Thirty Soldiers become U.S. citizens

By Tatiana ScharsteinMarch 1, 2024

Thirty Soldiers from C Battery, 1st Battalion, 22nd Field Artillery and E Battery, 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery, 434th  Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Sill, Okla. take the Oath of Citizenship. Feb. 22, 2024 becoming the newest American citizens in the Army.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Thirty Soldiers from C Battery, 1st Battalion, 22nd Field Artillery and E Battery, 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery, 434th Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Sill, Okla. take the Oath of Citizenship. Feb. 22, 2024 becoming the newest American citizens in the Army. (Photo Credit: Tatiana Scharstein) VIEW ORIGINAL
Thirty Soldiers from C Battery, 1st Battalion, 22nd Field Artillery and E Battery, 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery, 434th  Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Sill, Okla. take the Oath of Citizenship. Feb. 22, 2024 becoming the newest American citizens in the Army.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Thirty Soldiers from C Battery, 1st Battalion, 22nd Field Artillery and E Battery, 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery, 434th Field Artillery Brigade, Fort Sill, Okla. take the Oath of Citizenship. Feb. 22, 2024 becoming the newest American citizens in the Army. (Photo Credit: Tatiana Scharstein) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT SILL, Okla. (Feb. 29, 2024) — Thirty basic trainees from the 434th Field Artillery Brigade became the newest American citizens in a ceremony Feb. 22 at Fort Sill.

1st Sgt. Zane Holbrook, 1st Battalion, 22nd Field Artillery, said the Soldiers of the C Battery, and E Battery, started their journey Nov. 28, 2023 and graduated Feb. 23, 2024.

"This morning we had the privilege of naturalizing 30 of our team's Soldiers, granting them citizenship in this great country," Holbrook said. "After spending time with their families, they will proceed to Advanced Individual Training, continuing to serve the country to do bigger and better things."

Soldiers and their families gathered in the 434th Field Artillery Brigade conference room to witness the exciting moment. The Soldiers, who had been training for months, said they were excited to take their next big step. They talked about why they joined the Army and why becoming American citizens is important to them.

Spc. Maxym Fiedosov from Ukraine, expressed his joy at serving in the United States Army, recalling it as a strong and prestigious organization.

"As an immigrant, getting citizenship earns me respect from the American people. It's a sort of realization,” he said.

Spc. Artem Rulevskyi, also from Ukraine, offered similar sentiments, citing his desire to forge a stable career and earn respect as motivations for serving in the United States Army and pursuing citizenship.

"It's a great starting point for immigrants to begin their career," Rulevskyi said.

Spc. Lawrenze Laranang, from the Philippines, reflected on his 10-week journey through basic training and said that his family motivated him to become a citizen and serve in the U.S. Army.

“To become a citizen it gives me motivation to push through life to become a good Soldier,” he said.

Spc. Bharat Prashad Bhatt, a former university professor from Nepal, recounted his journey, noting that winning a green card lottery paved the way for him to come to the United States.

"Joining the Army and gaining citizenship opens up better opportunities for me," he said.

The new citizens all agreed the Naturalization ceremony symbolized not only the fulfillment of individual dreams, but also the commitment of the new citizens to serve and protect the country they now proudly call home.