Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

What is it'

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is celebrated in May to recognize the contributions of people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States. Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution in 1978 establishing the first week of May as Asian American Heritage Week. This timeframe was chosen because of two important anniversaries: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the transcontinental railroad by predominantly Chinese laborers on May 10, 1869. In 1990, Congress voted to expand it from a week to a month-long observance and in May 1992, the month of May was permanently designated as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month."

What has the Army done'

The Army has set aside May to celebrate its Asian and Pacific warriors of all generations. The Army plans and executes events and activities at all installations, focusing specifically on Asian and Pacific Soldiers and their families but the greater issue of diversity permeates all activities.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future'

The Army recognizes that all cultures have a place in today's society and places great emphasis on ethnic celebrations and commemorations. In our global society, the future calls for even more cooperation and a "coming together." While Soldiers must work as a team, they should still take pride in their own specific ethnic backgrounds. In the future, the Army will continue to celebrate diversity among Soldiers and civilians as a way to build teamwork and cohesiveness. Ethnic celebrations will be emphasized and continue throughout subsequent years.

Why is this important to the Army'

You've often heard it said that diversity strengthens everything we do. That is true both in and out of the military. Policy calls for the Army to be the national leader in embracing the strengths of diverse people in an inclusive environment and to be an adaptive, culturally astute force. It states that Soldiers must be more effective at understanding the cultures and environments where they serve. According to senior Army leaders, diversity makes us better and more equipped to meet the challenges and threats of the 21st century.


Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S. Army

U.S. Census 2010

Asian Pacific American Heritage Association

Smithsonian Education