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U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kenlong Nguyen, a patrolman with the Provost Marshal’s Office, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Smedley D. Butler, poses for a photo on Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, May 5, 2021. In the month of May, the achievements and contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are celebrated and recognized throughout the military community. On October 23, 1992, AAPI Heritage Month was permanently designated after Congress passed Public Law 102-450. The 2021 observance theme for AAPIHM is “Advancing Leaders." Nguyen is a first generation Vietnamese-American from San Jose, California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Terry Wong)

Photo by Cpl. Terry Wong

Faces of MCIPAC: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

13 May 2021 | Marine Corps Installations Pacific

In the month of May, the achievements and contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islanders are celebrated and recognized throughout the military community. On October 23, 1992, AAPI Heritage Month was permanently designated after Congress passed Public Law 102-450. The Marine Corps observance theme for 2021 AAPIHM is “Advancing Leaders.”

Lance Cpl. Kenlong Nguyen, a Vietnamese American from San Jose, California, is a patrolman with the Provost Marshal’s Office, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Smedley D. Butler.

Nguyen’s family immigrated from Vietnam in the 1980s arriving in the state of California. He and his sister were the first members of his family to be born in the U.S., making them first-generation Vietnamese-Americans. Nguyen graduated from Santa Clara High School and joined the Marine Corps in October 2018.

“I joined the Marine Corps to give back to the country that has helped me and my family in so many ways,” said Nguyen. “I also wanted to develop myself as a person and I enjoy helping other people.”

Following graduation from recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in January 2019, Nguyen went to Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton in California. After graduating from MCT in March 2019, he arrived in Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri, for Law Enforcement Military Police Course where he learned the core skills of his newly assigned specialty, from military law to firearms handling. In August 2019, Nguyen received orders to Okinawa, Japan, where he is now serving as a military police patrolman on Camp Foster.

As a military police patrolman, Nguyen’s job is to ensure the safety of personnel and families aboard the camps, as well as providing security and law enforcement.

“Normal duties for military policemen include patrolling the bases and conducting post and perimeter checks,” said Nguyen. “We also respond to calls and make sure everything is good to go around the camp.”

Nguyen’s future goals are to get promoted to the rank of Corporal and to become a Marine Security Guard, as one of his reasons for joining the Marine Corps was to travel and explore the world.

“My family are Bhuddists, and we believe that you must work hard, be humble and always be thankful for what you have,” said Nguyen. “I stay true to those values to keep me on track as I progress as a person, a leader and a Marine.”

Commands are encouraged to observe and recognize the service and achievements of AAPI service members, veterans and civilians on AAPIHM. For more information regarding AAPIHM, view MARADMINS 235/21.


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Marine Corps Installations Pacific