USCIS Naturalizes Six Sailors onboard U.S.S. Blue Ridge in South Korea
BUSAN, South Korea - Six sailors assigned to the USS Blue Ridge, the flagship for the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, home-based at Yokosuka, Japan, became citizens of the United States on March 8, 2010, while the ship was in South Korea for a military training exercise.
The naturalization ceremony was held onboard the ship after Kenneth Sherman, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field office in Seoul, learned the training exercise meant the six would miss an upcoming ceremony in Japan. He arranged for two USCIS officers to meet the ship in Busan and complete the naturalization process without delay.
After administering the Oath of Allegiance, Sherman cited the amount of time all sailors spend away from home while serving in the U.S. Navy. He said, "It is a privilege to know that I had a role in helping ensure you achieve your dream of U.S. citizenship."
Captain Rudy Lupton, commander of the Blue Ridge, congratulated the six, and commented that while the ceremony made it official, the day they joined the Navy they became American Sailors, and that he was proud to be among the first to greet them as citizens of the United States.
The six new U.S. citizens hailed from Canada, China, Germany, Mexico, and the Philippines. They join more than 55,000 other service members who, since September 2001, have become naturalized citizens through their service in the U.S. armed forces.
More information about immigration services and benefits for members of the U.S. armed forces and their family is available online at http://www.uscis.gov/military.