“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” In this next episode of AAPI Leaders Unmuted, I talk with Captain Faelisha Yeager and MSgt Ron Esposo on what it means to “Not Be Asian Enough.” We talk about our awkward experiences with interacting with other AAPIs, what are the common catalysts to the feeling of not being enough, and how we can elevate ourselves to stop being so divisive and start being more inclusive amongst our own.
Captain Faliesha Yeager currently serves as Officer Functional Area Manager, 70th Operations Support Squadron, Ft Meade, Maryland. Captain Yeager received her in commission as an Intelligence Officer in 2014 after graduating from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. Prior to her current position, Capt Yeager served in a number of technical and leadership positions across the Remotely Piloted Aircraft and Cyber Communities. These roles included: Instructor Mission Support Analyst, Chief of Intelligence Standardization and Evaluations, Executive Officer, Chief of Intelligence Support to Defensive Cyber Operations, and Flight Commander.
Master Sergeant Ron R. Esposo enlisted in June 2007 and now serves as Section Chief, Cyber Services, 673d Communications Squadron,Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Sergeant Esposo leads 39 military and 11 civilians supporting command, control, communications, and computer systems for Alaskan NORAD Region, Alaskan Command, United States Army Alaska, 11th Air Force, three wings, and 59 mission partners which consist of 14 thousand joint personnel. Finally, he transferred to the United States Space Force in February 2021 and received an assignment to Vandenberg AFB, California.
What can we do as fellow AAPIs to reduce the feeling of “not being Asian enough” amongst each other?
- #DBAA Stop trying to box people into being a “real Asian” because that term divides us instead of unites us.
- BE YOURSELF.
- If you are from a mixed background, accept all of you and be proud.
- It’s never too late to learn about your heritage, but do it because you want to.
- Find strength in our similarities instead of breaking someone down due to differences.
- Pass down your culture, whatever amount that happens to be.