Guest Speaker Chaplain (COL) Suk Kim

Fort Meade Observes Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

     Each May, the United States recognizes the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) to the history, culture and achievements of the U.S. The U.S. Army Field Band, the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing (ISRW) and the Fort Meade Equal Opportunity (EO) Office hosted this year's Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Observance May 18, in ceremonies held at Club Meade.

     The Army Field Band's Soldier's Chorus opened the ceremony with the national anthem and later in the program performed the song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. This year's guest speaker was Chaplain (COL) Suk Kim, the former Fort Meade Garrison Senior Chaplain and currently the Agency Chaplain for the Defense Information Systems Agency and the Command Chaplain for Joint Force Headquarters-Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN).

     Chaplain Kim, born in South Korea in 1965, emigrated to the U.S. In 1986. He enlisted in the Army in 1990 as a cavalry scout. After four years in the Army, Kim served the Korean-American Church in Dallas, Texas as a youth pastor, education director and associate pastor before rejoining the Army as an active-duty chaplain in 2001.

     This year's AAPI Heritage Month observance theme is “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity”. In his remarks, Kim acknowledged Asian American leaders in the Department of Defense like former Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki as inspirations in his military career. His main point was taking advantage of every opportunity when it presents itself, “Every day presents opportunities. We cannot simply overlook today and hope for a better tomorrow. Reflecting on my own journey, I realized that each particular moment shaped my present reality. If I had not made the decision to come to the U.S., I wouldn't be here where I am today,” said Kim.

     Colonel Michael Sapp, Commander U.S. Army Garrison Fort Meade, concluded the observance with the presentation of a commemorative plaque to Chaplain Kim. The next EO observance is the “Pride Month” observance, Wednesday, June 28, from 11:30a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Club Meade.