Slide background


03 Naturalization Oath of Allegiance military immigration citizenship path to Support Our Troops

Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. (June 12, 2024): In this photo by MC2 Stuart Posada, Navy recruits take the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance during a ceremony held at Recruit Memorial Chapel. These “New Americans” join hundreds of thousands of immigrants that have served in our armed forces since the beginning of our republic. In the last twenty years, more than 148,000 immigrants earned their U.S. citizenship by serving and in the past century, over 760,000 immigrants from thirty countries became Americans through military service. In fact, twenty percent of all Medal of Honor winners were foreign born.

These aspiring citizens not only bring exceptional skills, like language. but are also less likely than their U.S. born counterparts to leave the military. Today, there are approximately 65,000 immigrants, five percent of the force, serving on active duty and non-citizens account for four percent of all recruits annually.

To become a naturalized citizen, recruits must complete at least one year of honorable service during peacetime, or they may be granted citizenship immediately if their service occurred during designated periods of hostility. Last year, some twelve thousand service members gained their citizenship, a fourteen percent increase on the previous year.

Since the beginning of the republic, the American armed forces have offered a path to citizenship for patriots willing to fight to defend our country.