Deployed Truman Strike Group Sailors Turn out to be U.S. Residents > United States Navy > News-Tales

Gacad and Manaog swore the naturalization oath of allegiance with the assistance of greater than 16 U.S. Navy Choose Advocates, Legalmen, and civilian paralegals, unfold all through three nations and at sea, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Companies (USCIS) Washington Area Workplace.

“I’m proud and honored to be part of this historic occasion,” mentioned Manaog, who’s assigned to Airborne Command and Management Squadron (VAW) 126. “Our names will probably be within the historical past books.”

Gacad, who’s assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211, additionally expressed his enjoyment of reaching this milestone on his journey to citizenship.

“I’m very pleased after this lengthy course of,” mentioned Gacad. “I can lastly say I’m proud to be an American.”

Gacad began the method of turning into a citizen in March 2021. Nonetheless, he needed to postpone his naturalization because of the scheduled deployment.

“USCIS reached out to the Navy to see if there was something we might do maintain a naturalization ceremony whereas deployed and that received us asking the query, ‘Can it occur?’ ” mentioned Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Doherty-Peters, Truman’s command choose advocate. “The most important challenges are that the a naturalization oath ceremony should be carried out reside with licensed USCIS personnel and that Certificates of Naturalization should be bodily aboard the ship in time for the ceremony and marked with the proper data. We knew digital abroad ceremonies happen on land with help of Area Authorized Service Places of work, so we began working by way of our logistical and technical challenges to make the ceremony occur whereas deployed at sea.”

After months of planning and meticulous preparation, Gacad and Manaog’s journey to citizenship was lastly realized aboard the Truman. In early September, their Certificates of Naturalization had been picked up from the USCIS Washington Area Workplace by a Washington, D.C. based mostly Choose Advocate who flew onto the ship and hand delivered the paperwork as Truman operated underway within the Atlantic Ocean. On the day of the ceremony, two USCIS personnel traveled to the Pentagon to hook up with the Truman for a digital teleconference.

Throughout the digital ceremony, the keynote speaker, Rear Adm. Paul Spedero Jr., commander, Service Strike Group (CSG) 8, spoke concerning the path the Sailors traveled to grow to be Americans.

“Most of us right here at this time had been born Individuals,” mentioned Spedero. “Our citizenship was a present that we got. However your citizenship is earned. You’ve earned the suitable to be known as Individuals by way of your service to this nation. You’ve confirmed that you’re Individuals by way of these many months deployed with all of us doing this nation’s work in protection of American beliefs overseas.”

After the ceremony, Gacad and Manaog expressed their gratitude for all the assistance they acquired.

“The Navy is a group,” mentioned Gacad. “You’ll by no means really feel like you might be alone as a result of there may be all the time somebody there that will help you while you want it. With out the authorized group, I wouldn’t be on this place, and I wish to say thanks for all their laborious work.”

This occasion additionally marks the primary time a naturalization ceremony was held on a deployed plane service.

“That Petty Officer Gacad and Petty Officer Manaog will be capable to stroll off the ship on U.S. soil as U.S. residents once we return house is phenomenal,” mentioned Capt. Gavin Duff, Truman’s commanding officer. “In 2022, that we have now the potential to conduct this ceremony just about and supply this chance for them is humbling to say the least. It was a group effort to assist these spectacular Sailors notice their dream and grow to be residents of the nation they’ve served so proudly. We look ahead to their success and accomplishments of their future as Individuals.”

Truman is the flagship of the Harry S. Truman Service Strike Group (HSTCSG); extra parts embody the 9 squadrons of Service Air Wing (CVW) 1, commanded by Capt. Patrick Hourigan; the workers and guided-missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28 commanded by Capt. Blair Man; and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), commanded by Capt. Christopher Marvin.

The Harry S. Truman Service Strike Group is at the moment working within the Atlantic Ocean in help of naval operations to keep up maritime stability and safety with the intention to guarantee entry, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and accomplice curiosity.

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