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non US citizens in the US military

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posted on Oct, 2 2004 @ 07:41 PM
I saw a report on one of the news channels today about members of the US military that are not US citizens and are serving in Iraq and Afganistan, are recieving thier citizenship while serving over seas.
My question is this.... Is this a new thing or has this type of thing gone on in past wars?? Is the US actually offering citizenship in exchange for military service?? And if so.... Are our armed services so depleted of personell that we need to bribe people from other countries with citizenship??

posted on Oct, 2 2004 @ 08:27 PM
It's not unusual to have non-citizens in the U.S. military.

There are 60,000 immigrants in the U.S. military, which represent two percent of the total service personnel on active duty. About half are non citizens,

I actually remember serving with an immigrant from Mexico, and one from Tel-Aviv. I believe you have to get your citizenship before you reenlist, and you can't get a very high clearance as a non-citizen. I'm sure there are restrictions on this program, but it is there.

posted on Oct, 2 2004 @ 09:26 PM
I enlisted in 1987 while still being an Austrian citizen. No questions asked, other than what countries had I been to and do I still have any ties to those countries.
My passport contained stamps from east bloc countries and raised some suspiscion. I told them that I only visisted them and have no more contacts.

At the time of my enlistment, the only document that I had at the time to show proof of establishing US citizenship was a 'Green Card', or I-551. I also had to obtain a SSN in order to join the military.
My citizenship prevented me from getting the jobs that I was suited for because of the lack of security clearance. So, I was to be the chief engineer on a tug boat. I also had to be cleared while serving as a NEST member. Apparently I was not to know that we had special weapons on the island....

I was still carrying my I-551 when my enlistment was up. I had the chance to renew my active duty for 4 more years, but I turned it down. I got out as an E-5 and enjoyed doing what I did.

Two years later and several thousand dollars out of my pocket I traded in my I-551 for a US Citizenship document. I should have sold it on eBay, but I never had the opportunity. INS took it away from me. They also 'revoked' my Austrian passport prior to obtaining a US passport.

On my last trip to Austria, I was wanted my the Bundeswehr (Austrian military) for evading their 9 months of their 'Wehrpflicht'. That is similar to the draft; it's mandatory service for your country. So, after I left the airport in Vienna, my dad was frequently visited by the Army demanding that I see them. He explained that I'm no longer here and that I am now exempt from their service. I told him that if they want to see me again, to have them send me a round-trip ticket to Austria. I'm still waiting....

It is possible to enlist while not a US citizen. I speak from experience.


posted on Oct, 2 2004 @ 09:37 PM
This is old news.

When I served, in my basic training company, we had Mexican, Brazilian, Dominican, and Philipine citizens in our unit. In AIT, we had Puerto Rican drill seargants, guys from the west indies, a Scottish instructor, ect. In my unit we had jamacians, Dominicans, even Canadians. Its something we have done for a very long time. Some of the best units in the civil war were irish immigrants.

My only objection to any foreigners serving in our armed forces is if they cannot speak English and get a communications job. That posses a serious threat to the well being of the troops, if you cannot communicate info and orders clearly over a radio or comm system, you create a big Hazard.

Otherwise, non Americans are pretty much welcome in the military, and do the country great service, and I believe they should be allowed citizenship if they so desire, since they have contributed to our country.

other than a comm NCO who couldnt speak intelligable English and caused alot of problems because of it, all other foreigners Ive served with Ive had very good experiences with, and do excellent jobs.

posted on Oct, 2 2004 @ 10:03 PM
I read that 15% of Marines are Hispanic. And 10% of all inlisted ranks in the US military are Hispanic.

I also read that Hispanics represent about 13% of the entire US population, and that 60% of those were born in the US.

I think I started a thread on this many months ago. It was basically an article from a military or veterans site which commented on how lax the military was in allowing illegals to join up, and the security threat that posed.

posted on Oct, 2 2004 @ 10:10 PM
I think if you serve in the US military, you should get automatic citizenship, or at least, a preference. There are stories of kids serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, then getting out, and then deported.

posted on Oct, 2 2004 @ 10:25 PM
I don't know what the situation is now, but in the mid-70's I served with a Yugoslavian "defector" in the US Air Force, and he was as pro-US "patriotic" and trustworthy as anyone else in our unit, and had a security clearance to boot. He was studying for his citizenship test at the time, so I don't think it was "guaranteed".

Americans do fight for foreign governments (the French Foreign Legion comes to mind as but one example), so why not vice-versa?

As I said, though, that was almost 30 years ago, and I don't know what the current policy is..........

posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 05:11 AM
The current policy in the U.S. military is that if you are not a US citizen you are able to enlist for specific jobs that do not compromise OPSEC (operation security). These soldeirs' time in service counts towards their citizenship but they also have to perform all the steps needed to become a citizen. I think this is fair because people who immigrate to the US are usually doing so for jobs and for better opportunities. These people want to give back to the country that has given them so much.

posted on Oct, 4 2004 @ 07:38 AM
Wow, this is a good one.
I guess the U.S. figures if you are dieing for their cause you deserve citizenship. makes sense to me i guess. And no, the U.S. is not so hard up as to need 'foreign' fighters.

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