GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – As part of a special program to naturalize active duty military members and their families, U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria hosted a two-day virtual naturalization ceremony at the Tower Barracks Conference Center on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5. In total, 68 candidates from 30 countries were administered the Oath of Allegiance.
Included in both ceremonies were special remarks from USAG Bavaria Garrison Commander Col. Christopher Danbeck.
“Today, the history of America begins a new chapter in your hearts. You have chosen the United States of America as your country,” said Danbeck. “The fact that you made the choice to do this – on top of serving in the Armed Forces for a county that wasn’t your own until today – makes it even more awe inspiring in my opinion. Thank you for making these choices.”
Following the national anthem, the Oath of Allegiance was virtually conducted by a representative with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Ceremony candidates, who took the oath, are stationed at garrisons across Germany, including: 49 candidates from USAG Bavaria, 16 candidates from USAG Ansbach, one candidate from USAG Baumholder and one candidate from the Kaiserslautern area. Additionally, one candidate even traveled to the ceremony from Poland.
Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, this was the second time a virtual naturalization ceremony was ever conducted at USAG Bavaria. According to Military Personnel Division Chief Michele Crawford, as long as USCIS requires assistance with this hybrid ceremony, the garrison is ready to support the joint effort.
“All the candidates are relieved that we’ve been able to come up with ways that they can complete this process, and not have to wait years due to the pandemic,” said Crawford. “They have been really appreciative, and just excited, to finally be able to reach this last step in their journey to citizenship.”
View video recordings of the ceremonies using these Facebook links:
View addition photos of the event using these Flickr links: