Shiloh Sailor Becomes U.S. Citizen
By Lt. Jason M. Olson
USS Shiloh (CG 67)
YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) – USS Shiloh (CG 67) held a flag raising ceremony, Apr. 28, to celebrate Culinary Specialist Seaman Ayaba Amouzou and two Navy spouses on becoming U.S. citizens.
"I come from a small city in a small country; Togo, West Africa. There was very high unemployment there and I had to take care of myself," said Amouzou. "Through the State Department's lottery program, I obtained a green card to come to the United States in 2013."
Amouzou settled in Lawrenceville, Georgia where she worked in a factory, and later decided to join the U.S. Navy as a better opportunity for herself.
"I joined the Navy and passed my citizenship test all by myself," she said. "I am very proud to be a United States citizen."
Non-U.S. citizen Sailors who become U.S. citizens gain increased opportunities in the Navy. Officer commissioning programs, the right to vote, and issuance of a security clearance, first require citizenship.
"It is stories like these [Amouzou's journey to citizenship] that make up the lifeblood of America," said Capt. Adam Aycock, Shiloh's commanding officer. "New immigrants like Amouzou make our ship stronger, our Navy stronger, and our country stronger. I am proud to serve with her in Shiloh."
Shiloh is forward-deployed in Japan in support of security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region