For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
NEW YORK—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today joined U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas in New York City and participated in a special naturalization ceremony for 10 members of the military aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Barque EAGLE—hosted by U.S. Coast Guard Vice Admiral Robert Parker and Commanding Officer of EAGLE Captain Eric Jones—as part of the celebrations surrounding the 221st Anniversary of the U.S. Coast Guard.
“We are thankful for the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces and their sacrifices to ensure the safety and security of our nation,” said Secretary Napolitano. “On behalf of a grateful country, thank you for choosing to serve our nation—through your service with the U.S. military and your decision to join the country as citizens.”
During her remarks Secretary Napolitano recognized the 10 citizenship candidates naturalized in today’s ceremony. These current servicemen and women represent all five branches of the military and come from Burma, the People's Republic of China, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, and Russia. Since September 2001, USCIS has naturalized more than 72,000 members of our armed forces, including over 11,000 last year alone.
Yesterday, Secretary Napolitano delivered remarks to the crew aboard the EAGLE—thanking all members for their service and dedication to the U.S. Coast Guard and commemorating the 75th anniversary of the EAGLE. While on board, Secretary Napolitano also participated in safety and Boat Mission briefings.
The EAGLE was built in Hamburg, Germany in 1936 and was repatriated to the United States after World War II. Known as "America's Tall Ship," the EAGLE is the only commissioned sailing ship operating in the U.S. government fleet and is used to train Coast Guard Academy cadets and officer candidates prior to their commissioning into the U.S. Coast Guard.