Each May, we honor the contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islanders. We celebrate the strength of our diversity and explore the history, culture, and traditions of our Asian American and Pacific Islander teammates.
The United States is a Pacific Nation, and throughout USARPAC's long history, Asian American and Pacific Islander patriots have played a critical role in defense of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
We celebrate the examples of Korean American Major Kim, Young-Oak, the first ethnic minority to command a regular combat battalion (1st Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment) and of Private First Class Herbert K. Pililaau, a Pacific Islander American from Hawaii who received the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action on "Heartbreak Ridge" near Pia-ri, Korea, with the 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, on September 17, 1951.
We also highlight one of the most highly decorated units in our U.S. military history, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Members of this all-Japanese American unit from WWII overcame adversity and received a total of 21 Medals of Honor, eight Presidential Unit Citations and 9,485 Purple Heart medals.
These and many other courageous Asian American and Pacific Islanders answered the call to defend our Nation's freedoms, and they represent just the tip of the iceberg of contributions made by our Asian American and Pacific Islander team members, whose efforts help define U.S. Army Pacific. We draw strength through our diversity and continue to be inspired by their courage and sacrifice.
During this year's observance, we encourage each of you to embrace our roots and take time to learn more about the history of these proud Americans by attending your local observance.
ROBERT B. BROWN
Command Sergeant Major