In the first half of the 19th century, many people from Asia, particularly Chinese, immigrated to the United Stateswhere opportunities for employment were abundant. This was clearly a condition consistent with a nation that was growingnot only geographically but economically as well. By the start of the Civil War, thousands of Asians were living inthe United States. Many served with distinction in the U.S.

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Brig. Gen. Viet Xuan Luong

2014: The first Vietnamese-born general flag officer in the U.S. military

Brig. Gen. Viet Xuan Luong achieved the rank of brigadier general, Aug. 8, năm trước, at Fort Hood, Texas. Luong emigratedfrom Vietnam with his family khổng lồ the United States in 1975 as a political refugee. Luong came khổng lồ the United Statesas part of Operation Frequent Wind, a mission lớn help rescue Vietnamese citizens from the country during the finaldays of the Vietnam War. Luong"s nearly 27-year military career stemmed from his experience on the deông xã of the USSHancock when he was a little boy leaving Vietnam giới.

Almost 40 years after his rescue, family and friends watched as Luong became the first Vietnamese-born general/flagofficer in the U.S. military during a promotion ceremony on Cooper Field at Fort Hood, Texas, Aug. 8, năm trước.

Vietnamese-born "First Team" officer makes history, pins star

Video: Col. Viet Luong Promotion khổng lồ Brigadier General


Brig. Gen. Miyako N. Schanely

2013: The first female Japanese American, reserve sầu engineer promoted khổng lồ general officer

Brig. Gen. Miyako N. Schanely is also the second Japanese American woman in the armed forces to lớn reach flag rank ata ceremony in Vicksburg, Miss., Dec. 16, 2013.

In an interview with Watertown Daily Times, the brigadier general expressed hopes her career can serve as an examplefor younger Soldiers, noting the engineer field has been populated mostly by men as the military moves to expand opportunitiesfor women.

Schanely credits her military career as a reflection of her military heritage, a proud family tradition, going backto World War II. Her mother, whose parents emigrated from nhật bản before her birth in Hawaii, and her father, both servedin the Air Force. Her stepfather, an warrant officer, performed counterintelligence work in the Pacific as therest of his family was forced into an internment camp, the Times reported.

Miyako Schanely makes history as first female Reserve engineer to lớn make general officer


Brig. Gen. John M. Cho

2013: The first active sầu component brigadier general of Korean descent

Brig. Gen. John M. Cho achieved the rank of brigadier general, June 21, 2013, at Fort Meyer, Va.

Cho is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., và the Uniformed Services University ofHealth Sciences, Bethesdomain authority, Maryland. He completed residencies in general surgery at Fitzsimons Medical Center,Aurora, Colorado, & Cardiothoracic Surgery at Walter Reed Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Cho also completedsubspecialty fellowship training in Pediatric & complex Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester,Minn. He is a 2008 graduate of the U.S. War College where he received a master"s in Strategic Studies.

Cho is board certified as a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery & the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Heis a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He holds active membership in the Society of Thoracic Surgery, andis a certified physician executive of the American College of Physician Executives. Cho"s 30 publications, grants,& abstracts include two of the world"s largest series in cardiac surgery and from 2006 lớn 2010, he was the consultantto lớn the Surgeon General in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

First Active sầu Component American of Korean Descent Promoted


Brig. Gen. Stephen K. Curda

2012: The first Korean American to lớn reach the rank of brigadier general in the Reserve

Brig. Gen. Stephen K. Curdomain authority was promoted to a brigadier general, Aug. 5, 2012, at Mountain View, Calif. The Pentagonannounced, July 2, năm ngoái, that Curdomain authority was selected lớn lead all Reserve Soldiers in the Pacific.

Curda holds a doctorate in educational psychology & instructional giải pháp công nghệ, has held faculty & administrativepositions at Florida State University, University of Tolebởi & University of West Floridomain authority. Currently, he is the Directorof Assessment and Innovative Technology for National Louis University and serves on the faculty of the National Collegeof Education. Reserve sầu in Pacific gets new commander


Rep. Tulmê mệt Gabbard

2010: The first female American Samoan and Hindu lớn ever serve sầu as a thành viên of the U.S. Congress

Rep. Tulđê mê Gabbard is also one of the first two female combat veterans. Gabbard was the first female DistinguishedHonor Graduate at Fort McClellan"s Officer Candidate School, và was the first woman khổng lồ ever receive an award of appreciationfrom the Kuwaiti military on her second overseas tour.

Gabbard was born in Leloaloa, American Samoa, in 1981. The fourth of five children, at the age of two, Gabbard andher family settled in Hawaii. As a teenager, she co-founded the Healthy Hawai"i Coalition, a non-profit, educationalorganization, made up of concerned citizens from across the state, whose two-fold purpose is khổng lồ protect the environmentvà khổng lồ improve sầu individual và community health. An advocate for environmental policy, Gabbard ran for the Hawaii StateLegislature in 2002 & became the youngest person ever elected. A year later, Gabbard joined the Hawaii NationalGuard lớn serve Hawaii"s citizens & our country.

In 2004, Gabbard voluntarily deployed khổng lồ Iraq with her fellow Soldiers of the 29th Brigade, eventually serving twotours of combat duty in the Middle East. Gabbard continues khổng lồ serve sầu the Hawaii National Guard"s 29th Brigade CombatTeam. In between her two tours, Gabbard worked in the U.S. Senate as a legislative sầu aide to Sen. Daniel Akaka, whereshe advised the senator on energy independence, homeland security, the environment, and veterans" affairs.

In 2010, Gabbard ran for the Honolulu City Council và served as Chair of the Safety, Economic Development, & GovernmentAffairs committee and Vice Chair of the Budget committee. Representing Hawaii"s 2nd Congressional District.


Rep. Tammy Duckworth

2006: The first Asian American woman Soldier elected lớn Congress in Illinois

Rep. Tammy Duckworth is also one of the first two female combat veterans, the first disabled woman lớn be elected tothe U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, và the first member of Congress born in Thailand.

In 2004, then-Maj. Duckworth was deployed lớn Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois National Guard.She was one of the first women lớn fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom until her helicopter washit by a rocket-propelled grenade, Nov. 12, 2004. Duckworth lost her legs and partial use of her right arm in theexplosion và was awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries. She was the first female double amputee from thewar. Duckworth spent the next year recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center. As one of the highest-ranking patients,she quickly became an advocate for her fellow Soldiers và testified before Congress about caring for our Veteransand wounded warriors.

Following her recovery, Duckworth ran for Congress in 2006 and after a narrow loss, she became director of the IllinoisDepartment of Veterans Affairs. In Illinois, she worked to create a tax credit for employers who hired Veterans, establisheda first-in-the-nation, 24/7 crisis hotline for Veterans, and developed innovative programs to lớn improve sầu Veterans" accessto lớn housing and health care.

In 2009, President Obama appointed Duckworth to lớn be Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There, Duckworth led aninitiative sầu to end homelessness aao ước Veterans. She created the Office of Online Communications to lớn improve the VA"saccessibility, especially amuốn young Veterans, và also worked to lớn address the unique challenges that American Indiansvà female Veterans face.

Duckworth ran for Congress in 2012 to lớn advocate for the practical solutions & cooperation needed to lớn rebuild our economyand ensure that every American has a chance to achieve sầu the American Dream.

Judge Coral W. Pietsch


Brig. Gen. Coral W. Pietsch

2001: The first female Asian American general officer in the U.S.

Brig. Gen. Coral W. Pietsch became the first woman to lớn be promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. hoiquanzen.comJudge Advocate General"s Corps in 2001. In her military career, Judge Pietsch participated in numerous exercises anddeployments throughout the Asia Pacific Region.

Pietsch was nominated by President Barack Obama and subsequently appointed a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals forVeterans Claims in June 2012.

As part of the 2007 "surge" in Iraq, Pietsch volunteered as a Department of Defense civilian khổng lồ deploy toIraq for a year where she was seconded to the U.S. Department of State lớn serve as the deputy rule of law coordinatorfor the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team. During her deployment khổng lồ Iraq, Pietsch assisted with numerous civilsociety projects involving a variety of Rule of Law partners, including the Iraqi Jurist Union, Iraqi Bar Association,law schools, and international rights, women"s rights & human rights organizations. She evaluated và sought fundingfor numerous projects aimed at building capathành phố within the Iraqi legal community to include the establishment, incđại bại collaboration with the Iraqi Bar Association, of a Legal Aid Clinic at one of the Iraq"s largest detention facilities.During her time in Iraq, she also established meaningful relationships with numerous Government of Iraq ministries,nongovernmental organizations, và Coalition partners lớn help reinvigorate the rule of law in Iraq.

Waterloo lớn Washington: The Long Journey of Coral Wong Pietsch

Secretary Eric K. Shinseki


Gen. Eric K. Shinseki

1999: The first Asian American four-star general và 34th Chief of Staff of the

Gen. Erik K. Shinseki is also the first Asian American lớn hold the post of Veterans Affairs secretary.

Shinseki credited his mother & the brave Asian Americans who served in World War II for paving the way for his successduring a speech at the installation"s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Observance.

Shinseki assumed duties as the 28th Vice Chief of Staff, United States, Nov. 24, 1998. Shinseki assumed dutiesas the 34th Chief of Staff, United States, June 22, 1999. He retired from the United States in June 2003.

Major General John Liu Fugh


Maj. Gen. John Liu Fugh

1984: The first Chinese American general officer in the U.S.

Maj. Gen. John Liu Fugh was a Beijing native who left China with his family after the Communist takeover in 1949.

In 1984, Fugh was promoted khổng lồ the rank of brigadier general, & became the assistant judge advocate general for civillaw. In this position, he created the"s first environmental law division and the procurement fraud division.

Upon his retirement in June 1993, Fugh became a partner in the law firm of McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe, Washington,D.C. From 1995 to lớn 2000, he served as president for several U.S. companies in Beijing, including McDonnell Douglasthat later merged with Boeing Company. As chief executive for these companies, he was responsible for strategic directionof business development and projects in Trung Quốc. His stature as a retired U.S. general officer, coupled with his ethnicbackground & fluency in Mandarin, facilitated in developing relationships with key Chinese government and industrydecision-makers. Throughout his tour in Beijing, he served on the Board of the American Chamber of Commerce.

Fugh is currently Chairman of the Committee of 100, a national, non-partisan group of prominent Chinese Americans thatbrings bicultural perspectives to U.S. relations with Đài Loan Trung Quốc and addresses the concerns of Americans of Chinese/Asiandescent. In addition, he serves on the Executive sầu Committee and a director of the Atlantic Council of the United States,a public policy diễn đàn in Washington, D.C. He also serves on the Advisory Council of Asia Society, Washington Center,and a director of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation.

Fugh graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and the George Washington University Law School.He attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the U.S. War College, & the U.S. Command& General Staff College. He is a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia.

Major General James Mukoyama


Maj. Gen. James Mukoyama

1986: The first Asian American khổng lồ comm& an Division

Maj. Gen. James Mukoyama completed his master"s in Teaching of Social Studies in just one year, while attending OfficerCandidate School, & earning his Jump wings. He was sent lớn Korea &, following repeated requests, to Vietnam, wherehe commanded an infantry company before serving as an advisor to lớn of the Republic of Vietphái mạnh units in the northernpart of South Vietnam giới.

Shortly after his tour in Vietphái nam, Mukoyama left active sầu duty và joined the reserves, serving with training divisionsin Illinois, Michigan, và Indiana. In 1986, Mukoyama was promoted khổng lồ brigadier general, becoming the youngest generalin the at that time. In just three more years, he was promoted to lớn major general, where he commanded the 70thTraining Division.

After retiring from 32 years of military service in 1995, Mukoyama continued his deep involvement in the military throughVeterans" advocacy programs, helping create the Military Outreach of Greater Chicago, serving as vice chair of theSecretary"s Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans, & chairing a committee with the National Veterans" Networkto lớn select the thiết kế for the Congressional Gold Medal award authorized by the Congressional Gold Medal for JapaneseAmerican Veterans.

Lieutenant General Allen K. Ono


Lt. Gen. Allen K. Ono

1986: The"s first Japanese American và Asian American lieutenant general

Lt. Gen. Allen K. Ono was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He served in the for 35 years. He attended public schoolsin Hawaii & was commissioned lớn an infantry officer through the University of Hawaii"s ROTC. His career includedassignments at numerous mainlvà posts, Korea, Vietnam giới, Europe, và Panama, including Commander of the RecruitingCommvà. His final position was as the deputy chief of staff for personnel, 1986-1990, responsible for humanresources policy for the entire

Upon retirement from the, he returned to Hawaii as executive sầu vice president và a thành viên of the Board of Directorsat American Savings Bank.

Senator Daniel K. Inouye


Sen. Daniel K. Inouye

2000: The first Japanese American và only second recipient to receive both the Medal of Freedom and the Medal of Honor

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye is also the first Japanese American khổng lồ serve in Congress.

Inouye was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept. 7, 1924. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Hawaii,& his law degree from George Washington University.

On Dec. 7, 1941, the fateful day of the Japanese attaông xã on Pearl Harbor, 17-year-old Dan Inouye was one of the firstAmericans to lớn handle civilian casualties in the Pacific war. He had taken medical aid training and was pressed intoservice as head of a first-aid litter team. He saw a "lot of blood" và did not go home for a week.

During World War II, Inouye served in the U.S."s 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Composed of Soldiers of Japaneseancestry, the 442nd became one of the most decorated military units in U.S. history. For his combat heroism, whichcost hyên his right arm, Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star, andthe Purple Heart with Cluster. He practiced law in Hawaii before entering territorial politics in 1954.

When Hawaii became the 50th state, Inouye became one of its first representatives in the U.S. Congress, then won electionkhổng lồ the U.S. Senate in 1962. Sen. Inouye gained national distinction in the 1970s as a member of the Senate WatergateCommittee &, in 1987, as chairman of the Senate Iran-Contra Committee. He was a long-time member of the Senate AppropriationsCommittee, which he chaired from 2009 to 2012, and also served as the Senate"s president pro tempore from 2010 untilhis death in 2012. In 2013, Inouye was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, becoming the firstsenator khổng lồ receive sầu both the Medal of Freedom & the Medal of Honor.

Judge Herbert Choy


Judge Herbert Choy

1971: The first Asian American federal judge

Judge Herbert Choy was previously a first lieutenant in the & became the first Asian American federal judgein 1971 & the first person of Korean ancestry to be admitted lớn the bar in the United States.

Fresh out of Harvard, Choy"s life forever changed on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor. The nextday, he enlisted in the

As a member of the Reserve Officers Training Corps, he entered the as a lieutenant and left as a captain, afterserving in both nhật bản và Korea, part of the time as a thành viên of the"s Judge Advocate General"s Corps.

Choy was a retired lieutenant colonel in the Reserves JAG Corps. He emerged from the tri-lingual, masteringKorean, Japanese và English.

Colonel Young-Oak Kim


Col. Young-Oak Kim

1951: The first Asian American khổng lồ lead a combat battalion in a war

Col. Young-Oak Kim is also the only Korean American to lớn be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions atthe Battle of Anzio during World War II. Kyên ổn, having reenlisted and promoted khổng lồ major, became the first ethnic minorityto comm& a regular combat battalion, the first of the 31st Infantry.

When then-2nd Lt. Young Oak Kyên ổn reported for duty at Camp Shelby, Miss., in February 1943, the commander of the 100thBattalion (Separate), Lt. Col. Farrant Turner, offered hlặng an immediate transfer because "Koreans & Japanesedon"t always get along."

Klặng refused on the spot,"You"re wrong. They"re Americans, I"m American, and we"re going lớn fight for America."The young Korean American lieutenant was being both patriotic & pragmatic. Born in 1919 in downtown Los Angeles;amid Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, và Jewish immigrants, Kyên knew his opportunities for advancement would be limitedin a "white man"s" "If I wasn"t with the 100th," Kim recalled many years later, "Iwould be a quảng cáo officer or have sầu some insignificant duty someplace else, because notoàn thân was goingkhổng lồ let me, as an Asian, command regular troops."

Captain Fred Ohr


Captain Fred Ohr

1941: Capt. Fred Ohr is the first and only American fighter ace of Korean descent

Dr. Fred Ohr was born in Portl&, Ore., in 1919, và became an aviation cadet in 1941. He was later assigned lớn the2nd Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Group in North Africa và Sicily as a fighter pilot flying Spitfires. He scoredhis first aerial combat victory flying a Spitfire in 1943. The rest of his victories came after the group transitionedto P-51s in 1944. Ohr ended his tour of duty as the squadron"s commanding officer.

Then-Maj. Fred F. Ohr served with: 2nd Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Group; 116th Cavalry Regiment, Idaho NationalGuard; 183rd Field Artillery; 115th Cavalry; 12th Air Force; 15th Air Force; & 68th Material Service Squadron.

After the war, he returned to college in California. He studied at the University of California, Berkley, & NorthwesternDental School in Chicago. He established a career as a dental surgeon in Chicago.

Private Joseph L. Pierce


Private Joseph L. Pierce

Pvt. Joseph L. Pierce was age 21 when he enlisted in the 14th Connecticut Infantry in August 1862. It"s unclear howPierce ended up in the United States. One story has it that his father sold him to Connecticut ship Captain Amos Peck.Another story was that his brother sold hyên . Still another was that Peông chồng picked Pierce up while he was adrift inthe South Đài Loan Trung Quốc Sea. Pechồng, a lifelong bachelor, turned the 10-year-old he called "Joe" over to his motherin Connecticut. In his youth, Joe went lớn school with the Peck"s children and formally became Joseph Pierce in 1853.He picked up his last name from President Franklin Pierce. Pierce worked as a farmer in New Britain, Connecticut,at the time of his military enlistment. He listed his birthplace as Canton in Kwangtung Province, Trung Quốc.

Pierce"s regiment participated in the Battle of Antietam, Md., Sept. 17, 1862. He suffered some sickness during histime around Washington and was in the hospital for a time. He was assigned lớn the Quartermaster Department for a bitand rejoined the 14th in time for the Battle of Chancellorsville, Va. in May 1863. The 14th had a distinguished rolein the Gettysburg chiến dịch. It fought on the north part of Cemetery Ridge, July 2, và was one of the units that helpedrepel Pickett"s Charge. The 14th was primarily responsible for turning baông chồng Brig. Gen. James Pettigrew"s North Carolinadivision. The 14th"s regimental history says that during Pickett"s charge, Pierce appeared "pig-tail & all,the only Chinese in the of the Potomac," but as history reflects, he wasn"t in fact the only Soldier ofChinese descent. Today, you can see the 14th Memorial to lớn the north of the grove sầu of trees marking the high-water markof the Confederacy.

Edward Day Cohota


Edward Day Cohota

In 1845, Sargent S. Day, captain of the square-rigged merchant ship Cohota, left Shangnhì, Trung Quốc, bound for Massachusetts.Two days from port, he discovered two little half-starved Chinese boys on board. The older boy died, but Day "adopted"the younger boy and named hyên Edward Day Cohota. Edward sailed the world with Captain & Mrs. Day until the captainretired to lớn Gloucester, Mass., in 1857. He attended school và the other Day children treated hyên as a brother.

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With the outbreak of the American Civil War, Cohota joined the 23rd Massachusetts Infantry. He fought in the Battleof Drury"s Bluff near Richmond, Va., on May 16, 1864, và at the Battle of Cold Harbor, Va., June 3, 1864. He stayedwith the of the Potomac through the kết thúc of the war. After the war, Cohota rejoined the & was stationedat Fort Randall, Dakota Territory. He married and had six children. He served in the for 30 years. He believedthat his military service qualified him for U.S. citizenship. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion act,a legal measure enacted lớn cease the immigration of Chinese laborers into the United States. Because Cohota hadn"tsubmitted his second phối of naturalization papers prior khổng lồ the passing of this Act, he ultimately was unable to gainAmerican citizenship. Cohota died at the Battle Mountain Sanitarium for Veterans in Hot Springs, S.D., in 1935.