Skip to main content
Related Content
Cold War

Throughout the Cold War, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders honorably served the United States.  In 1948, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981 mandating, "there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all personnel in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin."  In 1965, restrictions on prior Asian immigration was lifted with the Immigration and Nationality Act.  During the Vietnam War, over 35,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders served during the conflict.  In 1971, the U.S. Navy lifted restrictions on limiting Philippine-born recruits in the service to the steward rating and provided English language education for the service members in 1973.   Of note, in 1980, Ming Chang, was the first naturalized Asian American to be promoted to flag rank.   Chang served for thirty-four years in the U.S. Navy. 

Other resources:

NHHC Asian Americans-Pacific Islanders Focus

Image:  80-G-436654:  Corporal Evangeline Lyau, USMC, 1951.   Lyau places a wreath on plaque on board the remains onboard USS Arizona (BB-39).  Official U.S. Navy photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.