1-8 IN Soldier runs to military service to realize American dream
FORT CARSON, Colorado – When Spc. David Kiplagat joined the Army, he did so with a specific purpose: to give back to the nation that he feels has given him so much.
For Kiplagat, a unit supply specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, military services was his realization of the American dream, a means to provide a return on the U.S. citizenship he obtained after moving from his native country of Kenya.
“I wanted to give back to the nation because it paid for my education,” said Kiplagat. “I love this country. I saw an opportunity to give back, and I took it. It is so hard to get employed in Kenya.”
As an immigrant, Kiplagat wanted to not only serve in the U.S. military but also exchange his freedom for citizenship and green cards for his family.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2013 via the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program. Authorized by the Department of Defense in 2009, the MAVNI program is a recruiting resource that allows legal non-citizens with in-demand skills to join the Army in exchange for expedited U.S. citizenship. The DoD emphasized the need for qualified personnel who have language and/or medical skills.