Uniting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders within the Coast Guard

The recently established Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC)-USCG affinity group serves as the preferred forum within the Coast Guard for civilian and military employees of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAOIN) descent. The AAPI community encompasses more than 30 ethnic groups and is the fastest growing racial group in the U.S.

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Written by Lt. Hermie Mendoza

Vice Adm. Charles Ray with a Chinese lion dancer at Coast Guard Island’s 2015 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage celebration.
Vice Adm. Charles Ray with a Chinese lion dancer at Coast Guard Island’s 2015 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage celebration.

On October 23, 2015, the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC)-USCG affinity group was established. Our nationally recognized non-profit organization serves as the preferred forum within the Coast Guard for civilian and military employees of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent.

After more than a decade of dispersed AAPI groups throughout the Coast Guard, FAPAC-USCG united them with the Coast Guard Headquarters Asian American Pacific Islander Network (AAPIN). Our FAPAC-recognized chapter provides AAPIs within the Coast Guard a unified voice. It serves as a conduit to promote awareness of AAPI contributions and professional development opportunities while advancing AAPI-specific interests, issues, and representation in the Coast Guard. Our philanthropic advocacy and collaboration also forges partnerships with the public and private sectors in the many communities served by the Coast Guard.

“I’m really excited about the birth of the FAPAC-USCG [chapter]. It’s a lot of hard work to establish a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit group, but the dividends will be huge. I envision our members not only leading the local annual AAPI heritage month celebrations. In the future, they will be able to provide academic scholarships for high school, college, and adult students. I see them attending the many FAPAC leadership and other professional development sessions in-person and online. I see them doing great things for today’s and tomorrow’s generation of AAPIs,” said Ens. Frank Lim, president of FAPAC-USCG.

By 2050, the White House Initiative on AAPIs projects that the community will be 35.6 million
By 2050, the White House Initiative on AAPIs projects that the community will be 35.6 million

The AAPI community encompasses more than 30 ethnic groups and is the fastest growing racial group in the U.S. By 2050, the White House Initiative on AAPIs projects that the community will be 35.6 million.

In the Coast Guard, approximately 2% of active members are AAPI descent.

“[AAPIs] are a small population within the Coast Guard and have always been an integral contributor to the Coast Guard’s many successes. Our goal is to have FAPAC-USCG serve as a career resource for AAPIs and others,” said Cmdr. Michael Sharp, a senior advisor of FAPAC-USCG.

FAPAC-USCG works in harmony with the national FAPAC organization and the Department of Homeland Security’s AAPIN  to provide leadership, diversity and inclusion, and career advancement and management training. Training opportunities are not limited to those in the National Capital Region. Chapter members from around the Coast Guard will be able to join and learn.

In addition to training, the FAPAC-USCG chapter will engage with community leaders and conduct outreach to help fulfill the unmet needs of the local community.

Congresswoman Tulsi  Gabbard with Adm. Paul Zukunft, Rear Adm. Joseph Vojvodich, and Ens. Frank Lim at Coast Guard Headquarters’ 2015 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage celebration.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard with Adm. Paul Zukunft, Rear Adm. Joseph Vojvodich, and Ens. Frank Lim at Coast Guard Headquarters’ 2015 Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage celebration.

“When you think of FAPAC-USCG, it’s much more than promoting diversity and inclusion. Our chapter is compelled to invest in our local communities and encourage sustainable growth,” Lim said.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

FAPAC-USCG has taken much more than single step. It has set its course to be an influential partner in Coast Guard and local communities.

Interested in joining or sharing our journey? Membership is open to all civilian and military employees. Follow us also on Facebook and Instagram.

2 comments on “Uniting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders within the Coast Guard”

  1. Is there any festivities planned for Asian Pacific Islander Month? I’d like to take part in any way I can. I can be reached via my CG email or via phone at (843) 343-4328.

    V/r,

    MEC Debbie Perez

    1. Chief,

      I know of some local events happening at Coast Guard HQ, but not sure of any other events throughout the Coast Guard. If you can send us an email at , we can try to connect with the right person to find out!

      Very Respectfully,
      LT Katie Braynard
      Coast Guard Public Affairs

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