NCIS Headquarters Recognize Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Story Number: NNS120514-04Release Date: 5/14/2012 10:45:00 AM
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By Crystal Nosal, Naval Criminal Investigative Service Public Affairs

QUANTICO, Va. (NNS) -- The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Headquarters in Quantico, VA, hosted an Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance May 8.

NCIS has three field offices in the Asian Pacific region, including the Far East Field Office in Japan, the Singapore Field Office, and the Hawaii Field Office.

Prior to the ceremony, a presentation on notable Asian Americans played on screens in the front of the room and the Quantico U.S. Marine Corps Band played several songs. Scientists, doctors, athletes, and actors were featured with short biographies attached. During the ceremony, NCIS Special Agent (SA) Paul Lee sang the national anthem. Several speakers commented on noted contributions that Asian and Pacific Islanders have made to the law enforcement community, including the Japanese invention of super glue fuming methods for preserving fingerprints and DNA and body armor.

The keynote speaker, Rear Adm. Peter A. Gumataotao, greeted the room by saying hello in six different Asian languages. Gumataotao is the first Guam native to rise to the rank of rear admiral. His speech focused on the three components of building good teams using trust, respect, and loyalty.

"Each person has their own perspective to bring to a team, and each person can look at the same thing differently," said Gumataotao.

After the admiral's speech, a local martial arts team performed an intense karate demonstration for the audience. The event concluded with a food tasting of Filipino, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.

After the ceremony, Gumataotao asked several of the event coordinators about their heritage. When Lee said that he was Korean, the admiral asked if he knew the "Aegukga." Lee replied, "Of course, sir, it is the national anthem of my homeland."

Gumataotao went on to explain that while he was assigned to Korea, he asked his aide to teach him the Korean national anthem to show respect to and solidarity with the Korean generals with whom he worked. The admiral then asked Lee to sing with him, and all present were treated to an impromptu duet of "Aegukga."

Mike Lariosa, the NCIS Special Emphasis program manager, stated "This event really highlighted the visible link between NCIS and the fleet we support."

NCIS is a federal law enforcement agency that protects and defends the U.S. Department of the Navy against terrorism and foreign intelligence threats, investigates major criminal offenses and provides law enforcement and security services to the Navy and Marine Corps on a worldwide basis. The agency is comprised of approximately 2,400 total employees, including 1,200 civilian special agents, in more than 150 locations around the world.

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