Being inducted into any branch of the military is a special experience and one that many families in York have been through. It is a time for parents to be proud and children to celebrate their accomplishments and dedication to the United States. For 10 new Marines, their induction was doubly special when they also took the Oath of Allegiance and became American citizens.
For an 18-year-old private, becoming a Marine was a way to show his appreciation to the country that took his family in when he moved from Italy as a toddler. Another private joined the Marines because he wanted to join a respected branch of the military. Whatever their reasons for joining the Marines, these 10 new soldiers were able to take advantage of a program that allows members of the Marines, Army and Navy to take the Oath of Allegiance following their graduation from basic training.
The program had its origin in a law that was passed shortly after 9/11. The former President George W. Bush signed a law that allowed for noncitizens who were also members of the military to apply for expedited citizenship. While the Army, Marines and the Navy allow for boot-camp graduates to receive immediate citizenship, the Air Force, the Coast Guard and certain parts of the National Guard allow for an expedited process.
The Marines’ participation in this citizenship program is relatively new, but it has certainly helped 10 young soldiers become citizens of the country they have already given so much for.
Source: USA Today, “Marines become U.S. citizens at boot camp,” Gina Harkins, Feb. 5, 2013
Applying to naturalize as a citizen of the United States need not be as stressful and frightening as it likely is for many immigrants. Working with an immigration lawyer can make the process much easier. Find out more by visiting our Lancaster naturalization and citizenship web page.