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    U.S. Marines conduct a naturalization ceremony on Camp Foster

    U.S. Marines conduct a naturalization ceremony on Camp Foster

    Photo By Pfc. Jonathan Beauchamp | U.S. Navy Seaman Apprentice David Diaz Rosas, a hospital corpsman with 3rd Dental...... read more read more

    OKINAWA, JAPAN

    12.07.2021

    Courtesy Story

    Marine Corps Installations Pacific

    Headline: U.S. Marines conduct a naturalization ceremony on Camp Foster

    CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – As a naturalization ceremony began, U.S. service members and Status of Forces Agreement personnel representing 10 nations became U.S. citizens. The participants raised their right hand, swearing the oath of allegiance at the Camp Foster Chapel, Dec. 7.

    "Today is the happiest day of my life, and today I became a U.S. citizen," said Marine Corps Cpl. Alexander Okenwa, a motor vehicle operator with Headquarters Squadron, Marine Air Control Squadron 4, Marine Air Control Group 18, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. "Shortly after joining the Marine Corps, I wanted to become an officer, but to be an officer, I had to become a citizen and now I can pursue this new avenue for my career.”
    Individuals from 10 different countries recited the oath of allegiance to the U.S. constitution affirming them as citizens. Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign individual after he or she fulfills the requirements to become a citizen established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

    Marine Corps Capt. Andrew Lorelli, the officer in charge of the legal assistance office, with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, explains that naturalization ceremonies are of great significance to everyone involved. It provides an opportunity for men and women to be a part of Americans’ system of government and support the constitution. He continued to say how when he has the opportunity to help grant citizenship, it is very important to him.

    Becoming an American citizen may be a dream to some, but for these men and women it became a reality through a series of steps required prior to obtaining citizenship. Active duty service members are eligible to apply for citizenship after one year of service. However, the applicants must follow a variety of security steps and measures to legitimate citizenship. Some notable requirements include: the ability to read, write and speak English; demonstrate knowledge of U.S. history and the government; maintain good moral character and abide by the constitutional principles.

    “New citizens help the Marine Corps be able to have a larger array of Marines, who are eligible to have jobs that require an elevated level of clearance,” said Lorelli. “I think becoming a citizen is a great way for individuals to become invested in this country.”

    The Marines who earned their American citizenship originally come from the Kingdom of Thailand, Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Co‑operative Republic of Guyana, Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Bolivia, the Republic of Ecuador, United Mexican States, the Republic of Cameroon, and The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    “Now that I am a U.S. citizen, I can finally say ‘this is my country and I am a citizen,’” said Okenwa. “I want to vote for U.S. presidents, and stand in a photo holding the American flag that I stand for and represent as a Marine. I hold my eagle, globe, and anchor close, and I know, I am fighting for this country but also the country I am a part of.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 12.07.2021
    Date Posted: 12.28.2021 23:52
    Story ID: 411237
    Location: OKINAWA, JP

    Web Views: 81
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN