Trinity Domingo, with Famugu’on Guahan Dance Group, performs at the Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrations at the Community Center, May 15.

What is it? 

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month celebrates the important contributions of individuals of Asian/Pacific Islander descent to the nation, both historically and in today's society. 

The month of May was chosen for this commemoration because it marks the anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to America, May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad by predominantly Chinese laborers, May 10, 1869. 

The theme for 2019 is Unite Our Mission by Engaging Each Other. This year’s theme is a continuation of the “Unite” series and focuses on leadership and engagement to advance the AAPI community. 

What is the Army doing? 

The Army commemorates and celebrates the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islanders to the nation and the Army. 

Asian and Pacific Islander American warriors have served in America's Army since the Civil War. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the all Japanese-American unit from WWII, is still one of the most highly decorated units in military history. This distinguished unit earned 9,485 Purple Hearts, eight Presidential Unit Citations, and 21 of its members were awarded Medals of Honor. In October 2017, Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino veterans of World War II in honor of 260,000 Filipinos who fought alongside American forces during the war. 

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? 

As ian Amer i can Pac i f i c Islander Heritage Month stands as a reminder of the strength the Army has gained, and will gain, through a high-quality, diverse, all-volunteer force. The Army firmly values the principles of diversity and inclusion and continues to lead American society in maximizing the potential of future leaders from all backgrounds. Diversity makes the Army better and more equipped to meet the challenges and threats of the future. The Army continues to cultivate a climate of trust and respect to allow every Soldier to thrive and achieve their full potential. 

Why is this important to the Army? 

Individuals of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have historically served in the Army with great valor and distinction and continue to be critical members of the Army team. They play vital roles in today's Army as Soldiers, Army civilians and family members. 

Nearly 59,000 Soldiers who identify as Asian American/Pacific Islander serve in the Total Force (~ 29,000 regular Army; ~ 14,000 National Guard; ~ 15,000 Army Reserve.) The contributions and achievements of individuals of Asian/Pacific Islander descent illustrates the strength of a diverse Army.