Written by Lt. Hermie Mendoza
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.
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.
“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.