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Immigrants in the Military: A History of Service

21 August 2017 No Comment
PINJADOO, Helmand province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ñ Petty Officer 3rd Class Jadoine Graham, a corpsman with Jump Platoon, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, scans the perimeter while supporting Lima Company Marines who began taking ineffective small-arms fire after an improvised explosive device detonated in Pinjadoo, Afghanistan, Sept. 6, 2010. No Marines or Afghans were injured by the explosion. Jump Platoon investigated the area around the blast for secondary IEDs and to gather information. (Official Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mark Fayloga)

PINJADOO, Helmand province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ñ Petty Officer 3rd Class Jadoine Graham, a corpsman with Jump Platoon, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, scans the perimeter while supporting Lima Company Marines who began taking ineffective small-arms fire after an improvised explosive device detonated in Pinjadoo, Afghanistan, Sept. 6, 2010. No Marines or Afghans were injured by the explosion. Jump Platoon investigated the area around the blast for secondary IEDs and to gather information. (Official Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mark Fayloga)

by Jeff Mason

August 16, 2017

Courtesy of Bipartisan Policy Center

In the last few years, there have been increasing policy questions raised about immigrants serving in the United States Armed Forces. Most recently, the Department of Defense is considering ending the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program, which allows certain legal immigrants with needed skills such as strategic languages or medical education to earn green cards by serving in the Army. The concern raised seems to be about the security risk of foreign nationals serving in our armed forces, and yet the history of the United States is filled with foreigners fighting for our freedoms, starting with the Revolutionary War.

Immigrants have served in the ranks of the U.S. military in every major conflict since, including those being fought today. These individuals often fill vital roles in the military when there are not enough U.S. recruits or to meet the demand for specific skills. Over 230 years ago, the country needed experienced officers. Today, the Army employs immigrants in a variety of ways, such as in translation and medical services. This post aims to explore the history of immigrant involvement in the U.S. armed forces and the crucial work they do today.

Immigrants in the Military: A History of Service

 

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