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AA7295
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US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:40 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-28407807

It is my understanding that a US citizen cannot serve in another nations armed forces even if duty calls for it?

Is this correct? If so, then in this article, these 2 men should not be considered US citizens?
 
bhill
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:57 pm

Nope...

"Federal statutes long in force prohibit certain aspects of foreign military service originating within the United States. The current laws are set forth in Section 958-960 of Title 18 of the United States Code. In Wiborg v. U.S. , 163 U.S. 632 (1896), the Supreme Court endorsed a lower court ruling that it was not a crime under U.S. law for an individual to go abroad for the purpose of enlisting in a foreign army; however, when someone has been recruited or hired in the United States, a violation may have occurred. The prosecution of persons who have violated 18 U.S.C. 958-960 is the responsibility of the Department of Justice.

Although a person's enlistment in the armed forces of a foreign country may not constitute a violation of U.S. law, it could subject him or her to the provisions of Section 349(a)(3) of the INA [8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(3)] which provides for loss of U.S. nationality if a U.S national voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. nationality enters or serves in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the United States or serves in the armed forces of any foreign country as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer."

I have a couple of friends that served in the IDF that are US Citizens, and went on to enlist in the US Army.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:11 pm

I'm not so sure how it works but I have a Jewish friend who is an (or at least was) an American citizen and in the IDF. Well, I suppose there is a small chance he gave up his US citizenship when he got over there, but I don't think so. Never really asked him about that aspect
 
ImperialEagle
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:30 pm

I have a relative who served in the US Marine Corps. during the late 1960's. After he was discharged he went and joined the IDF and fought with them during the Yom Kippur War. He still has his US citizenship.
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rfields5421
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:07 am

Quoting aa7295 (Thread starter):
these 2 men should not be considered US citizens?

You can't 'not be considered' a US citizen. Only a court can strip citizenship and it is extremely difficult to do unless it can be proven the person has fought against the United States. Which is presumed as intent to renounce US nationality/ citizenship.

In 1914-1917 thousands of US citizens joined the military forces of Canada, the UK and France to fight against the Germans.

In 1939-1941 the same thing happened again. No one considered removing their citizenship.

In 1946-1948 several former US military servicemen moved to Palestine and helped establish the state of Israel and there have been some US citizens serving in the Israeli military forces since. Some choose to stay in Israel and become Israeli citizens, many do not and return to the US after their term of service.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:07 am

I am a dual citizen - Russia and USA. Russia has a mandatory draft, so I would need to go serve for a year should I choose to travel home to Moscow during the drafting season.
 
solarflyer22
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:04 am

You can renounce your citizenship if you really want to and its becoming increasingly common. The US is surprisingly lax in part because its a nation of immigrants and actually has quite a long legacy of using mercenaries.

My only gripe would be if you fought against the US, then obviously it becomes an act of Treason. I don't know how the USA would react if a dual citizen went and fought in Syria or perhaps a Chinese immigrant went back to China's army. There are over a million people of Syrian descent in the US, including the late Steve Jobs, so if they went back to fight with Assad would the US Government throw the book at them? You can bet 100% they would. For Israel and IDF, no matter what they do in Gaza, we all know they won't do or say anything. The hypocrisy in that is my mine gripe.

Rahm Emmanuel volunteered for IDF and was white house chief of staff and never served in the US armed forces. So its not career limiting but I personally find it a little distasteful. If you serve in both countries and are war junkie though, I am actually ok with that.
 
Pyrex
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:16 am

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 7):
Rahm Emmanuel volunteered for IDF and was white house chief of staff and never served in the US armed forces.

Being Mayor of Chicago does not count as serving in a war zone?
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Maverick623
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:30 pm

To put it simply, a natural-born citizen cannot be involuntarily stripped of his/her citizenship. There are a few cases of naturalized citizens being stripped of their citizenship (mostly due to forgery).

Even the guy causing a ruckus against the US in Yemen was still a US Citizen when the CIA bombed him out of existence.


As an interesting side note, a person who has voluntarily and officially relinquished their US citizenship will be hounded by the IRS for any taxes the IRS feels that person should pay.

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 6):
I don't know how the USA would react if a dual citizen went and fought in Syria or perhaps a Chinese immigrant went back to China's army.

Since the US does not officially recognize dual citizenship, they would be treated the same as if a person with only US citizenship did the same thing.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
rfields5421
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:05 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 8):
Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 6):I don't know how the USA would react if a dual citizen went and fought in Syria or perhaps a Chinese immigrant went back to China's army.
Since the US does not officially recognize dual citizenship, they would be treated the same as if a person with only US citizenship did the same thing.

I would be greatly surprised if there are not a few US citizens fighting in Syria, on either side.

My daughter-in-law's parents fled Syria in 1958 due to persecution of their Christian faith, though her mother still owns family property outside Alleppo and visits every few years.

I first came across the foreign military service thing in the Philippines in the early 70s. Some of the Filipino military officers were children of Filipino scouts given US citizenship, and therefore US citizens.

In the late 70s, a young sailor in my unit went back to Ecuador to visit the land of his birth. He was a US naturalized citizen (at age 9 as a child when his parents were naturalized). He was arrested and inducted into the Ecuadoran military due to their laws about all males born in the country had to serve. After 8 months in training and service with the Ecuadoran military he was discharged, and his Ecuadoran citizenship revoked. He returned to complete his US Navy enlistment.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:13 pm

Quoting aa7295 (Thread starter):
It is my understanding that a US citizen cannot serve in another nations armed forces even if duty calls for it?

I am a dual citizen of Switzerland and the US. Switzerland has mandatory military service. I got an opinion from the office of the US Ambassador in Berne, and they told me that doing the required military service is fine, as long as I simply do what is required of me, and do not go out of my way to do more, in service of a foreign country. Their interpretation means that doing service as a regular soldier is fine, but I would get in trouble if I am promoted to NCO or officer level.

In the US, to be promoted, you basically need to want a promotion. In the Swiss army, they seek people out in basic training who look like they have potential, and say "You! - You're going to NCO school." And after you are an NCO, they can do it again - "You! - You're going to Officer Training School.". All Swiss officers started as privates and NCOs.

So when I was picked out and told I was going to NCO school, I was in a quandary. Fortunately the Captain who heard my appeal understood my situation and let me off, and i completed my service as a simple soldier.
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solarflyer22
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:28 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
but I would get in trouble if I am promoted to NCO or officer level.

That's interesting. Switzerland's century old policy of neutrality makes it about the last place I'd worry about. Having said that, I wonder if not being NATO was an issue of concern. The US works with NATO officers in our Armed Forces quite regularly. You'll see them fairly often inside the Pentagon.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 10):
my service as a simple soldier.

That's quite admirable on both your sides. Serving Switzerland's military is about honorable as military duty gets. Who know maybe you will get to protect the Pope.

I did read an article that said about 750 Americans are serving in Israel's army. My only concern really would be I would not want the US drawn into some conflict because a number of its citizens are killed fighting for IDF. But the notion of free will is strong in me so if they wanna go, I saw let em.
 
sfbdude
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:19 pm

Interesting topic. I always wondered why so many Americans join the idf or have aspirations of joining them. I've heard of it happening before but, with the current affairs there, I've been hearing more about it again.
 
rfields5421
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:37 pm

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 11):
That's interesting. Switzerland's century old policy of neutrality makes it about the last place I'd worry about.

Switzerland's policy of neutrality was possible because they had a very strong military for the size of their country.

Neutral doesn't mean wimpy, the policy was neutrality through strength.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
flymia
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:47 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 2):
I'm not so sure how it works but I have a Jewish friend who is an (or at least was) an American citizen and in the IDF.

If you are Jewish you can be granted citizenship in Israel very quickly, and Israel has no issues with dual citizenship.

As others have stated a dual citizen or natural born U.S. citizen would be treated exactly the same if they were caught fighting against the United States. Treason.
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N1120A
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:19 am

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 13):
Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 11):
That's interesting. Switzerland's century old policy of neutrality makes it about the last place I'd worry about.

Switzerland's policy of neutrality was possible because they had a very strong military for the size of their country.

Neutral doesn't mean wimpy, the policy was neutrality through strength.

I'm not sure that is what the OP meant. I wouldn't worry about Switzerland getting in a war with the US, because they are neutral. Not to say they can't fight if they need to. Even Hitler knew better than to try and cross the Alps and get his a$$ handed to him.

Quoting flymia (Reply 14):
As others have stated a dual citizen or natural born U.S. citizen would be treated exactly the same if they were caught fighting against the United States. Treason.

Which has happened with spies
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gocaps16
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:31 am

There is currently a program called Serving Down Under for US citizens who has served previously with the U.S. Armed Forces. Australia is looking a experience and people with certain backgrounds that most people do not have.

One of the benefits are higher pay and Australian citizenship.

If I wasn't still in the military, I would seriously consider this option.

http://www.defencejobs.gov.au/recrui...entre/canIJoin/overseasApplicants/

Here is an article when it was first started several years ago.

http://www.stripes.com/news/serving-...-troops-facing-separation-1.176622

So yes, there are US Citizens serving in the foreign military.
 
Confuscius
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:48 am

I'm sure there are Americans serving in La Légion étrangère.
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Superfly
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:54 am

What ever happened to those Human Shields that were defending Iraq?
Wouldn't they be considered serving in a foreign service?
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Maverick623
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Tue Aug 05, 2014 9:47 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 18):
What ever happened to those Human Shields that were defending Iraq?
Wouldn't they be considered serving in a foreign service?

It was made pretty clear that any service cannot hinder or harm any US effort.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
L-188
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RE: US Citizens Serving In Foreign Armed Services?

Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:21 am

Not a current story but there was a guy in the US Army that got captured in the Battle of the Bulge by the Germans. Spent some time in a POW camp until it was liberated by the Soviets and then went on to finish out the war fighting for them.
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