SURFPAC Celebrates Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
The staff of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SURFPAC) recognized the contributions of generations of Asian-American and Pacific Islander patriots during a command ceremony today.
The Department of Defense observes Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month every May. This year’s theme, “I Am Beyond,” focused on overcoming obstacles faced throughout the years.
Capt. Daniel Gruta, director of training at Navy Reserve U.S. 3rd Fleet Joint Forces Maritime Component Commander Unit, served as the keynote speaker. Gruta told family stories of hardship, perseverance and success in America as a Filipino-American born into a U.S. Navy family.
During the ceremony, local dancers Gargi Chattopadhyaya and Sufi Raina performed two forms of Indian classical dance, Odissi and Kathak.
Today more than 20,000 Asian-American and Pacific Islanders currently serve in the U.S. Navy, making up 6.43% of our active duty naval force. Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders encompass more than 50 ethnic and language groups.