YOKOSUKA from Japan – Three Sailors from the USS Shiloh (CG 67) were naturalized U.S. citizens during a ceremony aboard the ship while docked at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Nov. 22.
The sailors’ oath of allegiance and the signing of their naturalization documents were observed by the crew of the Shiloh, including the ship’s captain.
“With today’s oath, you have renounced allegiance to any foreign state or sovereignty, showing great personal determination and demonstrating your commitment to this country,” said Captain Adam G Cheatham, commanding officer of Shiloh. âYou have not given up on the devotion you carry in your heart to the people and culture of your homeland. You should always take it with you and cherish it. These are the experiences people bring with them when ‘they become citizens who increase the strength of our great nation. “
The naturalization process began months in advance as soon as the seafarers fulfilled all the basic conditions for citizenship under the special provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
“[Becoming a citizen] It’s a good feeling, âsaid Raphael Alvaraeo, Aviation Support Equipment Technician 3rd Class. âI worked on all my papers for a while and my first mate helped me put it all together.
Applicants for citizenship must pass an exam on United States History and the Constitution administered by the United States Immigration Service (USCIS).
âI feel so happy to finally be a citizen,â said Adrian Layog-Tanedo, a deckhand on his way to becoming an aviation support equipment technician. “I learned so much about America through the process and I’m proud of it.”
All three Sailors were originally born in the Philippines and joined the Navy while living in California.
“I am so happy to finally be able to say that I am an American citizen now,” said Vicente Tiogson, an unnamed seaman.
Since 2002, the United States has naturalized more than 148,000 military personnel, both at home and abroad. Naturalization ceremonies have taken place in more than 30 countries. Over the past five years, 4,500 sailors have become naturalized US citizens.
USS Shiloh is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of ââoperations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The U.S. 7th Fleet is the largest forward-deployed fleet in the world, and with the help of a network of alliances and partners from 35 other maritime nations, the U.S. Navy has operated in the Indo-Pacific region since over 70 years old; provide credible and ready forces to help preserve peace and prevent conflict.