Face of Defense: Soldier Takes Citizenship Oath in Iraq

CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq — Swear­ing the oath to sup­port, defend and serve the Unit­ed States while serv­ing in the Army was not quite enough for one sol­dier deployed to Iraq with 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Advise and Assist Task Force.

 Victory Base Camp, Iraq
Army Spc. Ang­ie Schae­fer accepts a U.S. flag from U.S. Ambas­sador to Iraq James Jef­frey dur­ing a nat­u­ral­iza­tion cer­e­mo­ny at Vic­to­ry Base Camp, Iraq, July 4, 2011. Schae­fer, a Colom­bia native, took her oath to become an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen at the cer­e­mo­ny.
U.S. Army pho­to by Sgt. Daniel Stoutamire
Click to enlarge

Stand­ing before a host of sol­diers July 4, Army Spc. Ang­ie Schae­fer, a petro­le­um sup­ply spe­cial­ist with the task force’s Com­pa­ny A, 101st Brigade Sup­port Bat­tal­ion, now had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to raise her hand and swear anoth­er oath she has want­ed to take since high school: the oath that would make her an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen.

Schae­fer said she came from a very close-knit, tra­di­tion­al fam­i­ly and attend­ed pri­vate school in her native Colom­bia.

“It was def­i­nite­ly a dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ence after I came to the states,” she said.

Schae­fer said she was 7 when her grand­par­ents moved to Mia­mi, where she was able to get a free edu­ca­tion. She said she had want­ed to join the Army since par­tic­i­pat­ing in Junior ROTC in high school. She was able to enlist based on her per­ma­nent res­i­dent sta­tus in the Unit­ed States.

Two years lat­er, Schae­fer found her­self in Iraq with U.S. Divi­sion North, sup­port­ing Oper­a­tion New Dawn.

“She’s always work­ing with a smile on her face,” said Army 1st Lt. Jesse Dean Swanzy, a quar­ter­mas­ter offi­cer and Schaefer’s pla­toon leader. “Spe­cial­ist Schae­fer con­stant­ly con­tributes by vol­un­teer­ing to go on mis­sions to sup­ply our out­ly­ing for­ward oper­at­ing bases. She leaves her mark on [Oper­a­tion New Dawn] by help­ing her coun­try through lit­er­al­ly sup­ply­ing the advise, train, assist mis­sion.”

As a mem­ber of the 1st Pla­toon “Road War­riors,” Schae­fer dri­ves sup­ply trucks to bases around Con­tin­gency Oper­at­ing Site War­rior.

Fel­low sol­diers helped to pre­pare Schae­fer for the nat­u­ral­iza­tion test required to become a U.S. cit­i­zen, Swanzy said, adding that the unit real­ly sup­ports sol­diers.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mo­ny, Schae­fer smiled as she shook hands with Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, com­man­der of U.S. Forces Iraq, who con­grat­u­lat­ed and wel­comed her as a cit­i­zen of the nation she serves.

“I’m excit­ed,” Schae­fer said. “Becom­ing a cit­i­zen makes me feel accom­plished, because I will be the first one in my fam­i­ly to become a cit­i­zen – not just a per­ma­nent res­i­dent – and I will have more sta­bil­i­ty in every­thing I am doing and plan to do.”

After the cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mo­ny, Schae­fer said she wants to attain her secu­ri­ty clear­ance and go to col­lege through Green to Gold, an Army pro­gram that allows sol­diers to go to col­lege and become offi­cers through ROTC.

“I know it will be a chal­lenge,” she said, “but I know I can do it, and I wel­come what­ev­er the future holds for me.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →