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55 Military and Family Members become U.S. Citizens in South Korea

SEOUL, South Korea - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today hosted a special naturalization ceremony at the Yongsan Army Garrison for 40 service men and women, and 15 military family members.

The youngest new citizen to receive his certificate of citizenship was 3-year old Ethan Kaito Guerrero. USCIS expedited Ethan's application so he could accompany his adopted father, Navy Commander Jeffry Guerrero, when the family moves to the United States.

The youngest new citizen to receive his certificate of citizenship was 3-year old Ethan Kaito Guerrero

Cynthia Sharpe, Consul General at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, congratulated the new citizens for their contributions to their adopted country and for following the great legacy of immigrants in the military who have shaped and strengthened America.

After administering the Oath of Allegiance, USCIS Seoul Field Office Director Kenneth Sherman paid tribute to the families and praised the service members for their willingness to sacrifice for the United States while not yet holding citizenship themselves. Sherman, who grew up on military bases and served in uniform himself, said it was a "privilege to participate in the naturalization process for the 55 members of the military community."

55 members of the military community in their naturalization ceremony

The new citizens hail from 25 nations: Burma, Cambodia, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Samoa, and Trinidad & Tobago.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 authorized USCIS to conduct naturalization interviews and Oath ceremonies for members of the U.S. armed forces serving abroad. Since 2004, naturalization ceremonies for members of the military have taken place across the United States and in 17 countries: Afghanistan, Djibouti, El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

For more information about USCIS' special programs for members of the military and their families, please visit the "Military" section of this site by way of the homepage.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 12/15/2009