On July 1, 62 active duty, reserves, and military dependents took the oath of citizenship on board the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California. As the Region Legal Service Office Southwest (RLSO SW) U.S. Citizenship Program Manager, I spent months planning this event and coordinating with the Department of Homeland Security (U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services) and the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, District #24.
While planning the event, I worked closely in tandem with various military commands and agencies to identify eligible service members, schedule citizenship interviews and continuously following up on case files to ensure availability of participants for the ceremony. My efforts culminated in U.S. District Chief Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz, California Southern District, administering the “Oath of Allegiance” to sailors, marines, soldiers and military dependents.
Some of the distinguished attendees at the ceremony were retired Rear Adm. McLaughlin, President and CEO of the USS Midway Museum, Ms. Melissa Maxim, field office director, District #24 and Cmdr. Dustin E. Wallace, executive officer, RLSO SW. Additionally, over 150 spouses, family members and co-workers attended this year’s ceremony supporting the newest U.S. citizens.
For the past several years this event has taken place before our nation’s Independence Day to ensure that the men and women of our armed forces along with their family members can truly appreciate what it means to fully share in citizenship of the country they have sworn to protect! RLSO SW supports the operational readiness of Department of the Navy Commands and Sailors in the Southwestern United States by providing responsive, timely and accurate legal guidance, support services and training in the areas of military justice, administrative law and legal assistance.