KOSRAE, Federated States of Micronesia --
Nestled 370 miles north of the equator between Hawaii and Guam is the “Jewel of Micronesia.” Kosrae, formerly known as Strong Island, is the easternmost of the Caroline Islands in the Federated States of Micronesia. The volcanic island is largely unspoiled and surrounded by coral reefs teeming with fish. Homing nearly 6,600 people on its 42 square miles, Kosrae has become a travel destination for hikers, surfers and scuba divers. This year, Kosrae is also a destination for U.S. Marines and Sailors with Task Force Koa Moana 23 including Private First Class Alexiander Sigrah, a Kosrae native.
“I am excited to be able to go back home and fix a lot of stuff that I’ve always wanted to be involved in helping with,” said Sigrah, an automotive maintenance technician and liaison for Koa Moana. “I hope we can make strong relationships with the people back home.”
Task Force Koa Moana deployed to the Indo-Pacific to strengthen relationships with Pacific Island partners through bilateral and multilateral security cooperation and community engagements.
“I want to introduce the Marines to our lifestyle over there and how people work with one another. A similar thing about the Marine Corps and Kosrae is people are very close to one another and help out each other. That’s what I like best about the Marine Corps so far.” Pfc. Alexiander Sigrah, a Kosrae native
“It is not every day that you see Marines walking around,” said Sigrah. “We have the ability to fix the hospital and the police shooting range. Small things like that mean a lot to all the people back home. Repairs are a big thing, but they can’t because its financially hard.”
According to Lt. Col. Robert J. Hillery, the task force commanding officer, Marines like Sigrah allow for a better connection between Marines and the Micronesian population.
“PFC Sigrah can assist in communication, coordination, and collaboration, which in turn, helps us build and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Hillery. “His presence also shows his community his dedication to both the Corps and his hometown.”
Sigrah enlisted into the United States Marine Corps in 2022 and was promoted to his current rank while deployed to Kosrae with the task force.
“Joining was appealing to me because people who used to be in the service back home, veterans, are looked up on and respected,” said Sigrah. “I wanted to earn respect too. Now, I am a Kosrae descendent and a Kosrae Marine. That is pretty rare.”
According to Sigrah, he is thrilled to be a liaison for his community and the Corps.
“I want to introduce the Marines to our lifestyle over there and how people work with one another,” said Sigrah. “A similar thing about the Marine Corps and Kosrae is people are very close to one another and help out each other. That’s what I like best about the Marine Corps so far.”