WSMR holds Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month Observance

White Sands Missile Range held its Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month Observance at the Frontier Club where the WSMR community gathered to listen to the guest speaker, William Beaumont Army Medical Center Command Sgt. Maj. Liela Shadmani.

This observance’s theme is “Advancing Leaders Through Innovation” which provides an opportunity to reflect on the contribution of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders’ tremendous contributions to the history of the nation. Even though exclusionary laws prevented citizenship throughout the 19th and much of the 20th century, these AA and NHPI Soldiers have served in the Army since the Civil War with honor, distinction, courage, and selfless service.

During her presentation, Shadmani reflected on how the diversity of the Army’s Soldiers and Civilians provides us the potential to work more effectively at home and abroad. "Innovation is born from diversity, each unique perspective and experience enriches our collective strength, driving us to new heights," said Shadmani.

Today’s Army stands on the tradition of sacrifice of AA and NHPI Soldiers, including: the 442 Regimental Combat Team, WWII’s all Japanese American unit and one of the most decorated units in Army history; the Filipino Veterans of WWII, who were collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2015 in recognition of their outstanding wartime achievements and honorable contributions to the United States. As the Army shapes the future force, ensuring every individual can maximize their potential will be top priority in order to build high-performing and cohesive teams.

Shadmani was born and raised in Guam and enlisted into the U.S. Army in May 2002. She graduated the 10-week basic combat training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and shortly after graduated from a six-week dental specialist course for advanced individual training at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas earning the MOS 68E. Shadmani has also earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Education, Master of Science in Sports and Heath, Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Science, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.