Meet 19 Of America’s Newest Marines — And Naturalized US Citizens

Joining the Military

For 19 young men and women, earning the title United States Marine was just one of their crowning achievements this month. The other: becoming U.S. citizens.


After demonstrating their knowledge of the English language and American civics, 16 men and three women took the Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution and became U.S. citizens, during a July 13 naturalization ceremony at Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. The following day, they graduated and were minted Marines.

Related: Young Immigrant Recruits In The US Military Worry They Could Be Deported »

“For these Marines, today's naturalization ceremony represents their final step in their journey to American citizenship,” Brenda Washington of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services said in a Department of Defense statement. “Their path to citizenship is especially remarkable because they first pledge themselves to support and defend the United States before choosing to become American citizens.”

Here are the 19 new devil dogs who recently earned the title of U.S. citizen:

Pvt. Daniel Ramirez Rodriguez from Cullman, Alabama, was born in Mexico.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pfc. Ambar N. Zaiek Parades, from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is originally from the Dominican Republic.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pvt. Waylon F. LaFrance was born in Canada, and hails from Hogansburg, New York.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pfc. Dang H. Doung, from Warren, Michigan, was born in Vietnam.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pvt. Jhonatan A. Velarde, from Newark, New Jersey, was born in Ecuador.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pvt. Carlos L. Espana Palencia from Lehigh Acres, Florida, was born in Guatemala.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pvt. Zetian Ni, from Pittsburgh, was born in China.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pvt. Annalice M. Daley of Baltimore was born in Jamaica.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pfc. Rodrigo M. Malpartida from Ossining, New York, was born in Peru.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pvt. Khalid M. Ngwegwe from Greenbelt, Maryland, was born in Tanzania.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pvt. Kervin Stcyr, from Brooklyn, New York, is originally from Haiti.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pfc. Ariel Castillo, from Miami, was born in Cuba.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Born in Mexico, Pfc. Dulce F. Manriquez hails from Tuscon, Arizona.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pvt. Jean Malhado from Secaucus, New Jersey, was born in Brazil.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pvt. Yongchang Gao, from New York, was born in China.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pfc. Daniel A. Guzman hails from New York, and was born in the Dominican Republic.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Born in Haiti, Pfc. Serdjhy Leger, hails from Orlando, Florida.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Pvt. Juan C. Rosales Guerin, from Miami was born in Mexico.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

Born in Peru, Pvt. Julian R. Torres, is from Fort Pierce, Florida.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro

WATCH NEXT:

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Maximiliano Bavastro
(Courtesy of Jackie Melendrez)

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Iron Mountain. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Iron Mountain is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.

Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.

Read More Show Less
Photo: U.S. Army

Master Sgt. Larry Hawks, a retired engineer sergeant who served with 3rd Special Forces Group, is being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Friday for "valorous actions" in Afghanistan in 2005.

Read More Show Less

The Iranians just blasted one of the US military's most sophisticated and expensive drones out of the sky as tensions in the Strait of Hormuz reach the boiling point.

Read More Show Less
(Reuters/Lawrence Hurley)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.

The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.

The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.

Read More Show Less
(Associated Press/Facebook)

A relative of the man who opened fire outside downtown Dallas' federal building this week warned the FBI in 2016 that he shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun because he was depressed and suicidal, his mother said Thursday.

Brian Clyde's half-brother called the FBI about his concerns, their mother Nubia Brede Solis said. Clyde was in the Army at the time.

On Monday, Clyde opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building. He was fatally shot by federal law enforcement. No one else was seriously injured. His family believes Clyde wanted to be killed.

Read More Show Less