Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated in May in recognition of the contributions made by people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States.

The Army joins the nation in honoring Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander descent for their military and civilian service within the department. These individuals have proudly served in America's Army from the Civil War to current operations all around the world.

The "Asian-American and Pacific Islander" designation encompasses more than 50 ethnic or language groups, including native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. There are now more recognized Asian and Pacific Islander groups than in the past, with 28 Asian and 19 Pacific Islander subgroups representing a vast array of languages and cultures.

The observance began when Congress passed a joint congressional resolution in 1978 to commemorate Asian Pacific American Heritage Week during the first week of May. This date was chosen because two important anniversaries occurred during this time:
•The arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America in 1843.
•The completion of the transcontinental railroad.

U.S. Army Reserve 1st Lt. Christian Lance Relleve from the 453rd Chemical Battalion in Bell, California, speaks about his heritage on May 3, 2022, in Muscatatuck, Indiana.
In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, members of the Alegado family share parallels in their Filipino heritage and their experience as a military family. Members of the Alegado family immigrated to the U.S. from San Antonio, Zambales, Philippines. (U.S. Army Reserve video by Sgt. Leon Orange)
Capt. Vancamp Popese, 100th Battalion, talks about what service means to him and talks about his family's legacy of service. Also interviewed is his dad, Popese Popese Jr., talking about life in the military and why he served for his family.
Mothers inspire us to be better people. One Army Reserve Soldier and mother demonstrates this in an exceptional way to her children and inspires them to continue her legacy. Interviews: Spc. Jeremy Revera 9th Mission Support Command Sgt. Jody Peter 1984th U.S. Army Hospital
Lt. Col. Charles Djou of the 9th Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve, talks about what makes American Samoa a unique and significant place to serve. In the month of May, we celebrate the rich history and traditions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and recognize their profound impact on the readiness and future of America's Army Reserve.


Army leaders sustain force capability by properly seeking out, accessing, developing and fully utilizing the individual talents and backgrounds of Soldiers.

Army leadership values the honorable service of all the Service members. In May, a special acknowledgment of Asian and Pacific American Service members, past and present, is prioritized.

Army leadership at installations and National Guard/Army Reserve locations will focus on recognizing Soldiers and civilians of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and their past exploits to present day mission support. The goal is to raise awareness and understanding of their service and sacrifice made throughout history.