Should Non US Citizens be Allowed to Serve in the Military?

Today, I want to take on a controversial topic and open a debate with our website visitors.  As of today’s current Army policies, non-citizens can serve in the military.  Here’s a summary of the current rules:

  • The person must be in the USA legally (legally immigrate)
  • They must have an address in the USA
  • They must have enough time on their Visa or Green Card to fulfill their entire military obligation
  • They cannot get a Security Clearance until they become a legal citizen
  • They cannot serve as Officers or Warrant Officers
  • They can only fill certain MOSs

Simply put, a non-citizen can enlist into the Army, Army Reserves or Army National Guard in certain MOSs.  After fulfilling their military obligations and meeting certain requirements they can eventually earn their citizenship.

My thoughts for you are: what do you think about this policy?  Here’s what I would really like to hear from you when you leave a response.

# 1 Your view on the topic

# 2 Why you think the way you think

# 3 If the policy was going to be changed or modified, what would you recommend and why?

I look forward to reading your views as to whether or not non-citizens should be allowed to serve in today’s military.

Here are my views on the topic.

I do not believe non-U.S. citizens should be allowed to serve in the U.S. military.  I understand that anyone can be patriotic and love our country, even if they aren’t legal U.S. citizens.  There are many aliens and even illegal immigrants who love the U.S.A.  And I understand that every U.S. citizen living today has distant relatives that at one point were not U.S. citizens, but chose to immigrate here.

However, with the War on Terrorism and all the acts of violence against against the United States, I do not believe that the advantages of having non-U.S. citizens serve in the military outweigh the risks of having them serve.  There are too many terrorist and extremist groups that would love to infiltrate the military ranks and do harm to our Soldiers.  Of course, a legal US citizen could join the ranks and do the  same thing, but I think the odds of that are much lower than having a non-U.S. citizen join the ranks.

If I was to revise the current policy I would make it a requirement for everyone who wants to join the military to be a legal U.S. citizen first.  I have nothing against people wanting to become a U.S. Citizen.  In fact, I can’t blame anyone for wanting to move to America.  I just think they should get their citizenship first, before they are eligible to join the military and defend this country.

These are just my thoughts, based upon my own beliefs and personal experience.  I look forward to reading what you think.

On a quick side note, I will not post rude comments, comments with profanity, or personal attacks.  Please keep things professional.  We all have the freedom of speech, but keep it clean and on topic, or keep it to yourself.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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14 thoughts on “Should Non US Citizens be Allowed to Serve in the Military?”

  1. The reason I am against non citizins being allowed in the military is Public scrutiny of the leaders of the US’s desire to commit troops is intensified when the blood of their own children is on the fireing line. It is the same rational used by those that favor reinstating the draft. People just are not as concerned with the reasoning behind military involvement in a conflict if it is not their loved ones that may possibly come home in a body bag.

  2. No, I do not believe that we should allow non-citizens to serve this country.

    They can serve the people in this country in other ways to prove their loyalty.

    In this day and age, when there are so many unknowns, I think we need to stay with our citizens when it comes to defending our country.

  3. I think when the law allowing non-citizens to serve in the Army was written, it was a great way for legal resident non-citizens to work toward attaining their citizenship. We had no reason to suspect subversive activities. In the old days there wasn’t any type of WMD that they had access to, so if they were terrorists, they could cause some small, localized damage, but nothing widespread like 9-11. In today’s world, though, I have to agree with Mara. It would be no surprise if a terrorist was willing to take the opportunity to serve in the military so they could release a biological weapon or create some other kind of devastating event. If they were suicidal, like the 9-11 pilots, they could do some pretty nasty stuff to our troops, bases, and/or equipment, whereas a civilian wouldn’t — or at least shouldn’t — have access.

  4. I realize that this is a very touchy subject, but I would like to weigh in and say that I agree: non-citizens should not be allowed to join the military. There are plenty of other avenues to follow to citizenship. We are not so desperate to fill our troops that we should allow non-citizens have access to our weapons, our military intelligence, and to our military bases. The potential for terrorist sabotage, no matter how small, is real.

  5. This is kind of a tough subject to comment on, but I will go ahead and give you my thoughts on the debate.

    Personally, I do not think that Non-U.S. Citizens should be allowed to serve in the military. My reasoning is as follows:

    *Because I believe that any non-citizen should take the paths to become a citizen before they take the oath to protect our country – it would seem that any other country would feel the same way too. What if this person is a terrorist? Hates our country? Or just wants to do something completely wrong and against our Constitution? Makes for a scary thought.

    *If you have a U.S. citizen who is fully qualified for a specific job and on the other hand, there is a non-U.S. citizen in the position, this then in turn takes an opportunity away from our own “people” – I hope this makes sense.

    It scares me to think that the policies could be modified, but in this day and age it seems that all sorts of policies are being modified without U.S. Citizen vote or knowing thereof. So, hopefully nothing like this will become an issue.

  6. I’m torn on this, so I have to ask: how much would really change if they took the time to become a US citizen first? Would they suddenly become eligible for becoming Officers, would they have greater opportunities within the full realm of MOSs?
    It seems to me that the Military has provided this provision for a reason. Perhaps because those jobs being filled by patriotic immigrants are the sorts of specializations that are less desirable, offer little in the way of mobility, but must be filled nonetheless?

  7. Chuck,

    Here’s my two-sense:
    -I believe that the policy to allow non-US citizens to serve in the Army is a good thing. Here is why:
    – Many non-citizens look to the Army as their “quick” ticket to citizenship. I say, if you are willing to serve the country, then you definitely want to be here and deserve to be. Too many younger citizens of our country take what we have for granted and would probably be the last in line to serve. They’re too busy partying and enjoying the American lifestyle (as it has regretfully become). Non-citizens tend to understand how great America is and they want to be a part of the services that ensure it stays that way.
    – I think that if the policy were to be modified at all we would have to do a better job at looking at gang affiliation. Not to be stereotypical at all, but oftentimes we enlist Soldiers who are members of extensive gang networks and/or cartels and simply use the military as their resource to continue to do bad deeds. Additionally, with the war on terrorism still raging, I believe that we need to be a less politically correct and ensure that we look at everyone under a microscope (despite how it makes them feel).

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