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Civil Rights News | June 20, 2024

Coast Guard Honors AANHPI Heritage and Contributions in May

By Patrick Ferraris, Communications Specialist, Civil Rights Directorate

The Coast Guard celebrated Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month in May to honor the rich cultures and contributions of AANHPI communities to the Nation and military.  

Vice Admiral Andrew Tiongson, Pacific Area Commander, served as a guest speaker at the Pentagon’s AANHPI celebration on May 15th. You can watch a recording here. In his remarks, Tiongson reflected on his role and the Coast Guard’s impact across the Pacific. 

“It's not lost on me how profound my position as Pacific Area Commander is today. A Filipino American leading thousands of women and men as they project maritime governance across the Indo-Pacific. I am truly honored by that. I’m incredibly proud to represent those people I serve.” 

Tiongson also discussed the importance of celebrating heritage and fostering a sense of unity and pride among service members and the broader community. 

“In many ways, our AANHPI community along with the heritage and affinity months and in celebrations just like this magnificent one right here, are key to the success to the Services of tomorrow. I am proud of the Coast Guard. I am proud of the joint force. And I am proud of the AANHPI community and those that wear and have worn the cloth of our country. To protect, defend, and save our cherished way of life.”   

Coast Guard Headquarters welcomed Congressman James Moylan, Guam’s congressional delegate to the 118th U.S. Congress, on May 14th. Congressman Moylan spoke to the workforce about Guam’s relationship with the United States Coast Guard and then underlined the strength of the AANHPI community. 

“I like to highlight that AANHPI communities are resilient people who have overcome wars, oppression, and tyranny throughout history. We have shown that we are strong, courageous, and capable of rising up in the face of adversity.”  

He concluded his remarks by urging the audience to reflect on the rich tapestry of the AANHPI community. 

“During the month of May and beyond, let us continue to pay tribute to the achievements and invaluable contributions of over 50 ethnic groups, speaking more than 100 languages and dialects. Let us honor the rich diversity of cultures, traditions, and contributions that the AANHPI community has woven into American's history."

Members of the CGHQ AANHPI Heritage Month Planning Committee pose with Congressman James Moylan and the cultural entertainers.
Mr. Richard Tschampel (Third from the left), CGHQ AANHPI Heritage Month Executive Champion, Vice Admiral Paul Thomas (Fourth from Left), and Congressman James Moylan (Third from Right), pose with the CGHQ AANHPI Heritage Month planning committee and entertainers after CGHQ's AANHPI Heritage Month event 14 May 2024. (Coast Guard Photo by Patrick Ferraris).