POP-UP STORMS

Storms to linger overnight before less humid Monday

Asian and Pacific Islander Americans who serve in armed forces honored at Fort Hamilton ceremony

The ceremony is part of Asia Americans and Pacific Islander Heritage Month as the group accounts for less than 5% of the armed forces.

News 12 Staff

May 21, 2021, 12:21 AM

Updated 1,130 days ago

Share:

Brave Asian and Pacific Islander Americans who served in the military were honored in a special ceremony at Fort Hamilton Thursday.
The ceremony is part of Asia Americans and Pacific Islander Heritage Month as the group accounts for less than 5% of the armed forces.
Among those who were honored, Capt. Sungjae Kim was recognized for his service in the army as the company commander of New York City's Recruiting Battalion's Queens Company.
He started off in a completely different field: accounting.
"I didn't like it, and then by the time I was in the master's program, it was too late. I thought it was too late until I joined the army," Kim explained.
While his father served in the South Korean army, Kim didn't think it was possible for him to join the U.S. military because he was technically not a U.S. citizen. Then he learned of a program that could help.
"You know with the opportunity to join the army and get citizenship and I looked at their website and what they're looking for is people with foreign language skills, and accounting background as well so I'm like 'I'll be a perfect fit,'" Kim said.
He admitted there was some culture shock when he met people in the military from less diverse backgrounds.
"It was awkward. Some of them just came to me and say, 'Oh, I've never spoken to an Asian before,' and I said, 'Oh, now you do,'" Kim said.
Kim is optimistic that number of people who are of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to serve in the armed forces will grow.
"We do our best to recruit people with diverse backgrounds," Kim said.


More from News 12