81 Receive U.S. Citizenship at USCIS Ceremony in South Korea
Naturalization Ceremony Marks Military Appreciation Month
SEOUL, South Korea—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Seoul Field Office celebrated "Military Appreciation Month" today by hosting a naturalization ceremony for 81 members of the military community on the Yongsan U.S. Army Garrison.
The new citizens included 57 members of the U.S. armed forces, 22 spouses and two children of members of the military stationed across South Korea.
After Kenneth Sherman, USCIS Seoul Field Office Director, administered the Oath of Allegiance he remarked, "While the month of May is set aside to honor and celebrate the military, we at USCIS make it a priority everyday to support our men and women in uniform and their families." He added, "Your commitment to defend our nation even before you have received citizenship inspires us to ensure you receive world class immigration services wherever you are stationed."
Maj. Gen. Lawrence L. Wells, Deputy Chief of Staff for the United Nations Command and U.S. Forces Korea, remarked on the pride he felt to witness American service men and women recite the Oath of Allegiance and become citizens of the nation they already serve as members of the U.S. armed forces.
The new citizens hail from 30 countries: American Samoa, Barbados, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Germany, Ghana, Haiti, Hungary, Jamaica, Liberia, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Palau, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Senegal, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
Since September 2001, more than 59,300 service men and women have become citizens during naturalization ceremonies, with 889 of those naturalized during ceremonies in South Korea. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 allows for members of the military to naturalize while serving abroad. Before October 1, 2004, military service members could only naturalize while physically within the United States.
New citizen waves American flag in celebration following his naturalization on May 18, 2010 during a ceremony in Seoul, South Korea.
Soldier recites the Oath of Allegiance during USCIS naturalization ceremony in Seoul, South Korea on May 18, 2010.
Information on USCIS and its programs for the military is available online at: http://www.uscis.gov/military.