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.
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.
U.S. Army Center of Military History: Asian-Pacific-Americans in the U.S. Army
Army.mil: Asian-American and Pacific Islanders in the United States Army
Go For Broke National Education Center | Information on Japanese American veterans of World War II and their contributions to our nation.
Smithsonian: A More Perfect Union - Japanese Americans and the U.S. Constitution
The Library of Congress: Asian Pacific Americans: Going for Broke