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By Staff Sgt. Candice Burch, 50th Security Forces Squadron
/ Published May 16, 2017
Asian American and Pacific Islanders in the Military
By SSgt Candice Burch, 50th Security Forces Squadron
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) both have a long history of serving in the military. Historians have noted their exemplary service during World War II, when individuals of Japanese American heritage were criticized after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
Since then, this group has helped defend and develop the US through both racial and cultural extremes. However, Asian American and Pacific Islanders have been serving honorably in the United States Military, since the War of 1812, when America went to war with Great Britain, and have continued to serve long after.
Today, there are 265,200 Asian American military veterans, a third of whom are age 65 and up. The active duty military continues to flourish as Asian American’s account for 53,457 of enlisted members and 8,957 Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islander members.
A total of 9,995 active duty officers represent the AAPI culture in the United States Military. These diverse cultures contribute to make the US military one of the world’s strongest.
The AAPI group continues to distinguish themselves amongst our ranks. Currently, the highest ranking Asian Americans in the military are General John F. Campbell and Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. while the highest Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander is Upper Rear Admiral Peter A. Gumataotao.
The highest ranking female Asian American is Air Force Maj. Gen. Sharon K. G. Dunbar. With continued success, the military will continue to be a positive environment to promote equality and inclusion.
I would like to leave you with a quote by President Franklin D. Roosevelt The principle on which this country was founded and by which it has always been governed is that Americanism is a matter of mind and hear6; Americanism is not, and never was, a matter of race or ancestry.”
For more information, contact the 21st Space Wing Equal Opportunity office.