United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month - 2013

May 10, 2013

During the month of May, the Defense Department takes time to recognize and honor the dedicated service and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, both past and present, through military service in defense of our nation.

Top Stories

Asian-American Officers Share Stories in Ad Campaign

In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, Marine Corps Recruiting Command has developed a new advertising campaign, 'A Warriors' Education,' which features the story of two active-duty Asian-American Marine officers currently with the 2nd Marine Division. The campaign is in keeping with the commandant's goal of building a diverse Marine Corps. Story

Social Media Followers to Get 'A Warriors Education'

Marine Corps Recruiting Command's first dedicated campaign geared towards the Asian-American community, 'A Warriors' Education,' is part of the recruiting command's continued efforts to improve diversity representation in the Marine Corps. The new social media advertising campaign commemorates Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month by highlighting the stories of two active-duty Asian-American Marine officers. Story

Chinese Institute of Engineers Honors Navy Admiral

The Chinese Institute of Engineers has named Rear Adm. Jonathan Yuen, commander of Naval Supply Systems Command Global Logistical Support, as the 2013 Asian-American Executive of the Year. "I am truly grateful to be a part of an American culture that prizes excellence in leadership, diversity and inclusiveness …," Yuen said. Story

Engineer Earns Top Honor for Pioneering Contributions

An engineer from the Naval Surface Warfare, Center Carderock Division has been named the 2013 Asian American Engineer of the Year. Thomas C. Fu was honored for his pioneering contributions in the field of submarine and surface ship dynamics, non-acoustic hydrodynamic signatures and wakes. wave-breaking and wave impact and slamming. Story

Hazel Ying Lee Exemplifies Asian-American Contributions

The Asian and Pacific island influence for the Air Force began during the early days of World War II when Chinese-American women were recruited to serve in the "Air WACs," a special unit within the Army Air Corps where Asian-American women served in a wide range of jobs. Story

Admiral Earns Honors for Work in Navy Medicine

The Director of the U.S. Navy's Medical Corps received the Chinese Hospital Medical Staff 39th Annual Award during a ceremony in San Francisco. Rear Adm. Colin G. Chinn, director, Medical Resources Plans and Policy division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and the 10th chief of the Navy's Medical Corps, was selected for the honor by Chinese Hospital Medical staff for his body of work in navy medicine. Story

Remembering Roots

I've always been taught to never doubt yourself in the face of adversity, that to do so would, over time, kill all the potential you have been given in life. With this in mind, I would like to think I have not injured myself too much on my journey to become what I once thought impossible: an officer in the Air Force. It's a small stepping stone for me, but the tip of an iceberg for the aspirations of three other Americans originally from a rural jungle village some 5,498 miles from home: my family. Story

Vietnamese DLA Aviation Employee Reflects on Heritage

In 1975, while under enemy fire on an ammunition barge fortified on two sides with layers of sandbags piled 10 feet high, 9-year-old Manh Nguyen fled Vietnam. Nguyen, a former U.S. service member who is now a Defense Logistics Agency Aviation employee, was one of thousands of Vietnamese evacuated during Operation Frequent Wind. Story

'Inclusion' Helps Asians, Islanders Land High-Level Jobs

As a senior Navy official, Roger Natsuhara says part of his role is to support Asian-Americans and Pacific islanders who want to enter senior government service.

President Barack Obama proclaimed May as Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This year's theme is "Striving for Excellence in Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion." Story

A Story of Rescue and Reunion

Vice Adm. (Retired) Adam M. Robinson, Jr. addressed a crowd of nearly 2,000 people inside Crystal Cathedral at the beginning of a ceremony that highlighted the achievements of the "Lucky Few" during Operation Frequent Wind. Story

Son of Immigrants Serves in U.S. Army

Deployed to Afghanistan with the U.S. Army, 22-year-old 2nd Lt. Darius Chen currently serves as a medical officer with 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment. Chen is a first-generation Asian-American whose parents and grandparents uprooted their homes in China to move to Taiwan during the Communists' takeover, and then again to America in search of a better life. Story

Asian-Pacific Women Served in World War II

Asian Pacific American Women first entered military service when the Women's Army Corps, or WAC, recruited 50 Japanese American and Chinese American women to be trained as translators at the Military Intelligence Service Language School at Fort Snelling, Minn. Story

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Profiles

Capt. Huy H. Tran

Capt. Huy H. Tran is an RQ-4 Global Hawk Pilot assigned to the 348th Reconnaissance Squadron as the Bravo Flight Commander at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. He is 30 years old. Profile

Lt. Hermie Mendoza

Lt. Hermie Mendoza is from Glen Burnie, Md. She graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Profile

Lt. Anthony P. Sham

A first-generation Chinese-American, Lt. Anthony P. Sham was born and raised in Dallas, where his family settled after emigrating from Hong Kong, in hopes of seeking higher education and a better way of life. Profile

Staff Sgt. Ryan Lungerhausen

Staff Sgt. Ryan Lungerhausen was born December 7, 1984 in South Korea . He enlisted in the Marine Corps in February of 2006 and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Profile

Ms. Juliet Beyler

Ms. Juliet Beyler serves as the Director of Officer & Enlisted Personnel Management, a component of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy. Profile

Capt. Huy H. Tran

Capt. Huy H. Tran is an RQ-4 Global Hawk Pilot assigned to the 348th Reconnaissance Squadron as the Bravo Flight Commander at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. He is 30 years old. Capt. Tran was born in Ben Tre, Vietnam on 13 December 1982. In 1994, his family departed Vietnam and settled in Rock Hill, South Carolina, which he now calls home. Capt. Tran graduated from Rock Hill High School, Class of 2001. After graduation, Capt. Tran attended the Clemson University Reserve Officer Training Corp. In 2005 he graduated Magna Cum Laude in Electrical Engineering and entered the Air Force. Later, Capt. Tran attended pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas and earned his pilot wings eventually flying the KC-135R/T tanker aircraft. After six deployments in the KC-135, he was assigned to Beale Air Force Base for RQ-4 Global Hawk training with a follow on assignment to Grand Forks AFB. Capt. Tran is married to the former Kimberly L. Smith and has a 2 year old son.

Lt. Hermie Mendoza

Lt. Hermie Mendoza is from Glen Burnie, Maryland. She graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. While at the Coast Guard Academy, she was on the varsity crew team and the boxing team. She earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in 2011 and is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and Master of Information Technology from the University of Maryland. She is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

After graduating from the Coast Guard Academy, Lt. Mendoza was assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) DALLAS (WHEC-716), homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. She was assigned the duties of the Damage Control Assistant and later the Assistant Engineer Officer. During her tour, she led the on-load of over 76,000 pounds of humanitarian aid and supplies for Georgia in support of Operation Assured Delivery during the 2008 South Ossetia War. She also managed the highly visible $15 million dry dock repair availability as one of the Contracting Officer's Technical Representatives and interim Engineer Officer for the aging cutter. Her second assignment was at Virginia Tech to pursue a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering. Currently, she works at the Coast Guard Navigation Center (CG NAVCEN) as a system analyst, analyzing anomalies and monitoring system performance of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) including the Global Positioning System (GPS). While at the NAVCEN, she was temporarily assigned as the Engineer Officer onboard USCGC NORTHLAND (WMEC-904) during Operation Martillo, interdicting over 1600 kilograms of cocaine. Her personal decorations include the Coast Guard Achievement Medal and the Commandant's Letter of Commendation with Operational Distinguishing Devices. In her free time, Lt. Mendoza races with the Honey Badgers, the Coast Guard Headquarters' dragonboat racing team, and enjoys travelling.

Lt. Mendoza volunteers at the Capital Area Food Bank and tutors local school children in the Alexandria, Virginia area in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects with the Coast Guard's Partnership in Education (CG PIE). She is also the current Washington, D.C. regional chair of the Doolittle Institute's Mini-Urban Challenge. The Mini-Urban Challenge is a national competition sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) that challenges high school students to design and operate a robotic car to autonomously navigate a LEGO city. Lt. Mendoza was recently handpicked to serve as a military mentor for the United States Senate Youth Program, a prestigious high school program sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Her participation in the joint service mentor team promoted cultural awareness and future career opportunities for students pursuing public service.

Lt. Anthony P. Sham

A first-generation Chinese-American, Lt. Anthony P. Sham was born and raised in Dallas, TX, where his family settled after emigrating from Hong Kong, in hopes of seeking higher education and a better way of life. Lt. Sham graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 2005. After college, Lt. Sham attended the Baylor University School of Law, where he served in the Order of the Barristers and advanced to the semi-finals of the prestigious intra-school Matt "Mad Dog" Dawson trial advocacy competition. In August 2008, he earned his Juris Doctor and became a member of the Texas bar. In March of 2009, Lt. Sham received his commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy. In May of 2009, he completed Officer Development School at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island and reported to Naval Justice School where he received the New York City Bar Association Trial Advocacy Award upon graduating in July of 2009.

In August 2009, Lt. Sham reported to Naval Legal Service Office North Central, Branch Office Memphis, TN, where he served as branch head for legal assistance and military justice. In March 2012, Lt. Sham deployed to Logar Province, Afghanistan, where he served as the Rule of Law Officer for both 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division and 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. In November 2012, Lt. Sham transferred to the Office of the Judge Advocate General, Administrative Law (Code 13), where he currently works in the Personnel Law division.

During his time in Afghanistan, Lt. Sham promoted the tenets of the Afghan Constitution and the importance of legitimate government that supports international human rights. Towards these efforts, Lt. Sham spearheaded the development of the Afghan criminal justice system through partnership with Afghan prosecutors, judges, and security forces and developed a training curriculum to educate police forces on Afghan substantive law, legal search and seizure procedures, and police tactics. In efforts to educate the predominantly illiterate populace, Lt. Sham broadcast a weekly radio show across two provinces discussing diverse legal issues including elections and conflict resolution. Lt. Sham also developed the concept and contract for an educational radio drama series, following the life of a fictitious Afghan family through various ordeals, each resolved through facets of a formalized and legitimate Afghan government. Throughout his career as a naval officer, Lt. Sham has consistently sought opportunities to serve as a role model for Asian-Pacific American youth. While serving in Memphis, TN, Lt. Sham volunteered to serve as a mentor for Asian-Pacific American teenagers. Lt. Sham encouraged their participation in community service and outreach events that he organized, helping to instill these teenagers with a strong sense of community service.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Lungerhausen

Staff Sgt. Ryan Lungerhausen was born December 7, 1984 in South Korea . He enlisted in the Marine Corps in February of 2006 and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Upon graduation from 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, he attended the school of infantry, Advanced Infantry Training Battalion in Camp Pendleton, California.

Upon completion of school he was transferred to 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, Camp Pendleton, California and served as a fire team leader, training NCO, combat operations watch c hief and watch officer. In 2007-2008, he deployed to Fallujah Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Then he deployed again in 2009 with the 31st in support of Marine Expeditionary Unit Operations Cobra Gold, Balaktan, and Talisman Saber.

Upon completion of school he was transferred to 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, Camp Pendleton, Calif., and served as a fire team leader, training NCO, combat operations watch chief and watch officer. In 2007-2008, he deployed to Fallujah Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Then he deployed again in 2009 with the 31st in support of Marine Expeditionary Unit Operations Cobra Gold, Balaktan, and Talisman Saber.

In July of 2012, he was meritoriously promoted to Staff Sgt. In August of 2012, he assumed duties as t he Staff Non Commissioned Officer in Charge of Recruiting Sub Station Buford.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Lungerhausen's personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Ms. Juliet Beyler

Ms. Juliet Beyler serves as the Director of Officer & Enlisted Personnel Management, a component of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy. She develops and oversees Department of Defense lifecycle policies and programs relating to overall management of the officer and enlisted force. She also serves as the focal point and Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness for all general and flag officer matters.

Prior to assuming this position, Ms. Beyler served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the office of U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia from 2008 to 2011 where she was responsible for liaison to the Senate Committees on Armed Services and Veterans Affairs, and for oversight of defense, veterans affairs, homeland security, intelligence, and appropriations issues.

A native of Chicago, Ms. Beyler enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1984 and served as an enlisted Korean Cryptologic Linguist and Intelligence Analyst for ten years prior to receiving her commission as a Combat Engineer Officer through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program. Over the course of her 23-year Marine Corps career; she completed numerous deployments around the world, commanding three times and served two combat tours in Iraq as both a Commanding Officer and Engineer Battalion Operations Officer.

Ms. Beyler graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Economics and completed a graduate certificate program in non-profit executive management with Georgetown University. She is married to U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Thomas A. Seagrist and they live with their two australian shepherds.