CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan --
Candidates, service members and families gathered for a naturalization ceremony Jan. 31 aboard Camp Foster.
For the 11 candidates, the naturalization ceremony was the final step in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.
“Each candidate has been examined and found to be of good moral character and attached to the principles of the constitution of the United States,” said Mathew P. Mumper, the overseas adjudication officer with Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Seoul, Korea. “They have been found to be eligible in every respect for United States citizenship.”
Eleven candidates from seven different countries stood in front of their families, raised their right hand and repeated the Oath of Allegiance. The process of becoming a U.S. citizen can take on average three months. Candidates must submit an application to be selected for an interview and be considered of good standing before being granted U.S. citizenship.
“We don’t have to worry about going back and forth through Mexico anymore,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Javier Milan, a corpsman with Headquarters Battery, 12th Marines Regiment. “All of the family is American. We are just one big American family now.”
First to welcome the candidates to their new citizenship was Van Q. Nguyen, assistant chief of staff for G-1, administration, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. Nguyen, a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel, became a naturalized citizen himself after joining the Marine Corps.
“I genuinely wish each and every one of you a terrific beginning and a great journey of your own being an American,” said Nguyen.