of Portage, Michigan,” said Aydogdiyev. “He was my customer and we became friends. We kind of talked a lot but we never really talked about the Navy. He never tried to sell me on the Navy until one day when I was returning to the Marine office. I almost had walked into the office but he saw me and called out my name. He said ‘hey Orazali what are you doing over here?’ We started talking and he told me to come inside (his office) and let’s carry on a conversation.”

    There were two recruiters in the office. Aydogdiyev said everything the recruiters were talking to him about was exactly what he needed in life.
    “I needed a change of pace, a change of life, I wanted to travel, I wanted to see the world because I’m an international person myself so I’ve always wanted to travel,” said Aydogdiyev. “I wanted to start something new. So I said forget the Marines, this is what I need. I need the education they are talking about; I need the tuition assistance.”

    During Aydogdiyev’s conversation with his recruiter, he noticed the second recruiter was working on his college coursework. He said that sealed the deal for him.

    “I knew the Navy had the legitimate tuition assistance,” said Aydogdiyev. “They can guarantee me travel. They can guarantee me the social credit of being able to serve this country and give back for the freedom I got from them. All-in-all it was a win-win-win, that’s exactly what the Navy was for me and I decided to sign up.”

    Aydogdiyev says he loves being a personnel specialist because he is able to impact Sailors, there’s a lot of room for advancement and a lot of room for leadership, but he plans to cross-rate to navy counselor to change lives like his recruiter did for him.

    While aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve, Aydogdiyev accomplished surface warfare, air warfare and information dominance qualifications.

    "I loved being out to sea: I loved being on the Truman, I loved being a Sailor in the middle of the fight," said Aydogdiyev. He was able to qualify in several shipboard qualifications. He went to the top for damage control qualifications; eventually joining the damage control training team. Additional accomplishments include completing sixteen credit hours with Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) and distance learning coursework.

    "I have gone to school the entire time I've been on active duty and now I'm on the brink of graduation," said Aydogdiyev.

    Aydogdiyev’s commitment to personal growth and intellectual development pushed him to becoming quadrilingual, speaking fluent Russian, Turkmen, Turkish and English. He explained there is no greater value than tuition assistance to him and the ability to take classes while serving. He says his educational opportunity is one of the things he is proudest of and is appreciative to the Navy for. Aydogdiyev will receive his Bachelor of Science degree in Global Business from Troy University. The fact that he was able to complete his educational goal allows him to be a better recruiter.

    "I can talk about it (educational benefits); I can show it on paper in black and white, I can answer questions or concerns, I can be that example for the future applicant at any given time," said Aydogdiyev. ''My 34-Future Sailors know that I'm active duty, their mentor and I'm going to school at the same time, they are able to resell themselves at the same time they know that this is possible."

    A father of two sons and husband to Alina, also from Turkmenistan, Aydogdiyev says he was able to grow in the Navy from someone who was being lead when he entered, to someone who is leading again.



    Date Taken: 06.14.2018
    Date Posted: 06.14.2018 15:59
    Story ID: 280967
    Location: US

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