Story by MC3 Albert Sanchez, Naval Special Warfare Group THREE
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) – Naval Special Warfare Group THREE Multicultural Heritage Committee hosted a celebration for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month on May 14, 2015 in the command’s auditorium.
The celebration consisted of cultural performances, displays, and food tasting native of the diverse cultures of Guam, Laos, Palau, Philippines, and the Hawaiian islands.
“The Multicultural Heritage Committee did a great job of representing each of the islands through the decoration and performances,” said Chief Navy Counselor Emilie J. Balan, a native of Palau. “This remembrance celebration served its purpose well.”
Asian American Pacific Islander History Month is held annually in the month of May and recognizes the contributions and sacrifices made throughout the years from the service members of Asian American and Pacific Islander decent.
“I contribute my resiliency to my mother who was a Vietnam War refugee early in her life; she instilled a strong work ethic early in our lives,” said Lieutenant Keith A. Goodsell, NSWG-3 Public Affairs Officer and Vietnamese American. “I feel blessed to be able to have the opportunity to be raised in two different cultures and serve my country as an officer in the United States Navy.”
According to the U.S. DOD there are currently an estimated 11,370 officers of Asian American Pacific Islander decent serving throughout the various branches of the Armed Forces. Of those 11,370 officers, there are an estimated 2,631 officers serving throughout the United States Navy.
The Asian American Pacific Islander community boasts a rich history of going above and beyond the call of duty while serving in the military. To date, there have been a total of 31 Asian American Pacific Islander Medal of Honor recipients since the award was first authorized in 1861.
Many influential Asian American Pacific Islander service members have held high positions of leadership throughout the military. Of note, Rear Adm. Brian L. Losey, of Japanese American decent, is currently serving as the Commander of Naval Special Warfare Command.