Army Acquisition executive leads Asian Pacific observance
May 24, 2013
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - A fashion show of traditional attire, aromatic foods, valuable artifacts and dramatic chronicles of distinguished military service made for a colorful presentation of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance at the Myer Auditorium May 20.
Hundreds of APG Soldiers and civilians gathered to honor the military heroes, politicians, entertainers, athletes, engineers, logisticians and more of Asian-Pacific decent who helped build the nation, fought in its wars and continue to make it a better place.
Master of ceremonies Jeff Jurgensen of CECOM said the observance is held in May to mark the first arrival of Japanese immigrants to American shores as well as the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, on which so many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders contributed.
Col. Ray Compton of the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command offered welcoming remarks calling the guest speaker a great example of American culture and diversity, and Stephen Kreider, Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S), introduced her as the Army Acquisition Executive, senior procurement executive, senior advisor to the Secretary of the Army and the Army's senior research and development official.
"She leads the execution of the Army's acquisition function and the acquisition management system," Keider said.
Guest speaker Heidi Shyu, is the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA) (ALT).
Shyu said she was glad to share this "very special moment" with APG and that contributions to society by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders cannot be overstated, especially in the Army Acquisition arena with its estimated 30 percent population.
"Army acquisition has made great strides in the last 10 years," Shyu said. "We've outfitted Soldiers with state-of-the-art equipment that has changed the face of war and is saving the lives of Soldiers today. We own the night."
She said the armed forces contain more than 50,000 Asian American and Pacific Islanders who are proudly serving the nation, including former Army Secretary, retired Gen. Eric Shinseki, current Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Shyu noted that it's her job to provide the best equipment to Soldiers and that she is proud to serve with an Army Acquisition workforce strong in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Maj. Gen. Robert Ferrell, APG senior commander and commander of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, and CECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Kennis Dent presented Shyu with a commemorative plaque as thanks for her visit.
"Thanks for your time, your leadership, your partnership, and most of all your support," said Ferrell.
After the program, guests enjoyed a food sampling featuring dishes such as Chinese fried rice; Singapore Curry Noodles; Filipino Lumpia and Pakora (fried fritters) in the auditorium lobby and then viewed cultural displays under canopies in the courtyard.
In addition, APG civilians and members of the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) put on a fashion show of traditional Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipino attire and the Abingdon Martial Arts group put on a self defense demonstration.
The event's theme was "Building leadership: Embracing cultural values and inclusion."