HomeNewsArticle

Navy Celebrates National Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Navy News Service

PRINT  |  E-MAIL  |  CONTACT AUTHOR

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2017 — The Navy joins the nation in celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month throughout May.

Sailors and Defense Department civilians assigned to Naval Information Forces, Naval Network Warfare Command, 10th Fleet and Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command gather to recognize 2016's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a ceremony in Suffolk, Va., May 24, 2016. The Navy kicked off its 2017 observance May 1. Navy photo by Robert Fluegel
Sailors and Defense Department civilians assigned to Naval Information Forces, Naval Network Warfare Command, 10th Fleet and Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command gather to recognize 2016's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a ceremony in Suffolk, Va., May 24, 2016. The Navy kicked off its 2017 observance May 1. Navy photo by Robert Fluegel
Sailors and Defense Department civilians assigned to Naval Information Forces, Naval Network Warfare Command, 10th Fleet and Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command gather to recognize 2016's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a ceremony in Suffolk, Va., May 24, 2016. The Navy kicked off its 2017 observance May 1. Navy photo by Robert Fluegel Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Ceremony
Sailors and Defense Department civilians assigned to Naval Information Forces, Naval Network Warfare Command, 10th Fleet and Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command gather to recognize 2016's Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a ceremony in Suffolk, Va., May 24, 2016. The Navy kicked off its 2017 observance May 1. Navy photo by Robert Fluegel

Navy officials are encouraging commands to celebrate and reflect on this year's theme, "Unite Our Voices by Speaking Together."

"It is an honor and a privilege to serve with such a diverse group of officers and enlisted personnel who make up our Navy," said Navy Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, a Hawaiian-born Filipina and commander of Navy Region Southeast in Jacksonville, Florida. "I'm blessed at the opportunities the Navy has given me, and I'm thankful to celebrate this month with my fellow Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders."

A total of 24,743 Asian American and Pacific Islander sailors are serving in the Navy, including eight admirals, 659 master chief and senior chief petty officers and 318 officers. These sailors represent more than 56 ethnic groups, speaking over 100 languages from Asia and the Pacific Islands, living in the United States.

Proud History

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders represent 11.7 percent of the Navy civilian workforce, and 3.2 percent of Senior Executive Service members. "Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have a proud history," Bolivar said. "It's a history of service. We're dedicated not only to our heritage, but also to our Navy, to be a shining example of the core values that guide us: honor, courage and commitment."

Asian American and Pacific Islanders of various nationalities and ancestry have been serving in the Navy since the early 19th century, struggling against adversity to achieve equality and contributing to a bright future for those who have followed.