An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


News Stories
U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Deployed Truman Strike Group Sailors Become U.S. Citizens

by Story by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Wolpert, USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs
11 September 2022

NA
220909-N-JR318-1047 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sep. 9, 2022) Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Francisian Manaog, left, and Logistics Specialist 3rd Class John Gacad, both from the Philippines, pose for a photo with JAG officers after a naturalization ceremony in the in port cabin aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Sep. 9, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is operating in the Atlantic Ocean in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interest. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Hunter Day)
NA
220909-N-JR318-1047
220909-N-JR318-1047 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Sep. 9, 2022) Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Francisian Manaog, left, and Logistics Specialist 3rd Class John Gacad, both from the Philippines, pose for a photo with JAG officers after a naturalization ceremony in the in port cabin aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Sep. 9, 2022. The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is operating in the Atlantic Ocean in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interest. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Hunter Day)
Photo By: Seaman Hunter Day
VIRIN: 220909-N-JR318-1047
ATLANTIC OCEAN —Petty Officers 3rd Class John Gacad and Francisian Manaog became U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Sep. 9.

Gacad and Manaog swore the naturalization oath of allegiance with the help of more than 16 U.S. Navy Judge Advocates, Legalmen, and civilian paralegals, spread throughout three countries and at sea, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Washington Field Office.

“I’m proud and honored to be a part of this historic event,” said Manaog, who is assigned to Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 126. “Our names will be in the history books.”

Gacad, who is assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211, also expressed his delight in reaching this milestone on his journey to citizenship.

“I’m very happy after this long process,” said Gacad. “I can finally say I’m proud to be an American.”

Gacad started the process of becoming a citizen in March 2021. However, he had to postpone his naturalization due to the scheduled deployment.

“USCIS reached out to the Navy to see if there was anything we could do hold a naturalization ceremony while deployed and that got us asking the question, ‘Can it happen?’ ” said Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Doherty-Peters, Truman’s command judge advocate. “The biggest challenges are that the a naturalization oath ceremony must be conducted live with authorized USCIS personnel and that Certificates of Naturalization must be physically aboard the ship in time for the ceremony and marked with the correct information. We knew virtual overseas ceremonies take place on land with assistance of Region Legal Service Offices, so we started working through our logistical and technical challenges to make the ceremony happen while deployed at sea.”

After months of planning and meticulous preparation, Gacad and Manaog’s journey to citizenship was finally realized aboard the Truman. In early September, their Certificates of Naturalization were picked up from the USCIS Washington Field Office by a Washington, D.C. based Judge Advocate who flew onto the ship and hand delivered the documents as Truman operated underway in the Atlantic Ocean. On the day of the ceremony, two USCIS personnel traveled to the Pentagon to connect to the Truman for a virtual teleconference.

During the virtual ceremony, the keynote speaker, Rear Adm. Paul Spedero Jr., commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8, spoke about the path the Sailors traveled to become American citizens.

“Most of us here today were born Americans,” said Spedero. “Our citizenship was a gift that we were given. But your citizenship is earned. You’ve earned the right to be called Americans through your service to this country. You’ve proven that you are Americans through these many months deployed with all of us doing this nation’s work in defense of American ideals abroad.”

After the ceremony, Gacad and Manaog expressed their gratitude for all the help they received.

“The Navy is a team,” said Gacad. “You will never feel like you are alone because there is always someone there to help you when you need it. Without the legal team, I wouldn’t be in this position, and I would like to say thanks for all their hard work.”

This event also marks the first time a naturalization ceremony was held on a deployed aircraft carrier.

“That Petty Officer Gacad and Petty Officer Manaog will be able to walk off the ship on U.S. soil as U.S. citizens when we return home is phenomenal,” said Capt. Gavin Duff, Truman’s commanding officer. “In 2022, that we have the capability to conduct this ceremony virtually and provide this opportunity for them is humbling to say the least. It was a community effort to help these impressive Sailors realize their dream and become citizens of the country they have served so proudly. We look forward to their success and accomplishments in their future as Americans.”

Truman is the flagship of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG); additional elements include the nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, commanded by Capt. Patrick Hourigan; the staff and guided-missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 28 commanded by Capt. Blair Guy; and the Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG 56), commanded by Capt. Christopher Marvin.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group is currently operating in the Atlantic Ocean in support of naval operations to maintain maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interest.

For more news from U.S. 2nd Fleet, visit https://www.c2f.navy.mil/ and for more information visit http://www.facebook.com/US2ndFleet/ or http://twitter.com/US2ndFleet.

For more news from Truman, visit www.airlant.usff.navy.mil/cvn75/, ww.facebook.com/cvn75, www.twitter.com/ussharrystruman, or http://instagram.com/uss_harrys.truman


 
Navy.mil  |  Navy.com  |  Navy FOIA  |  DoD Accessibility/Section 508  |  No Fear Act  |  Open Government  |  Plain Writing Act 
USA.gov  |  Veterans Crisis Line  |  DoD Safe Helpline  |  Navy SAPR  |  NCIS Tips  |  Privacy Policy  |  Site Map  |  Contact US
 
Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command   |   1562 Mitscher Ave., Suite 250   |   Norfolk, Virginia 23551-2487
Official U.S. Navy Website
Veteran's Crisis Line