Story and photos by Derek Gean
Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 31, 2018) — Members of the Fort Leonard Wood community gathered to celebrate diversity at the Asian American Pacific Islander Month Observance Tuesday at the Main Post Chapel.

Dr. Anne Maurina, who was raised in South Korea and is the daughter of a Korean War combat medic, served as keynote speaker for the 3rd Chemical Brigade Hosted event.

A St. Robert-based psychologist, Maurina spoke about how Asian culture is often similar to that of military culture.

Dr. Anne Maurina speaks at the Asian American, Pacific Islander Month observance May 29 at the Main Post Chapel.

“I would like to suggest that underneath language barriers and cultural differences, there are core similarities between Asian culture and American military culture,” Maurina said.

Some of those traits she spoke about included the push for excellence, respect for authority and an emphasis on setting high standards.

“It’s difficult to find any place in American life, other than the military, where standards, expectations, and personal discipline are still so clearly set out. For generations, young people have joined the Army to get disciplined,” she said.

Maurina also emphasized the respect for authority among Asian cultures which correlates with military cultures.

“Respecting the chain of command fits perfectly with the military culture in America,” she said.

Following Maurina’s speech, participants had the opportunity to view numerous cultural displays and sample different ethnic foods. The program also featured music from the 399th Army Band and a karate performance by the Yamada-Ha Shito-Ryu Shukokai Dojo, from Rolla.

This year’s theme was “Unite Our Vision by Working Together.”

Students from the Yamada-Ha Shito-Ryu Shukokai Dojo, from Rolla, perform a karate demonstration at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month Observance at the Main Post Chapel May 29. The 3rd Chemical Brigade hosted this year’s observance.