OBSERVANCE OF ASIAN AND PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH 2012

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SUBJ/OBSERVANCE OF ASIAN AND PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH 2012//



RMKS/1.  EACH MAY, THE NATION AND THE NAVY CELEBRATE ASIAN AND PACIFIC 
AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH.  THIS YEAR'S NATIONAL THEME IS "STRIVING FOR 
EXCELLENCE IN LEADERSHIP, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION."

2.  IN 1977, PRESIDENT JAMES E. CARTER JR. ESTABLISHED ASIAN AND 
PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE WEEK DURING THE FIRST 10 DAYS OF MAY.  12 
YEARS LATER, PRESIDENT GEORGE H. W. BUSH EXTENDED THE OBSERVANCE 
THROUGH THE MONTH OF MAY.  IN 1992, THE MONTH-LONG CELEBRATION WAS 
OFFICIALLY SIGNED INTO LAW AS ASIAN AND PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH.  
THIS YEAR'S THEME HIGHLIGHTS THE BENEFITS OF A DIVERSE AND UNIFIED FORCE 
IN THE NAVY.

3.  SAILORS OF ASIAN AND PACIFIC HERITAGE COMPRISE AN IMPORTANT PART OF 
OUR NAVY TOTAL FORCE, INCLUDING 9 FLAG OFFICERS, 11 MEMBERS OF THE SENIOR 
EXECUTIVE SERVICE, AND 191 MASTER CHIEF PETTY OFFICERS.  ASIANS AND 
PACIFIC ISLANDERS OF VARIOUS NATIONALITIES AND ANCESTRY, INCLUDING 
CHINESE, FILIPINO, JAPANESE, KOREAN, SOUTHEAST ASIAN, ASIAN INDIAN, AND 
POLYNESIAN, HAVE BEEN SERVING IN THE NAVY SINCE THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY.  
EXAMPLES OF NOTABLE ASIAN AND PACIFIC AMERICANS IN OUR NAVY, PAST AND 
PRESENT, INCLUDE:
    A.  FIREMAN SECOND CLASS TELESFORO TRINIDAD, THE ONLY FILIPINO IN THE 
U.S. NAVY TO BE AWARDED THE MEDAL OF HONOR.  IN THE WAKE OF THE 
SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR, TRINIDAD WAS ABOARD ARMORED CRUISER NO. 6 WHEN AN 
OBSTRUCTED TUBE IN ONE OF THE SHIP'S BOILERS GAVE WAY, SETTING OFF A 
CHAIN REACTION OF EXPLOSIONS.  RISKING HIS OWN LIFE AND PERSONAL SAFETY, 
TRINIDAD RESCUED SEVERAL CREWMATES AND LED THEM TO SAFETY.  TRINIDAD 
SURVIVED THE ORDEAL AND WAS AWARDED THE MEDAL OF HONOR. 
    B.  REAR ADMIRAL GORDON PAI'EA CHUNG-HOON, A HAWAIIAN BORN CHINESE 
AMERICAN, WAS THE FIRST ASIAN AMERICAN GRADUATE OF THE NAVAL ACADEMY IN 
1934.  HE WENT ON TO COMMAND THE USS SIGSBEE (DD 502) AND BECAME THE FIRST 
ASIAN AMERICAN FLAG OFFICER.  IN 2004, IN RECOGNITION OF CHUNG-HOON'S 
EXTRAORDINARY SERVICE, THE NAVY NAMED A GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYER AFTER HIM, 
THE USS CHUNG-HOON (DDG 93).
    C.  SUSAN AHN CUDDY, THE DAUGHTER OF ONE OF CALIFORNIA'S FIRST KOREAN 
IMMIGRANT FAMILIES, ENLISTED IN THE U.S. MILITARY WITH HER TWO SIBLINGS, 
RALPH AND PHILIP, IN 1942.  CUDDY WAS THE FIRST KOREAN AMERICAN WOMAN IN 
THE U.S. MILITARY AND THE FIRST FEMALE NAVY GUNNERY OFFICER.  CUDDY SERVED 
IN THE WAVES AND REACHED THE RANK OF LIEUTENANT.
    D.  LIEUTENANT HANEY DRUSE HONG AND CHIEF YEOMAN ALEXANDER A AMOSE WERE 
AWARDED THE 2010 FEDERAL ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN COUNCIL MILITARY 
MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD. 
    E.  DR. YING XIA OF NAVAL UNDERSEA WARFARE CENTER AND CAPTAIN JON HILL 
OF NAVAL SEA SYSTEMS COMMAND, RECIPIENTS OF THE 2011 ASIAN AMERICAN 
ENGINEER OF THE YEAR AWARDS.
    F.  VICE ADMIRAL HARRY B. HARRIS, JR., CURRENTLY THE ASSISTANT TO THE 
CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF, IS THE FIRST ASIAN AMERICAN TO 
ACHIEVE THE RANK OF VICE ADMIRAL.

4.  ALL COMMANDS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO ENGAGE THEIR SAILORS IN 
EMBRACING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF ASIAN AND PACIFIC AMERICANS TO THE NAVY 
THROUGH PROGRAMS, EXHIBITS, PUBLICATIONS, AND EVENTS CELEBRATING ASIAN AND 
PACIFIC AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH.  INFORMATION ON THE ROLE OF ASIAN AND 
PACIFIC AMERICANS IN NAVAL HISTORY IS AVAILABLE AT: 
HTTP://WWW.HISTORY.NAVY.MIL/SPECIAL%20HIGHLIGHTS/ASIAN/ASIAN-INDEX.HTM, AND 
VIA THE DEFENSE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE WEBSITE AT: 
HTTP://WWW.DEOMI.ORG/SPECIALOBSERVANCE/PRESENTATIONS.CFM?CATID=4.  MORE 
INFORMATION ON THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF ASIAN AND PACIFIC AMERICANS TO OUR 
NATION'S LEGACY CAN BE FOUND AT: HTTP://ASIANPACIFICHERITAGE.GOV.

5.  MORE INFORMATION ON THIS AND OTHER DIVERSITY OBSERVANCES AND EVENTS IS 
AVAILABLE AT: HTTP://WWW.NPC.NAVY.MIL/COMMANDSUPPORT/DIVERSITY.

6.  POINT OF CONTACT IS ENSIGN AMBER LYNN DANIEL, OPNAV N134, AT 
(703) 604-5071 OR VIA E-MAIL AT AMBERLYNN.DANIEL(AT)NAVY.MIL.

7.  RELEASED BY VICE ADMIRAL S. R. VAN BUSKIRK, N1.//
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