Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Arctic Reservist becomes U.S. Citizen

by Capt. Ashley Conner
477th Fighter Group Public Affairs

7/30/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- An Airman assigned to the 477th Fighter Group became a U.S. citizen in a ceremony at the U.S. District Court in Anchorage July 27.

After passing a 100 question examination and successfully completing an interview Senior Airman Noel Magcalas along with 52 other individuals took the Oath of Allegiance to become a U.S. citizen.

"It was an awesome feeling to be granted citizenship," said Magcalas. "I feel complete now."

In 1996 Noel Magcalas was invited to spend the summer in Alaska by his aunt and uncle from his home in the Philippines. During that summer he fell in love with Alaska and the American way of life.

With a few English classes under his belt he enrolled in Dimond High School in Anchorage and graduated in 1999. After graduating he worked and took classes at the University of Alaska before joining the Air Force as a Reservist assigned to the 477th Fighter Group.

"I decided to join the Air Force Reserve because it would allow me to serve and stay in Alaska," he said. "I am proud to call myself an Arctic Reservist. The support that my unit and my family gave me helped me in my quest to gain citizenship."

There are approximately 32,000 U.S. military members serving as a legal resident in hopes of attaining citizenship. They must meet numerous guidelines including being able to read, write and speak basic English; having been a person of good moral character; and having continuously resided in the United States for at least five years.

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