UCC Mainstream Online

From Somalia to Roseburg:

New Chief of Security has FBI, pirate nabbing history

Jared Hegg/Mainstream
New Chief of Security Kelly Rigsby has come a long way from Middle East military duties to UCC.


When a person hears the words, FBI, NCIS, or pirate nabbing, a popular T.V. series or national news comes to mind, not a UCC security officer. However, UCC’s new Chief of Security is a retired Navy federal special agent with that background.

Kelly Rigsby, who will supervise seven employees in his new position, once worked as part of an American coalition which coordinated with Swedish sea patrols and Australian intelligence in order to deter Somalian pirates. This coalition collected enough incriminating evidence to bring down one of the top Somalian pirate bosses. The group caught the pirate by getting a message to him that he was earning an award for changing his life and being a role model to young kids. “Because he was such an egomaniac, he goes to the place and got arrested right on the spot,” Rigsby explained.

In spite of his world travels,   special agent Kelly Rigsby was born and raised in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon.

What made Rigsby choose this career path? After graduating from South Umpqua High School, Rigsby went on to Eastern Oregon College and aspired to be a teacher and football coach. Because of a leg injury, he was forced to change his career path. Rigsby then graduated from the university with two bachelor’s degrees, one in Community Service/ Public Administration and the other in Sociology/ Anthropology.

Right out of college, Rigsby was hired to join the Myrtle Creek police force as a patrol sergeant. At the age of 29 and after working on the force, Rigsby decided to take the necessary steps needed to become a naval service special agent. From there he began a career progression with international opportunities.

As a special agent, Rigsby’s work entailed criminal investigation, counterintelligence and counterterrorism. As a NCIS federal law enforcement officer, part of his counterintelligence activities were to try to determine who is gathering information belonging to the Navy and to investigate anything to do with the Navy.

Roughly only 1200 Navy special agents serve at a given time on duty for the whole world. These agents need to be U.S. citizens 21 to 37 years old. Also required is passing top secret security clearance and having at least a bachelor’s degree. Rigsby had two, plus he speaks four languages: Arabic, Farsi and Swahili as well as English.

NCIS has a mandatory policy that at age 57 their agents must retire. Rigsby decided to go out with a bang. His last mission was in the Middle Eastern countries of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and he chose not to take his family because the schools there were not compatible with the schools his children were attending in the U.S. Rigsby has a wife, who is also from Myrtle creek, and two children.

After retiring, Rigsby wanted to come home to Myrtle Creek, but he found retirement so boring that he left retirement to apply for the security position at UCC.