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Army 1st Lt. Tam Q. Tram was born in Can Tho, Vietnam. He immigrated to the United States in 1989. He enlisted in the Kansas...
Marine Corps Maj. Mike Van Wyk is the deputy branch head for Expeditionary Ship Capabilities Branch, Maritime Expeditionary...
Born and raised in San Diego, Velasco-Lind earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in sociology from Northern Arizona...
Air Force Staff Sgt Anna V. North serves as a noncommissioned officer and aircrew flight equipment craftsman in...
Air Force Senior Airman Chieh Ya Mong currently serves in the Virginia Air National Guard as a financial management technician...
Sgt. 1st Class Alika Kane is the operations noncommissioned officer for the 93rd Civil Support Team. His principal...
Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Velma S. Lozano is a native of Honolulu, Hawaii. In January 1996, she enlisted in the Marine...
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Norbert T. Bumagat was born in Tamuning, Guam. He attended John F. Kennedy High School...
Air Force Maj. Marie S. A. Juan-Roque is assigned to the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, as...
Air Force 1st Lt. Joanne Whitlock is currently the strategy and initiatives action officer for the Plans and Integration Branch under the A4...
Lorrin K. Bush is a native of Hawaii and a graduate of Kamehameha Schools. He attended New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, and the...
Dr. Nathan Naluai is a senior scientist with the Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems Engineering Division, Code 4.5.14, at the Naval Air...
Grace V. Patterson is the unit program coordinator and acting Group Secretary, 9th Maintenance Group, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale...
Raquel L. Ramos is the Air National Guard’s diversity operations management and program analyst at Joint Base-Andrews, Maryland...
Dr. Richard Fu was born in Zhejiang, China, and came to the United States for his doctorate degree in 1994. He received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from...
At present, Dr. Ernest Sung Chor Chin is the acting chief of the Simulation Science Branch, Computational & Information Sciences Directorate...
Richard Fong is a senior research scientist for Warheads Technologies at the Research, Development and Engineering Command...
Army Sgt. 1st Class Faipa Sivailoa Cheek was born in Vailoa, American Samoa, in 1977, the third of 10 children. At age 19...
Air Force Staff Sgt Anna V. North serves as a noncommissioned officer and aircrew flight equipment craftsman in the Aircrew Flight Equipment Flight, 366th Operations Support Squadron, 366th Operations Group, 366th Fighter Wing, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.
North provides leadership, guidance, management and equipment expertise to 33 airmen supporting the F-15E Strike Eagle mission and expeditionary mission requirements. She conducts a variety of quality control inspections, aircrew flight equipment continuous training instructor tasks, technician training and is in charge of various mission essential programs. She is responsible for 2,089 pieces of aircrew life sustaining equipment.
North entered the Air Force in October 2007. She graduated from specialist technical training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, in February 2008. She completed Cross Utilization Training of Aircrew Flight Equipment in 2012.
Her background includes duty positions in aircraft equipment maintenance, operational support and aircrew flight equipment continuous training. Her assignments include bases in Oklahoma, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Idaho. She has also deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Odyssey Dawn, Inherent Resolve, and supported Operation Noble Eagle.
Some of her military awards include:
Air Force Maj. Marie S. A. Juan-Roque is assigned to the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, as the chief of the commandant’s development team.
Juan-Roque oversees over 100 officer candidates. She was the 2016 Outstanding Associate Air Officer Commanding for Basic Cadet Training, responsible for 145 basic cadets and 43 upper class cadre members, as well as one noncommissioned officer. She and the NCO are tasked to ensure the squadron operates safely and effectively. She spent most of her time coordinating with the cadet leadership to address any issues that may occur.
As an officer in charge of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Pacific Rim Club, Juan-Roque oversaw multiple community service events with several cadet club members, including: the Japanese American Heritage Festival at the local University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; the local high schools’ Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps units, and a cultural awareness event for all academy cultural and affinity clubs.
As the program manager for the Commandant’s Social Decorum program, Juan-Roque has interfaced with all 4,000-plus cadets, several Dean of Faculty academic departments, athletic intercollegiate teams, and clubs. She has instructed over 250 hours in social and formal decorum training for the upper two classes, gender forums for third-class cadets, honor lessons for basic cadets, and commissioning education for 100-plus first class cadets.
Juan-Roque is also an officer representative and tutor for the cheer and dance teams, traveling to multiple events and assisting with team logistics and homework.
She was recently invited as a special guest speaker at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for 60 Women’s Endowment graduate scholars, mentors and faculty.
Juan-Roque entered the Air Force in 2005 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. She has served as an engineer and program manager for Air Force space programs and Navy aircraft programs. She also augmented the Army as a Protocol Officer for Combined Joint Task Force – 101 at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.
Juan-Roque, and her husband, Maj Paul Roque, have two children, Jocelyn, age 5; and AJ, age 2.
(Current as of April 2017)
Grace V. Patterson is the unit program coordinator and acting Group Secretary, 9th Maintenance Group, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California. Patterson has provided administrative support to Group Staffs, civilian and contracting personnel. Additionally, she provided customer service to over 550 assigned military and civilian personnel, managed awards, decorations and the unit leave program.
Patterson served as a customer account representative, managing her unit’s government purchase and travel card program and served as the Defense Travel Systems official, processing 990 vouchers worth $150,000 and safeguarding government funds. She oversaw development, training and deployment readiness and operations personnel, and served as a Drug Demand Reduction program trusted agent; reaching 375 personnel for testing with 100-percent compliance.
Patterson manages with a highly focused skill set and has served in increasing positions of responsibility within the Defense Department and the Air Force.
Patterson serves as president of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Committee at Beale Air Force Base, California. She led, planned and coordinated the May Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month efforts. She prepped 140 care packages -- feeding 125 hungry local people. She also volunteered for Knights of Columbus, Grass Valley; raised $100,000 in banquet ticket sales, which aided veterans’ families.
Patterson attended the Equal Opportunity Office Counselor’s Program Course and Special Emphasis Program Course at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.
She has received the Exemplary Civilian Service Award four times.
Army 1st Lt. Tam Q. Tram was born in Can Tho, Vietnam. He immigrated to the United States in 1989. He enlisted in the Kansas Army National Guard in 2001 as a human resource specialist and attended basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
During his enlisted career, he served as a human resource specialist in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005-2006 with the 2-137th Infantry Battalion at Camp Slayer, Iraq. During his second deployment he served as a human resource sergeant in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2009-2010 with the 287th Sustainment Brigade in Tallil, Iraq. His most-recent deployment was service as a human resource sergeant in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 2-137th Combined Arms Battalion at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa, from 2010-2011.
He later attended Officer Candidate School in Salina, Kansas, where he received his commission in July 2014. He went to his basic officer leader’s course as an ordnance officer at Fort Lee, Virginia, in August 2015. His duty assignment was with the 995th Maintenance Company in Smith Center, Kansas, serving as a maintenance control officer from 2014-2016. He is currently serving as the executive officer for the 2137th Forward Support Company in Manhattan, Kansas. His unit is slated to deploy to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, in the spring of 2017.
His civilian education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Finance from the University of Phoenix in 2013. He later received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Friends University in 2016. He is currently serving as the Army Company Grade Officer for the Kansas Army National Guard Association. He has contributed to Officer Professional Development Sessions for Company Grades, attended multiple conferences and events to advocate for the National Guard association and developed an Army Company Grade Steering Committee within Kansas.
His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Army Achievement Medal (3rd Award), Army Good Conduct Medal (2nd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon (3rd Award) and the Army Service Ribbon.
Air Force 1st Lt. Joanne Whitlock is currently the strategy and initiatives action officer for the Plans and Integration Branch under the A4 Directorate of the National Guard Bureau at Joint-Base Andrews, Maryland. As an active-duty officer embedded with the NGB, she is responsible for providing Air National Guard logistics readiness input and direction to Headquarters Air Force and ensuring unique ANG requirements are captured in the development of strategic guidance. In addition, she aids in developing and implementing management goals for logistics staff and unit functions concerning transformational initiatives, future manpower requirements and other planning/programming activities for ANG logistics readiness functional areas.
Whitlock was born in Manila, Philippines, and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. She was raised speaking and writing both English and Tagalog and still maintains fluency in her native language. After spending most of her childhood years in the Philippines, Whitlock’s family relocated to Florida.
Whitlock obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in forensic anthropology from the University of West Florida. At 22, she relocated to the Washington, D.C., metro area after she was offered a position as a medicolegal death investigator for the Northern Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In this position, Whitlock worked with law enforcement agencies from multiple jurisdictions to thoroughly investigate deaths to include motor vehicle accidents, homicides, drug overdoses and all other unnatural causes. She responded to death scenes, conducted postmortem examinations and autopsies, assisted with identification of human remains, handled crime scene evidence and prepared reports for each case.
Whitlock’s passion in her career field was strong, but the pull to serve in the military was even stronger, an influence of her family’s generations of military service. Her father is a retired master sergeant and Vietnam veteran, her brother is a technical sergeant currently stationed in Japan, and her sister served seven years in the active-duty Air Force prior to transitioning to the Reserve. Additionally, her brother-in-law recently retired from the active-duty Air Force after 20 years of service. Whitlock hosted his retirement ceremony, an event she considers the pinnacle of her military career, thus far.
Inspired by her family’s legacy, Whitlock ultimately made the decision to apply for Officer Training School. From a pool of 960 application packages, she was one of 273 applicants selected, of which only 150 were civilians. Upon graduating OTS, Whitlock was commissioned as a logistics readiness officer and reported to her first duty station in Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. With the 21st Space Wing, Whitlock was the officer in charge for vehicle operations and cargo movement and air terminal and passenger movement, executive officer for the mission support group, the assistant installation deployment officer and the materiel management flight commander.
The wide range of responsibilities prepared Whitlock for her deployment to Central Africa as the first logistics readiness commander for the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron, the Defense Department’s newest Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance airbase and the largest troop labor project in Air Force history. Whitlock’s exceptional capabilities and insight garnered her multiple monthly, quarterly and annual awards both at home station and deployed.
She is currently finishing her Master’s Degree in forensic science to continue her passion for the forensics field.
Lorrin K. Bush is a native of Hawaii and a graduate of Kamehameha Schools. He attended New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Management from Wayland Baptist University. Bush is currently enrolled in a Master’s of Arts in Management program, specializing in organized management with a Master’s of Business Administration in Project Management.
Before retiring after 26 years of service in the Marine Corps, Bush was assigned to Special Operations Command, Pacific, in Hawaii from 2008 to 2014, serving as the senior enlisted Marine for the command and the senior enlisted advisor for the logistics directorate. While there, he served as the mobility chief, operations chief, and as desk sergeant for Joint Special Operations Task Force - Philippines. Throughout his time at SOCPAC, Bush deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom - Philippines, and participated in numerous contingencies and exercises. While attached to JSOTF-P Forward command staff, Bush was embedded at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, as an integral liaison between the U.S. Embassy Country Team, the JSOTF-P Headquarters, and all task forces inside and outside of the joint operating area.
After selection to Master Gunnery Sgt., he assumed duties as the Logisitics Branch Chief for Plans, Operations and Exercise Branch, United States Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, until his retirement in March 2016.
Following his transition from the Marine Corps, Bush accepted a position with the federal government as the Philippines Operations Support Contract Program Manager within the G-4 Division of MARFORPA. He serves as the functional expert for all issues related to advising and assisting in the identification, coordination and execution of logistics tasks. He is responsible for supporting bilateral, joint, combined and distributed operations across Southeast Asia in support of National Military Strategy. As program manager, he provides support services for the SOCPAC/U.S. Pacific Command Augmentation Team-Philippines and MARFORPAC, assisting other branches of the U.S. military and various federal agencies supporting Pacom through a variety of advisory missions in support of the armed forces of the Philippines.
Bush enjoys spending time with his wife, four daughters and five grandchildren.
Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Velma S. Lozano is a native of Honolulu, Hawaii. In January 1996, she enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, for recruit training. Upon graduation from recruit training, Lozano was assigned to the Ammunition Technician School at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, where she trained to become an ammunition technician.
She currently serves within the Resources Branch of the G-4 Division, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, as the ground ammunition plans chief.
Lozano has served in a variety of assignments throughout her career, to include: platoon sergeant, Ammo Company, Okinawa, Japan; company gunnery sergeant, Ammo Company, Okinawa, Japan; Ammo Chief, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Okinawa, Japan; Ammo Chief, School of Infantry West, Camp Pendleton, California; Senior Drill Instructor, November Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina; Assistant Marine Officer Instructor, Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California and Sergeant Instructor, Officer Candidate School, Quantico, Virginia.
Lozano holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Child Development. She is midway through the University of Oklahoma’s College of Arts and Sciences graduate program were she will complete her Master’s Degree in Human Relations.
Lozano’s military awards include: the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4th award) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
As a mother, Lozano instills in her children the values and principles that she learned from her family and in the Marine Corps. She is a Marine Corps spouse, married to Sgt. Maj. Javier Lozano of 2nd Battalion, 3d Marines, who is currently deployed to Okinawa. Through her busy days at Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, and running a home single-handedly, Lozano still finds time for continuing her education and contributing to her community through volunteer work with the Sand Island New Hope Church in Honolulu.
Lozano plans to retire from the Marine Corps in 2017 and she aspires to continue to serve the nation as a federal employee.
Marine Corps Maj. Mike Van Wyk is the deputy branch head for Expeditionary Ship Capabilities Branch, Maritime Expeditionary Warfare Integration Division, Headquarters Marine Corps.
Van Wyk graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Theology from Trinity Christian College in 2003. He is the composer of several classical works, and conducted and performed in venues such as Orchestra Hall in Chicago. During his time at Trinity he was also selected to work as a Java programmer on the Enhanced Logistics Intra-theatre Support Tool at Argonne National Laboratories in support of the Defense Department.
Van Wyk was commissioned through the Platoon Leaders Course program in the summer of 2003. After graduating the Basic School, he reported to primary flight training at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Florida, and was winged a Naval Aviator after completing advanced maritime flight training at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, in 2005. He received two distinguished graduate awards, achieved the Commodore’s List and Commodore’s List with Distinction, and was awarded the Texas Society Daughters of the American Revolution Achievement Award for the highest overall flight grade at advanced flight training.
In 2006, Van Wyk completed his initial C-130 pilot qualification as Distinguished Graduate and joined VMGRT-253 the “Titans” to complete fleet replacement squadron training. From there he joined his first operational squadron, VMGR-152 the “Sumos” in Okinawa, Japan, serving as a legal officer, future operations officer, and aviation maintenance officer. Van Wyk participated in numerous theater security cooperation exercises and humanitarian relief operations to include Joint Task Force Caring Response in 2008, directly flying thousands of pounds of humanitarian supplies into Yangon, Myanmar. In 2009, Van Wyk was hand-selected to participate in VMGR-152’s first combat deployment since the Vietnam War, deploying as a transport plane commander and aviation maintenance officer in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Van Wyk joined the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion as a forward air controller and air officer, deploying to southern Helmand province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he planned and executed several clearing and interdiction operations.
In 2012, Van Wyk was competitively selected to join the prestigious Navy Blue Angels as a C-130 flight demonstration pilot, performing numerous flight demonstrations and conducting strategic messaging for all of naval aviation. He also led strategic realignment efforts aimed at maximizing the local and national impact of over 1 billion unique media impressions and 10 million annual spectators. He also served as the aviation safety officer, C-130 demonstration training officer and senior Marine.
Van Wyk was recently accepted into the Stanford Graduate School of Business as a Sloan Fellow, class of 2018. He is a regular contributor to national security publications such as The Strategy Bridge, while pursuing a Master’s degree in international relations from the University of Oklahoma. He is the father of three girls.
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Norbert T. Bumagat was born in Tamuning, Guam. He attended John F. Kennedy High School, and during his senior year enlisted in the Navy’s Delayed Entry Program in December 2001. In May 2002, he graduated from high school and 12 days later, he reported to Navy Recruit Training Command for basic training.
After completion of basic training, Bumagat attended Engineering Common and Mechanical Core School as well as Machinist Mate “A” School in Great Lakes, Illinois and graduated in October 2002. He then reported to the USS Duluth, stationed in San Diego. While attached to the Duluth from November 2002 to September 2005, he completed two deployments to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Unified Assistance in December 2004 to June 2005 and January 2003 to June 2003. In May 2004, he advanced to Petty Officer 3rd Class and a couple of months later he earned his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualification.
In September 2005, Bumagat continued a back-to-back sea duty tour onboard the USS Bonhomme Richard. While assigned to the USS Bonhomme Richard, he completed one deployment to the Arabian Gulf from May-November 2007. In May 2007, he advanced to Petty Officer 2nd Class and qualified as an enlisted aviation warfare specialist. He attended Electronic Boiler Controls Operator “C” School and went on to qualify as an engineroom space supervisor. Additionally, he earned his journeyman’s license, successfully completing the United Services Military Apprenticeship Program for Power-Plant Operator.
In November 2008, he reported to the Navy Recruiting Orientation Unit in Pensacola, Florida. He graduated in December 2008, and then reported to Navy Recruiting District San Diego and recruited at the Navy Recruiting Station in Imperial Beach, San Diego. In December 2009, he was sent back to NORU to receive the Master Chief Petty Officer Bakarian Memorial Award being recognized as Distinguished Graduate for Enlisted Recruiting Orientation for NRD San Diego and he was placed on the May-June 2009 Navy Recruiter Magazine as one the Admiral’s Five Star Recruiters.
In May 2011, he decided to further his Naval career and re-enlisted for another five years. Throughout his tour at NRD San Diego, he earned eight Gold Wreaths Certificates, two Six Shooter Awards, two NRD San Diego Zone Recruiter of the Month sluggers, two Commander, Navy Recruiting Command Admiral’s Accelerator Awards and he was selected as the 2011 NRD San Diego Special Warfare Recruiter of the Year. At the end of his tour, he earned the Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon and then reported to Naval Technical Training Center Meridian, Mississippi for Yeoman “A” School and graduated in November 2011.
In December 2011, he checked onboard Commander, Navy Region Northwest Reserve Component Command as the command services department assistant leading petty officer. He advanced to Petty Officer 1st Class in June 2012 and assumed duties as Command Services Leading Petty Officer. While attached to NAVREG NW RCC, he was selected as Sailor of the Quarter for the First and Third Quarters of Fiscal Year 2013; Second Quarter for 2014 and was selected as the 2013 NAVREG NW RCC Staff Sailor of the Year and 2014 NAVREG NW RCC Region Sailor of the Year. Upon completion of his successfully tour at NAVREG NW RCC, he reported to Navy Operational Support Center in Indianapolis.
He is currently stationed at NOSC Indianapolis where he serves as Administrative and Manpower/Reserve Pay Department Heads, supervising four junior sailors.
His personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (nine awards), Navy Good Conduct Medal (five awards), Military Outstanding Voluntary Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and various unit and campaign awards.
On his off-duty time, he volunteers at the Thorpe Creek Elementary School in Fishers, Indiana, as a teacher’s assistant and assists with the coaching of a basketball league in Kokomo, Indiana.
Born and raised in San Diego, Velasco-Lind earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in sociology from Northern Arizona University in 1994, and was commissioned an ensign through Officer Candidate School in January 1996.
After completing the Surface Warfare Officer School Division Officer Course in Newport, Rhode Island, she reported to USS Blue Ridge, the flagship for commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, where she served as first division officer and navigator from 1996-1998. In December 1998, she reported to the USS Kinkaid, where she served as the combat information center officer and navigator, and earned her tactical action officer qualification.
In June 2000, she reported to Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where she earned a Master’s of Science Degree in information systems and operations. While at Naval Postgraduate School, she was selected for lateral transfer and redesignated a cryptologic warfare officer.
Following cryptology school in Pensacola, Florida, she reported to U.S. Naval Security Group Activity, Yokosuka, Japan, as a direct support officer in July 2002. She assumed duties as the N9 mission technologies department head to include the signals analysis laboratory, Network Operations Center, Command Training, Cryptologic Resource Group and served as the Bilateral Programs Chairman. She also served as the executive officer.
In November 2005, she arrived at Navy Information Operations Command in Maryland, where she was selected as the Navy Fellow for the National Security Agency/Central Security Service Director’s Fellowship Program and served on the director’s staff. Toward the end of her fellowship, she was selected to deploy as officer-in-charge in a counterterrorism intelligence fusion cell in support of sensitive operations in U.S. Central Command’s area of operations. Upon her return from deployment, she was selected to serve as the subject matter expert for Counterterrorism encompassing three diverse AORs for the NSA/CSS. While at Fort Meade, she also served as a NIOC Maryland department head for two departments.
She served on the chief of naval operations staff in N2N6's Concepts, Strategies and Integration Division before being selected as the executive officer for NIOC Maryland/CTF 1060. During her tour as XO she was selected for command, and reported to NIOC San Diego as the commanding officer in June 2013. In August 2015, she returned to the Chief of Naval Operations staff as the C4ISR Program Analyst in N80's Programing and Requirements Division.
Her personal awards include: the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
Air Force Senior Airman Chieh Ya Mong currently serves in the Virginia Air National Guard as a financial management technician for the 192nd Comptroller Flight, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
Mong was born in Taiwan, Taipei. She moved to the United States when she was 4 years old and has lived in California, Colorado and Virginia. She spent most of her childhood growing up in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she learned to speak English more proficiently by watching Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network on television.
She enlisted in the active-duty Air Force at age 20 in December 2008. Her first duty station was Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. She worked with the 633rd Comptroller Squadron for almost four years before she joined the Virginia Air National Guard.
Shortly in 2011, she received an assignment to deploy to Kyrgyzstan, where she served as a cashier for U.S./foreign currency sales and managed Eagle Card programs for over 3,000 customers. However, due to unforeseen family circumstances, after returning from deployment in 2012, she separated from active duty and joined the Air National Guard so she could help her mother out at home.
She was honorably discharged from the Air Force in June 2012 and moved back to Charlottesville. She met her husband Timothy Mong, and moved to Maryland where she is now a mother of two boys, Jason, almost 4; and Daniel, who is almost 2. She became a full-time stay-at-home mother and worked two days out of the month in the Guard. She loves being a mother, but wanted to challenge herself within her military career in order to give a better future for her family. Mong took a temporary financial management positon at JBLE that has moved her away from her family, but she visits them every weekend.
She recently cross-trained to the 192nd Intelligence Squadron. Her technical school date starts in June 2017 and she will go to school for six months at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas. It will be another challenge for her, but she wants to provide a better future for her children and to set an example by learning, leading and growing.
Sgt. 1st Class Alika Kane is the operations noncommissioned officer for the 93rd Civil Support Team. His principal duties include coordinating major events and exercises for the unit.
Kane also generates graphical forecasts depicting the spread of hazardous chemicals based on weather and topography. He has been with the 93rd CST for the better part of 15 years, serving as a survey team member, team chief, and reconnaissance noncommissioned officer.
Kane enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1995 where he served a two year tour with the 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade. In 1997, he transferred to the Hawaii Army National Guard. Kane has been awarded three military occupational specialties, 15U (CH-47 repairer), 11B (infantryman), 74D (chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological specialist). As a 15U, Kane qualified as both crew chief and flight engineer, logging multiple flight hours.
In 2002, he was selected to serve as a member of the 93rd Civil Support Team. As an infantryman, Kane deployed to Camp Bautista in southern Philippine island of Sulu, in support of Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines. Serving as a platoon sergeant, he conducted numerous security, training and combat missions in and around the Philippine archipelago in support of Special Operations Forces. His major duties included training the Philippine Armed Forces and National Police.
Kane’s awards include the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (4th Award), Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Superior Unit Award, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (3rd Award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, Basic Aviation Badge, Parachutist Badge-Basic, Air Assault Badge, Scuba Diver Badge, Armed Forces Reservist Medal (M Device), Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, and the Global War on Terror Service Medal.
Kane is an outstanding representative of the military, his state, and his community. He resides in his hometown of Kaneohe, Hawaii, with his four children; An-geliq, Kyra, Odyn, and Joie. He embodies the spirit and the contributions that Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have made to our country and culture.
Airborne ASW Systems Engineering Division
Naval Air Warfare Center, Aircraft Division
Dr. Nathan Naluai is a senior scientist with the Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems Engineering Division, Code 4.5.14, at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, Maryland. Naluai, who earned a doctoral degree in acoustics from Pennsylvania State University, is a leader and technical expert in underwater transducer and systems design.
Naluai began his federal service with the Airborne ASW Systems Engineering Division in July 2006, where he served as lead scientist in a variety of programs. He served as a key member of the Multistatic Active Coherent Team Leadership, providing technical inputs to formalize the direction of MAC and next-generation MAC systems. He developed the Radio Frequency Interference Measurement and Analysis Tools for MAC research and development test flight evaluations. In 2009, Naluai developed the Waveform Measurement System, a highly automated data acquisition for AN/SSQ-125 developmental testing. WMS has become the accepted standard for MAC/125 source qualification and production lot acceptance testing.
Naluai is a mission-first, results-driven individual. He displays initiative and drive to accomplish the mission, while delivering the requisite capabilities to our sailors and Marines operating worldwide. Operating in a complex programmatic and technical environment, Naluai is able to decompose barriers into simple requirements and solutions that are executable within cost and schedule constraints. Naluai leads the Office of Naval Research Next Generation Airborne Passive System Future Naval Capabilities project consisting of a large government, defense contractor and academia team. He is developing the next generation, strategic, Theater ASW sensor for the Navy.
Naluai also served as the chief scientist for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Office of Naval Intelligence Distributed Agile Submarine Hunting effort, involving a modification of the Deep Extended Echo Ranging system to provide an improved rapid wide area search capability. Naluai led a Navywide multi-disciplinary team in the Precision Anti-submarine Warfare project, a high-level joint effort with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center to develop new acoustic processing algorithms for tracking and localization of new, highly advanced targets of interest. For his groundbreaking analytical studies backed by at-sea validation experiments, Naluai was awarded the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award in 2013 by Vice Adm. William H. Hilarides, Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command.
Naluai’s technical abilities and expert scientific aptitude have been instrumental in providing the naval aviation community with an operationally-relevant and operationally-suitable Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft fleet-ready for tasking. Without his steadfast dedication, over his 11 years of service, the MPR fleet might not have met key mission requirements. Naluai’s achievements and accolades over the years demonstrate his unwavering dedication to duty and unparalleled professionalism.
Raquel L. Ramos is the Air National Guard’s diversity operations management and program analyst at Joint Base-Andrews, Maryland. In this capacity, she plans and directs the conduct of the Air National Guard comprehensive diversity initiatives that impact workforce management and development. She studies and analyzes demographic trends on organizations, functions, and work processes and provides management consultation to improve organization effectiveness, resource efficiency and support allocations for advancing diversity and inclusion programs across the Air National Guard.
Ramos held various positions throughout her 26 years of military service. After completing Air Force basic training in 1988, she was assigned as a supply inspector, 93rd Supply Squadron, Castle Air Force Base, California. In 1992, she transferred to the Hawaii Air National Guard where she became an aeromedical technician with the 199th Fighter Squadron Medical Element. She then served as a full-time federal medical service technician, which led to a position at Headquarters Hawaii Air National Guard as an information manager.
In 2006, she accepted the 154th Wing human resource advisor position and in 2010 the state human resource advisor position, where she achieved the highest enlisted rank of chief master sergeant. In her role as the state human resource advisor, she provided advisement to the senior leaders in addressing organization culture that relates to diversity and inclusion, force management, force development and total force enterprise initiatives. She also provided support in leadership and diversity training for over 2,500 airmen, including four geographically separated units.
Prior to her current position, she served as the quality assurance manager, Joint Staff Resource Oversight Division at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia. In this capacity she was responsible for the development and implementation of Air and Army National Guard financial internal controls for the Quality Assurance Program on Federal funds totaling over $265 million within the Joint Staff.
Of Filipino decent, Raquel was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, into a Catholic family. She still has close family ties to the region.
U.S. Army Research Laboratory
Dr. Richard Fu was born in Zhejiang, China, and came to the United States for his doctorate degree in 1994. He received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Nanchang University in 1984. Fu earned his Master of Science degree from Southeast University in 1990 and his Ph.D. in Material Science from State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo in 1998.
Fu has been a Research Scientist at Army Research Laboratory in, Adelphi, Maryland, since 2006. His career has spanned from academia, research, to industry prior to joining ARL.
His research focuses on thin film, MEMS/nano, infrared, medical and bio-inspired materials and devices, flexible displays, and their applications in sensors and electronics devices. He has authored 170 publications, 10 patents and applications in the areas of thin film/nano technologies, flexible electronics and quantum well infrared photodetectors. His work has been cited more than 2,500 times by his peers.
He is a recipient of a number of awards and prizes, including ARL Director Research Initiative awards five years running from 2008 to 2012 and ARL’s Top DRI award in 2009.
He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and has served as a vice president of the Baltimore Chapter of IEEE Electron Devices and Solid-State Circuits Societies.
Supervisory Computer Engineer
U.S. Army Research Laboratory
At present, Dr. Ernest Sung Chor Chin is the acting chief of the Simulation Science Branch, Computational & Information Sciences Directorate at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Maryland. He leads the mission in conduct fundamental and application research in computational sciences to enable time-critical learning, simulating, analyzing, predicting, optimizing and quantifying risk for informed decisions.
From 2015 through 2016, Chin was on a special assignment to identify and develop proposals for key initiates within ARL’s Materials Research Campaign portfolio. From 2014 through 2015, Chin was selected and served as Acting Chief of the Propulsion Division, Vehicle Technology Directorate at ARL.
Chin was the recipient of the 2014 Baltimore Federal Executive Board's Excellence in Federal Career Awards in Outstanding Supervisor Category.
From 2015 through 2016, Chin was on a special assignment to identify and develop proposals for key initiates within ARL’s Materials Research Campaign portfolio. From 2014 through 2015, he was selected and served as acting chief of the Propulsion Division, Vehicle Technology Directorate at ARL. He was the recipient of the 2014 Baltimore Federal Executive Board's Excellence in Federal Career Awards in Outstanding Supervisor Category.
From 2010 through 2014, Dr. Chin was Chief of the Materials Manufacturing Technology Branch, Weapons and Materials Research Directorate. From 2006 through 2009, He was chief of the Survivability Materials Branch, where he led the daily activities of over 50 scientists and engineers focused on the design and manufacturing of advanced protection materials and manufacturing technologies germane to passive and transparent armor solutions, many of which supported the surge in Iraq.
Chin received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Brown University, and his Doctor of Philosophy from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He authored more than 40 publications encompassing topics from fundamental research in microstructures and microscopy to manufacturing technology and sustainment.
Chin served with the Army Materials and Mechanics Research Center in Materials Engineer, Physical Metallurgy Branch in Watertown Maine, from 1985 to 1987.
Richard Fong is a senior research scientist for Warheads Technologies at the Research, Development and Engineering Command, U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center. Fong is responsible for the research and development of multiple warhead technologies to include Shaped Charges, Explosively Formed Penetrators and Fragmentation warheads, and the introduction of novel approaches to force protection/target defeat challenges.
Fong is recognized both nationally and internationally. Over the last two decades, he has played an important and often critical role in essentially all of the advances in U.S. warhead technologies. He has been instrumental in leading and developing novel solutions to address improvised explosive device and rocket-propelled grenade threats, new advanced explosively formed penetrator and enhanced fragmentation warhead concepts and recommending design solutions critical for Army anti-armor and anti-material weapon systems. Fong has distinguished himself as a role model, personally and professionally, dedicating himself to growing a talented and a diverse team, encouraging and nurturing those around him regardless of race, gender, color, religion or disability.
Fong is a graduate from the Polytechnic Institute of New York with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
He started his career at ARDEC in 1979, and began his federal career over thirty years ago at the Naval Surface Weapon Center, the U.S. Navy's principal research, development, test and evaluation weapon assessment organization.
Fong was appointed senior research scientist for warhead technologies at the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Picatinny, New Jersey.
Fong was awarded eight U.S. patents on warhead technology.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Faipa Sivailoa Cheek was born in Vailoa, American Samoa, in 1977, the third of 10 children. At age 19, she joined the Army. During her tour of duty, she served at Fort Hood, Texas, and an overseas tour at Camp Kyle, South Korea. Cheek is also a proud member of the Audie Murphy Club.
In 2005, she joined the South Carolina Army National Guard as a human resources specialist assigned to the 2-151 Aviation Battalion. She deployed to Kosovo in 2009. In 2012, she mobilized to Laredo, Texas with Task Force Liberty in support of the southwest border mission. She served as the S1, primarily responsible for personnel accountability of over 110 soldiers across 17 states and territories. She currently serves as the federal recognition noncommissioned officer in charge for the Officer Personnel Management Directorate.
Cheek is an active member of her community, serving as the public relations officer for the Pacific Islanders Association of Columbia. The association promotes education by sharing traditional cultures, languages and values between the Pacific Islander and American Communities. Through the association, Cheek helps native Pacific Islanders who are changing duty stations to Fort Jackson with their transition to the Columbia region. Cheek plays a vital role in establishing the value of family for new recruits in basic training and/or advanced individual training by attending their Family Day, graduations and ceremonies.
She is a representative of the Columbia International Festival Committee. The festival is held annually; it highlights music, food and performing arts of the various cultures, nationalities and ethnic groups represented in South Carolina. It brings all of Columbia’s international communities together to build better relations between various ethnic, cultural and language groups and with South Carolina’s neighboring states. Cheek is very instrumental to the success of the festival.
Cheek resides in Columbia with her husband Adam. She has three daughters, Rosalina Macon, Lualani Macon and Tausala Cheek.
"AAPIs have served honorably in the United States Military in every war since the War of 1812 and continue to serve our Nation admirably today. ... DoD recognizes the tremendous contributions of AAPIs to both the Nation and the DoD mission and is grateful for their unselfish service in securing and protecting our great Nation."
The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat that can be awarded to members of the armed forces.
The medal was first authorized in 1861 for sailors and Marines, and was authorized the following year for soldiers as well. Since then, more than 3,400 Medals of Honor have been awarded to members of all Defense Department services and the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as to a few civilians who distinguished themselves with valor. Those deserving of the Medal of Honor sometimes are not recognized for years after their heroic actions. So it was for 22 Asian American World War II soldiers who received medals nearly six decades after the war, when then-President Bill Clinton presented the medals.
Army Cpl. Terry Kawamura served in the 173rd Engineer Company, 173d Airborne Brigade in Vietnam. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Camp Radcliff, Republic of Vietnam, March 20, 1969. On this day, Kawamura ran into enemy fire and took the charge of a grenade to save his fellow soldiers. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.
Army Platoon Sgt. Elmelindo R. Smith served in the 1st Platoon, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor Feb. 16, 1967, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. During a reconnaissance patrol, his platoon was suddenly engaged by intense machine-gun fire. With complete disregard for his safety, Smith moved through the deadly fire along the defensive line, positioning soldiers, distributing ammunition and encouraging his men to repel the enemy attack. Repeatedly struck by enemy fire, Smith perished. The valorous acts and heroic leadership of this outstanding soldier inspired those remaining members of his platoon to beat back the enemy assaults. Smith’s gallant actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and they reflect great credit upon him and the armed forces of his country.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Rodney J.T. Yano served in the Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions near Bien Hao, Republic of Vietnam, Jan. 1, 1969. Yano was performing the duties of crew chief aboard the troop’s command-and-control helicopter during action against enemy forces entrenched in dense jungle. From an exposed position in the face of intense small arms and antiaircraft fire he delivered suppressive fire upon the enemy forces and marked their positions with smoke and white phosphorous grenades, thus enabling his troop commander to direct accurate and effective artillery fire against the hostile emplacements. A grenade, exploding prematurely, covered him with burning phosphorous, and left him severely wounded. Yano completely disregarded his welfare and began hurling blazing ammunition from the helicopter. In so doing he inflicted additional wounds upon himself, yet he persisted until the danger was past. Yano’s indomitable courage and profound concern for his comrades averted loss of life and additional injury to the rest of the crew. By his conspicuous gallantry at the cost of his life, in the highest traditions of the military service, Yano has reflected great credit on himself, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Pfc. Anthony T. Kaho’ohanohano served in Company H, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his action against the enemy in the vicinity of Chupa-ri, Korea, Sept. 1, 1951. On that date, Kaho’ohanohano was in charge of a machine-gun squad supporting the defensive positioning of Company F when a numerically superior enemy force launched a fierce attack. Kaho’ohanohano gathered a supply of grenades and ammunition and returned to his original position to face the enemy alone. He fought fiercely and courageously, delivering deadly accurate fire into the ranks of the onrushing enemy. When his ammunition was depleted, he engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat until he was killed. Kaho’ohanohano’s heroic stand so inspired his comrades that they launched a counterattack that completely repulsed the enemy. Kaho’ohanohano’s extraordinary heroism and selfless devotion to duty are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 7th Infantry Division and the United States Army.
Army Cpl. Hiroshi H. Miyamura served in Company H, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions near Taejon-ni, Korea, on April 24 and 25, 1951. On the night of April 24, 1951, Company H was occupying a defensive position when the enemy attacked, threatening to overrun the position. A machine-gun squad leader, Miyamura, aware of the imminent danger to his men, unhesitatingly jumped from his shelter wielding his bayonet in close hand-to-hand combat, killing approximately 10 of the enemy. When the intensity of the attack necessitated the withdrawal of the company, Miyamura ordered his men to fall back while he remained to cover their movement. He killed more than 50 of the enemy before his ammunition was depleted and though he was severely wounded, he continued to repel the enemy until his position was overrun. Miyamura’s indomitable heroism and consummate devotion to duty uphold the illustrious traditions of the military service.
Army Pfc. Herbert K. Pililaau served in Company C, 23d Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions near Pia-ri, Korea, Sept. 17, 1951. The enemy sent fanatical troops against Pililaau’s platoon, which held a key terrain feature on “Heartbreak Ridge.” Valiantly defending its position, the unit repulsed each attack until ammunition became practically exhausted and it was ordered to withdraw to a new position. Voluntarily remaining behind to cover the withdrawal, Pililaau fired his automatic weapon into the ranks of the assailants, threw all his grenades and, with ammunition exhausted, closed with the foe in hand-to-hand combat, courageously fighting with his trench knife and bare fists until finally overcome and mortally wounded. His heroic devotion to duty, indomitable fighting spirit and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry and the U.S. Army.
Army Sgt. Jose Calugas served in Battery B, 88th Field Artillery, Philippine Scouts. He was awarded the Medal of Honor as a result of his actions at Culis, Bataan province, Philippines, Jan. 1, 1942. A battery gun position was bombed and shelled by the enemy until one gun was put out of commission and all the cannoneers were killed or wounded. Calugas, a mess sergeant of another battery, voluntarily and without orders, ran 1,000 yards across the shell-swept area to the gun position. There he organized a volunteer squad, which placed the gun back in commission and fired effectively against the enemy, although the position remained under constant and heavy Japanese artillery fire.
Army Staff Sgt. Rudolph B. Davila distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action May 28, 1944, near Artena, Italy. During the offensive that broke through the German mountain strongholds surrounding the Anzio beachhead, Davila risked death to provide heavy weapons support for a beleaguered rifle company. His intrepid actions brought desperately needed heavy weapons support to a hard-pressed rifle company and silenced four machine gunners, which forced the enemy to abandon their prepared positions. Davila’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Pvt. Barney F. Hajiro distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on Oct. 19, 22 and 29, 1944, in the vicinity of Bruyeres and Biffontaine, eastern France. Hajiro, while acting as a sentry Oct. 19 on top of an embankment in the vicinity of Bruyeres, rendered assistance to allied troops attacking a house 200 yards away by exposing himself to enemy fire and directing fire at an enemy strong point. He assisted the unit on his right by firing his automatic rifle and killing or wounding two enemy snipers. On Oct. 22, he and one comrade took up an outpost security position about 50 yards to the right front of their platoon, concealed themselves, and ambushed an 18-man, heavily armed enemy patrol, killing two, wounding one and taking the remainder as prisoners. On Oct. 29, in a wooded area in the vicinity of Biffontaine, Hajiro initiated an attack up the slope of a hill while under fire. He fearlessly and single-handedly destroyed two machine gun nests and killed two enemy snipers. As a result of Hajiro’s heroic actions, the attack was successful. Hajiro’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Pvt. Mikio Hasemoto distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on Nov. 29, 1943, in the vicinity of Cerasuolo, Italy. A force of approximately 40 enemy soldiers, armed with machine guns, machine pistols, rifles and grenades, attacked the left flank of his platoon. Two enemy soldiers with machine guns advanced forward, firing their weapons. Hasemoto, an automatic rifleman, challenged these two machine gunners. When his weapon was damaged, he ran 10 yards to the rear, secured another automatic rifle and continued to fire until his weapon jammed. Hasemoto again ran through a barrage of enemy machine gunfire to pick up another rifle. Continuing their fire, Hasemoto and his squad leader killed 10 more enemy soldiers. The following day, Hasemoto continued to repel enemy attacks until he was killed by enemy fire. Hasemoto’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Pvt. Joe Hayashi distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on April 20 and 22, 1945, near Tendola, Italy. On April 20, Hayashi ordered an attack on a strongly defended hill that commanded all approaches to the village of Tendola. Hayashi skillfully led his men to a point within 75 yards of enemy positions before they were detected and fired upon. After dragging his wounded comrades to safety, he returned alone and exposed himself to small-arms fire in order to direct and adjust mortar fire against hostile emplacements. On April 22, Hayashi maneuvered his squad up a steep, terraced hill to within 100 yards of the enemy. Crawling under intense fire to a hostile machine gun position, he threw a grenade, killing one enemy soldier and forcing the other members of the gun crew to surrender. Attempting to pursue the enemy, he was mortally wounded by a burst of machine pistol fire. The dauntless courage and exemplary leadership of Hayashi enabled his company to attain its objective. Hayashi’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Pvt. Shizuya Hayashi distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action Nov. 29, 1943, near Cerasuolo, Italy. During a flank assault on high ground held by the enemy, Hayashi rose alone in the face of grenade, rifle and machine gun fire. Firing his automatic rifle from the hip, he charged and overtook an enemy machine gun position, killing seven men in the nest and two more as they fled. After his platoon advanced 200 yards from this point, an enemy anti-aircraft gun opened fire on the men. Hayashi returned fire at the hostile position, killing nine of the enemy, taking four prisoners and forcing the remainder of the force to withdraw from the hill. Hayashi’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army 2nd Lt. Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action April 21, 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic-weapon and small-arms fire in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. In bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Inouye continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his aggressive tactics and indomitable leadership, Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Tech. Sgt. Yeiki Kobashigawa distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action June 2, 1944, in the vicinity of Lanuvio, Italy. During an attack, Kobashigawa’s platoon encountered strong enemy resistance from a series of machine guns providing supporting fire. Observing a machine gun nest 50 yards from his position, Kobashigawa crawled forward with one of his men, threw a grenade and then charged the enemy with his submachine gun while a fellow soldier provided covering fire. He killed one enemy soldier and captured two prisoners. Directing a squad to advance to his first position, Kobashigawa again moved forward with a fellow soldier to subdue the second machine gun nest. Kobashigawa provided close supporting fire while a fellow soldier charged, capturing four prisoners. On the alert for other machine gun nests, Kobashigawa discovered four more, and skillfully led a squad in neutralizing two of them. Kobashigawa’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Staff Sgt. Robert T. Kuroda distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action Oct. 20, 1944, near Bruyeres, France. Leading his men in an advance to destroy snipers and machine gun nests, Kuroda encountered heavy fire from enemy soldiers occupying a heavily wooded slope. Unable to pinpoint the hostile machine gun, he boldly made his way through heavy fire to the crest of the ridge. As he expended the last of his ammunition, he observed an American officer who had been struck by a burst of fire from a hostile machine gun located on an adjacent hill. Rushing to his assistance, he found that the officer had been killed. Picking up the officer’s submachine gun, Kuroda advanced through continuous fire toward a second machine gun emplacement and destroyed the position. As he turned to fire upon additional enemy soldiers, he was killed by a sniper. Kuroda’s courageous actions and indomitable fighting spirit ensured the destruction of enemy resistance in the sector.
Army Pfc. Kaoru Moto distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action July 7, 1944, near Castellina, Italy. While serving as first scout, Moto observed a machine gun nest that was hindering his platoon’s progress. On his own initiative, he made his way to a point near the hostile position and killed the enemy machine gunner. Crawling to the rear of the position, Moto surprised the enemy soldier, who quickly surrendered. While guarding a nearby house and his prisoner, he observed an enemy machine gun team moving into position. He engaged them, and with deadly fire forced the enemy to withdraw. An enemy sniper located in another house fired at Moto, severely wounding him. He changed position to elude the sniper fire and to advance. Opening fire, he wounded several soldiers occupying the position and then crawled forward to a better position, ordering the enemy soldier to surrender. Moto’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Pfc. Sadao S. Munemori served in Company A, 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Combat Team. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions near Seravezza, Italy, April 5, 1945. When his unit was pinned down by grazing fire from the enemy’s strong mountain defense and command of the squad devolved on him with the wounding of its regular leader, he made frontal, one-man attacks through direct fire and knocked out two machine guns with grenades. Withdrawing under murderous fire and showers of grenades from other enemy emplacements, he had nearly reached a shell crater occupied by two of his men when an unexploded grenade bounced on his helmet and rolled toward his helpless comrades. He jumped for the missile and smothered its blast with his body. By his swift, supremely heroic action Munemori saved two of his men at the cost of his own life and did much to clear the path for his company’s victorious advance.
Army Pfc. Kiyoshi K. Muranaga distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action June 26, 1944, near Suvereto, Italy. Muranaga’s company encountered a strong enemy force in commanding positions and with superior firepower. Muranaga’s mortar squad was ordered to action, but the terrain made it impossible to set up their weapons. Muranaga attempted to neutralize the 88 mm weapon alone. Voluntarily remaining at his gun position, Muranaga manned the mortar himself and opened fire on the enemy gun at a range of approximately 400 yards. With his third round, he was able to correct his fire so that the shell landed directly in front of the enemy gun. Before Muranaga could fire a fourth round, an 88 mm shell scored a direct hit on his position, killing him instantly. Muranaga’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Pvt. Masato Nakae distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action Aug. 19, 1944, near Pisa, Italy. When his submachine gun was damaged by a shell fragment during a fierce attack by a superior enemy force, Nakae quickly picked up his wounded comrade’s M1 rifle and fired rifle grenades at the steadily advancing enemy. During a concentrated enemy mortar barrage that preceded the next assault by the enemy force, a mortar shell fragment seriously wounded Nakae. Despite his injury, he refused to surrender his position and continued firing at the advancing enemy. By inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy force, he finally succeeded in breaking up the attack and caused the enemy to withdraw. Nakae’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Shinyei Nakamine distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action June 2, 1944, near La Torreto, Italy. During an attack, Nakamine’s platoon became pinned down by intense machine gun crossfire from a small knoll 200 yards to the front. On his own initiative, Nakamine crawled toward one of the hostile weapons. Reaching a point 25 yards from the enemy, he charged the machine gun nest, firing his submachine gun and killed three enemy soldiers and captured two. Later, under covering fire from his team, Nakamine crawled to a point 25 yards from the nest and threw hand grenades at the enemy soldiers, wounding one and capturing four. Spotting another machine gun nest 100 yards to his right flank, he led the automatic rifle team toward the hostile position but was killed by a burst of machine gun fire. Nakamine’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Pfc. William K. Nakamura distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action July 4, 1944, near Castellina, Italy. During a fierce firefight, Nakamura’s platoon became pinned down by enemy machine gun fire from a concealed position. On his own initiative, Nakamura crawled 20 yards toward the hostile nest with fire from the enemy machine gun barely missing him. Reaching a point 15 yards from the position, he quickly raised himself to a kneeling position and threw four hand grenades, killing or wounding at least three of the enemy soldiers. On his own initiative, Nakamura remained in position to cover his comrades’ withdrawal. While moving toward the safety of a wooded draw, his platoon became pinned down by deadly machine gun fire. Crawling to a point from which he could fire on the enemy position, Nakamura quickly and accurately fired his weapon to pin down the enemy machine gunners. His platoon was then able to withdraw to safety without further casualties. Nakamura was killed during this heroic stand. Nakamura’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Joe M. Nishimoto distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action Nov. 7, 1944, near La Houssiere, France. After three days of unsuccessful attempts by his company to dislodge the enemy from a strongly defended ridge, Nishimoto, as acting squad leader, boldly crawled forward through a heavily mined and booby-trapped area. Spotting a machine gun nest, he hurled a grenade and destroyed the emplacement. Circling to the rear of another machine gun position, he fired his submachine gun at point-blank range, killing one gunner and wounding another. Pursuing two enemy riflemen, Nishimoto killed one, while the other hastily retreated. Continuing his determined assault, he drove another machine gun crew from its position. The enemy, with its key strong points taken, was forced to withdraw from this sector. Nishimoto’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Sgt. Allan M. Ohata distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on Nov. 29 and 30, 1943, near Cerasuolo, Italy. Ohata, his squad leader, and three men were ordered to protect his platoon's left flank against an attacking enemy force of 40 men, armed with machine guns, machine pistols and rifles. He posted one of his men, an automatic rifleman, on the extreme left, 15 yards from his own position. Taking his position, Ohata delivered effective fire against the advancing enemy. The man to his left called for assistance when his automatic rifle was shot and damaged. With disregard for his personal safety, Ohata left his position and advanced through heavy machine gun fire. Reaching his comrade’s position, he immediately fired upon the enemy, killing 10 enemy soldiers and successfully covering his comrade’s withdrawal to replace his damaged weapon. Ohata and the automatic rifleman held their position and killed 37 enemy soldiers. Later, Ohata and the automatic rifleman stopped another attacking force of 14, killing four and wounding three while the others fled. Ohata's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Technician Fifth Grade James K. Okubo distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on Oct. 28 and 29, and Nov. 4, 1944, in the Foret Domaniale de Champ, near Biffontaine, eastern France. On Oct. 28, under strong enemy fire coming from behind mine fields and roadblocks, Okubo, a medic, crawled 150 yards to within 40 yards of the enemy lines. Two grenades were thrown at him while he left his last covered position to carry back wounded comrades. Under constant barrages of enemy small arms and machine gun fire, he treated 17 men Oct. 28 and eight more men Oct. 29. On Nov. 4, Okubo ran 75 yards under grazing machine gun fire and, while exposed to hostile fire directed at him, evacuated and treated a seriously wounded crewman from a burning tank who otherwise would have died. Okubo’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Tech. Sgt. Yukio Okutsu distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action April 7, 1945, on Mount Belvedere, Italy. While his platoon was halted by the crossfire of three machine guns, Okutsu crawled to within 30 yards of the nearest enemy emplacement through heavy fire. He destroyed the position with two hand grenades, killing three machine gunners. He threw another grenade, silencing a second machine gun, wounding two enemy soldiers and forcing two others to surrender. Ultimately, he enabled his platoon to resume its assault on a vital objective. The courageous performance of Okutsu against formidable odds was an inspiration to all. Okutsu’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Pfc. Frank H. Ono distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action July 4, 1944, near Castellina, Italy. In attacking a heavily defended hill, Ono’s squad was caught in a formidable fire from the enemy. Ono opened fire with his automatic rifle and silenced one machine gun. Advancing, he killed a sniper with another burst of fire, and while his squad leader reorganized the rest of the platoon in the rear, he alone defended the critical position. After killing two more enemy soldiers, he ran through automatic, small arms and mortar fire to render first aid to his platoon leader and a seriously wounded rifleman. Volunteering to cover the platoon, Ono occupied virtually unprotected positions near the crest of the hill, engaging an enemy machine gun emplaced on an adjoining ridge and exchanging fire with snipers armed with machine pistols. Completely disregarding his own safety, he made himself the constant target of concentrated enemy fire until the platoon reached the comparative safety of a draw. Ono’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Staff Sgt. Kazuo Otani distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action July 15, 1944, near Pieve di Santa Luce, Italy. Advancing to attack a hill objective, Otani’s platoon became pinned down in a wheat field by concentrated fire from enemy machine gun and sniper positions. Realizing the danger confronting his platoon, Otani left his cover and shot and killed a sniper who was firing with deadly effect upon the platoon. Followed by a steady stream of machine gun bullets, Otani then dashed across the open wheat field and directed his men to crawl to the cover of the cliff. Organizing his men to guard against possible enemy counterattack, Otani made his way across the open field, shouting instructions to the stranded men while continuing to draw enemy fire. Reaching the rear of the platoon position, he took partial cover in a shallow ditch and directed covering fire for the men who had begun to move forward. When one of his soldiers became wounded, Otani crawled to him in full view of the enemy. Dragging the wounded soldier to a shallow ditch, Otani proceeded to render first aid treatment, but was mortally wounded by machine gun fire. Otani’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Pvt. George T. Sakato distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action Oct. 29, 1944, on Hill 617 in the vicinity of Biffontaine, France. After his platoon had virtually destroyed two enemy defense lines, during which he personally killed five enemy soldiers and captured four, his unit was pinned down by heavy enemy fire. Disregarding the enemy fire, Sakato made a one-man rush that encouraged his platoon to charge and destroy the enemy strong point. Taking charge of the squad, he continued his relentless tactics, using an enemy rifle and P38 pistol to stop an organized enemy attack. During this entire action, he killed 12 and wounded two, personally captured four and assisted his platoon in taking 34 prisoners. By continuously ignoring enemy fire, and by his gallant courage and fighting spirit, he turned impending defeat into victory and helped his platoon complete its mission. Sakato’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Tech. Sgt. Ted T. Tanouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action July 7, 1944, near Molino A Ventoabbto, Italy. Tanouye led his platoon in an attack to capture the crest of a strategically important hill that afforded little cover. Observing an enemy machine gun crew placing its gun in position to his left front, Tanouye crept forward a few yards and opened fire on the position, killing or wounding three and causing two others to disperse. While advancing forward, Tanouye was subjected to grenade bursts that severely wounded his left arm. Sighting an enemy-held trench, he raked the position with fire from his submachine gun and wounded several of the enemy. He located another enemy machine gun firing down the slope of the hill, opened fire on it and silenced the position. Eventually taking his objective, Tanouye organized a defensive position on the reverse slope of the hill before accepting first-aid treatment and evacuation. Tanouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
Army Capt. Francis B. Wai distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action Oct. 20, 1944, in Leyte, Philippines. Wai landed at Red Beach, Leyte, in the face of concentrated enemy fire from gun positions advantageously located in a palm grove bounded by submerged rice paddies. Finding the first four waves of American soldiers leaderless, disorganized and pinned down on the open beach, he immediately assumed command. In leading an assault upon the last remaining Japanese pillbox in the area, he was killed by its occupants. Wai’s courageous, aggressive leadership inspired the men, even after his death, to advance and destroy the enemy. His intrepid and determined efforts were largely responsible for the rapidity with which the initial beachhead was secured. Wai’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit and the U.S. Army.
While steaming in the Gulf of California Jan. 21, 1915, as part of the naval patrol established to protect U.S. interests and citizens in Mexico, the captain of the San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6) decided to conduct a four-hour full-speed and endurance trial to determine if the cruiser could still maintain its officially rated flank speed. At the end of the trials an obstructed tube of one of the ship’s boilers gave way, creating an eventual chain reaction of other boilers. The first explosion, in the No. 2 boiler, forced U.S. Navy Fireman 2nd Class Telesforo Trinidad from the fireroom while Ensign R.W. Cary Jr. was closing the door. Trinidad then realized that another crewmate, Fireman 2nd Class R.W. Daly, was still inside. Risking his own life, Trinidad re-entered the smoke-filled fireroom and carried Daly to safety while Cary secured the door. However, as Trinidad carried Daly through the No. 4 fireroom, an explosion of the No. 3 boiler hit Trinidad, burning him in the face. After seeing Daly to safety and in spite of his own injury, Trinidad then assisted in rescuing another injured crewman from the No. 3 fireroom.
The earliest record for Asian Americans serving in the U.S. armed forces dates back to the War of 1812 when Gen. Andrew Jackson noted that Filipinos fought in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.
In 1863, the Chinese American William Ah Hang becomes one of the first Asian Americans to enlist in the U.S. Navy.
The precise number of Chinese who worked on the railroad from 1864 to 1869 is not clear; records are incomplete and inexact. The railroad did not list most individual Chinese workers by name in their payroll records, and instead listed headmen of work crews or labor contractors who distributed pay to the individuals on the crew. In January 1864, the Central Pacific hired a crew of 21 Chinese workers and hired more during that year.
America acquired the Philippines from Spain in 1898 for $20 million following the American victory in the Spanish-American War, though fighting did not end on the islands until 1902.
Between 1886 and 1911, more than 400,000 men and women left Japan for the United States and U.S.-controlled lands, and significant emigration continued for at least a decade beyond that.
The first Medal of Honor recipient was U.S. Army Pvt. Jose Nisperos, from the Philippine Scouts Unit for this action on Sept. 24, 1911. The one and only Medal of Honor awarded during peacetime on Jan. 21, 1915, was to Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Telesforo of Trinidad. Twenty-one of the 24 Medal of Honor recipients during World War II were Japanese Americans serving with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team or the 100th Infantry Battalion. In the Korean War, the first native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, Pfc. Anthony T. Kaho'ohanohano and Pfc. Herbert K. Pililaau were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions on Sept. 1, 1951, and September 17, 1951, respectively. Three Asian Americans were awarded Medals of Honor during the Vietnam War: Cpl. Terry Kawamura, Staff Sgt. Elmelindo Smith, and Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Yano. A total of 33 Asian American and Pacific Islanders have received this prestigious honor for their actions during war and in peacetime.
The United States lacked Korean translators, and because Japanese was the language mandated during Japan's colonial domination of Korea (1910–45), Nisei (a person born in the U.S. or Canada whose parents were immigrants from Japan) soldiers were able to provide valuable linguistic support.
Chew-Een Lee, the son of Chinese immigrants, first enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1944 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1946. Before hostilities broke out in Korea, 1st Lt. Lee served with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. As a platoon commander in that unit, Lee received America's second-highest combat award, the Navy Cross. On Nov. 2–3, 1950, Lee's platoon came under heavy attack. Despite being outnumbered, Lee exposed himself to fire as he personally reconnoitered the area to better redeploy his machine gun posts within the defensive perimeter. He reorganized his unit and moved up the enemy-held slope. Despite serious wounds, he pressed forward ultimately driving the hostile forces from the area. Lee's brothers also served.
Hiroshi H. Miyamura received his Medal of Honor on Oct. 27, 1953, from President Dwight D. Eisenhower during a White House ceremony, becoming the second Japanese American to earn the award.
In 1999, Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki became the highest-ranking Asian American in U.S. military history, when he is appointed Army chief of staff. Shinseki served as Army Chief of Staff from 1999 to 2003.
Navy Capt. Eleanor Mariano, Medical Corps, became the first military woman appointed as White House physician. In 1994, she was named director of the White House Medical Unit and served as President William Clinton’s person physician. In 2000, she became the first female Filipino American Navy admiral.
Twenty-two Asian American soldiers were finally recognized for their heroism when they received the nation's highest military award “the Medal of Honor”; during a White House ceremony, June 21, 2000. Army Secretary Louis Caldera inducted the soldiers into the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes on June 22, 2000. The men indelibly imprinted their names in the annals of military history nearly six decades ago. But their heroic actions on the World War II battlefields of Italy, France and Germany had previously gone unrecognized.
Navy Capt. Suni Williams was an American astronaut with Southern Indian descent. She had two spaceflights, Dec. 9, 2006, and April 2007. Williams holds several records including the longest spaceflight of 195 days by a woman, total space walks, and most spacewalk time for a woman.
On Nov. 3, 2011, members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442d Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service also known as the "Go for Broke" regiment received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by U.S. Congress. The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Adam Schiff and signed Oct. 5, 2010, by President Barack Obama.
The Federal Asian Pacific American Council proudly announces the 2017 theme for Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: “Unite Our Voices by Speaking Together.” The theme this year provides a single focus for all AAPI’s to unite by speaking together. This theme encourages the various AAPI communities to join together to overcome misconceptions and stereotypes about the vibrant and diverse AAPI community. The AAPI experience varies greatly and all groups must join together to communicate our individual experiences. Diversity is a Journey and we cannot travel there alone. By uniting our voices, we can raise issues and tell stories that elevate the AAPI community. With this theme, we hope to improve representation in the workplace by communicating the benefits of a diverse workforce.
Steven Calvery: An Asian American Reflects on his Career, Family and Culture
Medal of Honor Recipient Daniel Inouye Discusses World War II Experiences With The National WWII Museum