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Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebrated

by NAVIFOR Public Affairs
21 June 2017

Sailors and DoD civilians assigned to Naval Information Forces (NAVIFOR), Naval Network Warfare Command (NNWC), U.S. 10th Fleet, Suffolk and Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command (NCDOC) gathered to recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with a ceremony held May 25.

Rear Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, commander, NAVIFOR, delivered the observance's opening remarks and introduced the guest speaker.

Honorable Ron Villanueva, Virginia House of Delegates 21st District and from Virginia, served as guest speaker for the event held in the Information Dominance Corps Hall of Heroes auditorium.

"AAPI's have made significant contributions to America's social, economic, political, educational, artistic, literary, scientific, medical, and entertainment communities," said Villanueva. "They are part of the overall fabric of America and they continue to help build our great nation."

Delegate Villanueva considered himself fortunate to be at NAVIFOR with the men and women of the military as we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

"In May we recognize the achievements and celebrate the diversity of Asian American and Pacific Islander culture and heritage," said Villanueva. "AAPI's have become leaders, activists, and of course politicians."

In closing, Delegate Villanueva congratulated and thanked the men and women present today and throughout the organization for all that they do in making America safer.

On May 7, 1990, President George H. W. Bush issued a proclamation designating May 1990 as the first AAPI Heritage Month, changing the observance from a week to a month.

This year's theme, "Unite Our Voices by Speaking Together," encouraged all Sailors and civilian employees to reflect on the impacts of AAPI's on U. S. history.

According to the Naval Heritage and History Command, there are 24,500 AAPI Sailors serving in the Navy today, including eight admirals and 235 master chief and senior chief petty officers. These Sailors represent more than 56 ethnic groups, speaking over 100 languages from Asia and the Pacific Islands, living in the United States.

AAPI Heritage Month offers us an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions AAPI have made to our nation, reflect on the challenges still faced by AAPI communities, and recommit to making the American Dream a reality for everyone. AAPIs comprise many ethnicities and languages, and their myriad achievements embody the American experience. Many AAPI communities continue to fight prejudice and struggle to overcome disparities in education, employment, housing, and health care.

NAVIFOR's mission is to provide combat-ready Information Warfare forces to operational commanders, ashore and afloat, that are forward deployable, fully trained, properly manned, capably equipped, always ready, well-maintained and combat sustainable.

For more information on NAVIFOR, visit the command's web site at, our Navy News Web page at or Facebook page at


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