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NEWS | May 10, 2024

Honoring Trailblazers: U.S. Army South celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander Month

By Maj. Nadine Wiley De Moura U.S. Army South Public Affairs

U.S. Army South proudly salutes Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders who have shattered cultural barriers, paving the way for future generations to thrive and succeed.

This year, U.S. Army South's observance resonates with the 2024 theme: “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation.” Innovation isn't just about groundbreaking technologies; it's also about embracing diversity, fostering inclusion, and amplifying the voices of those whose stories often go unheard.

“It has been almost 50 years since the U.S. government established that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and their accomplishments should be recognized annually across the nation,” said U.S. Army South Director of Equal Employment Opportunity, Lakreisha Johnson.

Throughout history, Asian Americans, native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have displayed unwavering resilience, determination, and ingenuity in the face of adversity. From the Chinese immigrants who labored on the transcontinental railroad to the Japanese Americans who fought bravely in World War II despite facing discrimination at home, their contributions have shaped the fabric of our society and enriched our military heritage.

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed significantly to many facets of American culture and society, including science and medicine, literature and art, sports and recreation, government and politics, and activism and law.”

As we navigate an ever-changing world, we draw inspiration from the diverse perspectives and experiences of our Asian American and Pacific Islander service members, civilians, and their Families. Their unique insights and innovative approaches strengthen our readiness and enable us to tackle complex challenges with agility and creativity.

Throughout May, U.S. Army South will celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month by highlighting the kaleidoscope of cultures in the AAPI community through personal commentaries and captivating features detailing the stories of pioneering service members who have made valuable contributions to our nation's security.

"Highlighting Asian American and Pacific Islander month is important because it is a reminder of inclusion and appreciation that is necessary in the ranks,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Carlie Stonebraker, U.S. Army South public affairs noncommissioned officer.

Throughout the month, Stonebraker will be interviewing Asian American and Pacific Islanders at U.S. Army South to capture their stories and highlight their contributions of service to the U.S. Army.

The first feature highlights Filipino native, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Sheena Marie Hutton, and her path to Army service. Another video feature will chronicle the remarkable journey of U.S. Army Maj. Tho Pham from a Vietnamese refugee camp to becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen and commissioning in the U.S. Army. This month will also feature commentaries from Asian American and Pacific Islanders who work at U.S. Army South.

“At U.S. Army South every culture is celebrated. So many people have such compelling stories and I just wish I could highlight everyone."