With nearly one eighth of the Navy civilian workforce comprising Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, U.S. Navy leaders have designated May as Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
The Defense Department said in a release that 11.7 percent of the Navy’s non-military personnel and 3.2 percent of senior management are Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. Of the 24,743 Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Navy, eight are admirals, 659 are master chief and senior chief petty officers and 318 additional individuals are officers as well.
Officials invite commands nationwide to uphold 2017’s theme: “Unite Our Voices by Speaking Together.” Altogether, Asian-American and Pacific Islander sailors living in the U.S. span over 56 different ethnicities and speak over 100 languages.
"It is an honor and a privilege to serve with such a diverse group of officers and enlisted personnel who make up our Navy," Navy Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, a Filipina who was born in Hawaii and commands the Navy Region Southeast in Jacksonville, Florida, said in the release. "I'm blessed at the opportunities the Navy has given me, and I'm thankful to celebrate this month with my fellow Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders."