About 10 active duty soldiers took the oath of citizenship at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Thursday.

The soldiers hailed from several different countries including American Samoa, China, Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, Nepal and the Philippines.

“It’s no small achievement,” Col. Nicole M. Lucas, Joint Base Garrison Commander said at the ceremony. “You’ve left behind birth countries, familiar surroundings, perhaps family and friends, all to enlist in our armed forces and pursue this dream of becoming an American citizen – a dream that’s a reality now.

You don't have to be a citizen to sign up for the military, but it does speed up the citizenship process for service members and their families.