Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

By Alisha Reneau Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month graphic

In 1978, a joint congressional resolution established Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. The first ten days of May were chosen to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843) and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869.

In 1992, Congress expanded the observance to a monthlong celebration that is now known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

During the month of May, the PaYS Team celebrates and recognizes the contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islanders to our Nation.

Army PaYS Celebrates Asian American Army Leaders

Story by: Davin Bentley Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month graphicCASA crest

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the PaYS team would like to highlight three Asian American leaders that serve as Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army (CASAs). CASAs are business and community leaders appointed by the Secretary to advise and support Army leaders across the country. CASAs come from many professions, including business, education, finance, industry, law, the media, medicine, and public service.

This month, we are celebrating the leadership provided by CASA's Sonki Hong (Los Angeles, CA), Lance Izumi (Sacramento, CA), and Tay Yoshitani (Seattle, Washington).

Sonki Hong
Sonki Hong, Army CASA and Founder and CEO of Sonki FitnessMr. Hong is a celebrity trainer and the Founder/CEO of Sonki Fitness. He has over 26 years of fitness and sports experience and has been hailed as "the most all-around physically fit person in the world" by the media. He's trained clients from all walks of life, including Oscar nominees, Grammy nominees, Supermodels, CEOs, Golden Globe winners, professional athletes, U.S. Army Soldiers, and special agents. He got an early start in fitness as a star athlete in school and a top fitness graduate from West Point. He then served in the U.S. Army as an Intelligence Officer and Master Fitness Trainer, leading and training Soldiers to be in top shape for combat.

While in the Army, he learned the importance of leading others through inspiration and motivation versus intimidation, which has been his training philosophy ever since.

After serving in the Army and then the corporate world, he decided to pursue his lifelong passion for fitness and helping others by starting Sonki Fitness in 2002. Learning firsthand from his Korean father, a protestant pastor, Mr. Hong created his company based on honor, integrity, and a genuine passion for helping people. He firmly believes there's no shortcut to success in fitness and therefore focuses his training on making fitness a lifelong habit and having fun doing it.

Upon being sworn in as CASA by Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy on October 30, 2020, Mr. Hong stated, "As an immigrant from South Korea who served in the U.S. Army, I consider myself a proud and patriotic American with an undying love for my country and feel honored to have served in the greatest military in the world." Said Hong, a former Army Intelligence Officer and the founder and CEO of Sonki Fitness, "I'm indebted to the Army for making me the person I am today, and I am incredibly honored to be selected and excited to continue serving my country again."

Lance Izumi
CASA Lance Izumi (R) with former Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Ryan D. McCarthy
Mr. Izumi is currently Senior Director of the Center for Education at the Pacific Research Institute and is a prominent book author, writer, researcher, and film producer. In addition to his 11-year tenure on the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, he served as California Postsecondary Education Commission commissioner, Foundation for California Community Colleges board chair, and California Advisory Committee of the United States Civil Rights Commission member.

Upon being inducted as a CASA on August 12, 2019, Mr. Izumi stated, "I have been blessed with many leadership roles during my career to include California's Community College System as president of its board of governors," said Izumi. "However, my work with the United States Army, which has spanned more than a decade, holds a truly special place in my heart.

As co-chair of the grassroots community outreach board for Army's Los Angeles and Southern California recruiting battalions and then as president of the community relations board for the Northern California Recruiting Battalion, I have been able to see up close the incredible quality of America's Army and to tell the Army story to my fellow Californians."

Tay Yoshitani
Tay Yoshitani, CEO of Port of Seattle
Tay Yoshitani served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Seattle, which owns over $6 billion in assets and operates the Seaport, SeaTac International Airport, and a real estate portfolio from March 2007 through October 2014. Prior to his current role, he was Senior Advisor for the National Association of Waterfront Employers in Washington, DC for two years. His 26 years in the maritime port industry include serving as Executive Director of the Port of Oakland, Executive Director of the Port of Baltimore, and the Deputy Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles.

Upon being sworn in as CASA for Western Washington, Mr. Yoshitani stated, "Over a span of 25 years, I've had the honor and privilege of serving a diverse group of stakeholders as CEO / executive director of four seaports and two airports, Yoshitani said. "I hope to leverage my network and experiences to provide assistance to the Secretary and the Army on a variety of issues."

"One issue I am passionate about is supporting Veterans following years of sacrifice in defense of our freedom," Yoshitani said. "As CEO of the Port of Seattle, I formed a task force that was later called the Veteran's Fellowship Program, which is designed to bridge the gap between Military service and work in the private sector. I hope to encourage other organizations to adopt similar programs."

The leadership, expertise, and example that these CASAs provide to our Army is invaluable, and the PaYS Team is proud to serve alongside them!



Antonio Johnson, PaYS Program Manager

Dear PaYS Partners,

"As PaYS continues to make productive change, the support of our stakeholders is more important than ever before. From selection of the PaYS Option by Soldiers and Cadets to the interviews and hires by our partners, the future success of this program is contingent on Army leaders and business professionals taking a more active role with PaYS in their organizations. If you need assistance, you can contact me directly at
(502) 378-8054"
- Antonio

Interviews and hires

Upcoming Signing Ceremonies

11 May 2021: Covenant Transport -
Atlanta Battalion

14 May 2021: Potter County. Sheriff, Randall County. Sheriff, Amarillo PD (Amarillo, TX) -
OKC Recruiting Battalion

20 May 2021: Seagate Technology LLC (Longmont, CO) -
Denver Recruiting Battalion

21 May 2021: McCall Farms -
Columbia Battalion

02 June 2021: University of Utah Health -
Salt Lake City Battalion

03 June 2021: McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. -
Dallas Battalion

10 June 2021: Eyemart Express Holdings, LLC -
Dallas Battalion

14 June 2021: Pepsi Bottlers Inc. -
Columbus Battalion

14 June 2021: Mission BBQ -
Baltimore Battalion

Regional Army PaYS Marketing Analysts:

Samuel Armstrong (Southeast Region)
(202) 770-7200

Davin Bentley (Midwest Region)
(614) 886-0270

Crancena Ross (Northeast Region)
(410) 206-0413

James Meade (Southwest Region)
(614) 404-9104

Send us your good news stories

US Army logo

Army National Hiring Days 2021 --- May 10 - June 14

Story by: Antonio Johnson

Attention all PaYS partners! The Army National Hiring Days (ANHD) campaign is upon us again and we are asking for your support.

Army National Hiring Days is a nationwide virtual recruiting campaign that will take place May 10 - June 14. During this time, Army Leaders, recruiters, and community partners across the nation will come together to promote Army awareness and encourage individuals to explore the Army's potential career paths.

The PaYS Team will be asking all of our partners to "Join Us" in support of ANHD by posting and sharing approved messages and images on their companies' internal/external media sites. Recorded video of the key messages is highly encouraged as well. Last year, over 100 PaYS Partners participated in the campaign. This year we anticipate many more to support the U.S. Army.

An email with the approved images/messages will be sent to you for use by your social media coordinators and public affairs personnel once you confirm your organization's commitment to support ANHD. Conducting a PaYS ceremony during ANHD is another great way to support the campaign. The PaYS Team looks forward to another successful Army National Hiring Days. For more information about ANHD and how to support, please reach out to your Regional PaYS Marketer or contact the PaYS Program Manager at

Military Spouse Appreciation Day graphic

National Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Always the Friday before Mother's Day, National Military Spouse Appreciation Day recognizes the significant contributions, support, and sacrifices of the spouses of the Armed Forces. National Military Spouse Appreciation Day is also sometimes known as Military Spouse Day.

Along with the tremendous strength and patriotism they have, military spouses endure frequent change and unexpected developments in their lives. They prepare for many unknowns during military life, often unable to make a plan for more than a few days in advance. They hold down the home front during deployments, training, and many other circumstances while their spouse serve's their country. Depending on the length of service, they may move many times and often all over the world.

But they bear these responsibilities by caring for and relying on family. With every move, they find a new job, help their children adjust to new schools and friends. They learn about a new community and its culture. During separations, they celebrate holidays at unusual times or host long-distance birthday parties. By supporting our service members and ensuring a sound home, our military is stronger and more prepared.


On May 23, 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared the first Military Spouse Day with Proclamation 5184, dated April 17, 1984. He recognized the profound importance of spouse commitment to the readiness and well-being of military members. Caspar Weinberger, US Secretary of Defense, standardized the date by declaring the Friday preceding Mother's Day as Military Spouse Day. Each year, the United States President regularly commemorates this day with a formal speech and proclamation.

PaYS Welcomes its Newest Team Members

The PaYS Team is excited to announce three new members. We welcome Malinda Johnson (Senior Marketing Analyst), John Delk (Marketing Analyst), and Kris Broadus (Marketing Analyst)!

Malinda A. Johnson
Joining the PaYS Team as the new Senior Marketer is Malinda A. Johnson. Ms. Johnson is no stranger to the PaYS Program. She comes to us with 27 years of Military experience, 13 of those years were with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command (USAREC). While in USAREC, Malinda developed relationships with businesses and Chambers of Commerce for the PaYS Program. She ensured that Future Soldiers and businesses were aware of their commitment and responsibilities to PaYS.

Since retiring from the Army, Malinda has spent her time mentoring young men and women in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. In her spare time, she enjoys writing and publishing newsletters for Military units and civic organizations.
John Delk

John Delk joins the PaYS Team as the new Regional Marketing Analyst in Las Vegas, Nevada. John retired from the United States Army after 28 years, spending the last 17 of those years assigned to USAREC. John's tour in USAREC began when the PaYS Program was in its infancy; he had the privilege of being amongst the first Army recruiters to offer PaYS to a new recruit.

What excites John the most about being part of the PaYS Team is having the pleasure of sharing his first-hand knowledge of how PaYS can benefit current and future partnering organizations. Kris Broadus

Kris Broadus joins the PaYS Team after recently retiring from the United States Army with over 25 years of service. He spent the last 21 years serving in USAREC, culminating his career as the Operations Sergeant Major in 2nd Recruiting Brigade. Kris is very excited and passionate about his new role as the Regional Marketing Analyst in Huntsville, Alabama. He looks forward to expanding the PaYS presence in his area of responsibility.

Kris is an avid University of Kentucky fan! In his downtime, he enjoys working out, doing anything with cars, and most importantly, spending time with his family.

Above Right - Malinda A. Johnson
Above Left - John Delk
Right - Kris Broadus

Welcome to the PaYS Team Malinda, John and Kris!

U.S. Army and Greenville PD Partner to Provide Potential Employment to Veterans Greenville Police Department logoGreenville Police Department signing ceremony

Story by: Alex Cooper

The U.S. Army and the Greenville Police Department signed a partnership agreement on Tuesday, March 30, to support Army Veterans reentering Civilian life with potential employment opportunities.

CPT Brittany McKenzie, the Greenville Recruiting Company Commander and narrator for the ceremony, oversees six local recruiting stations in the city.

"It could be a difficult transition sometimes, and the Army does a great job of trying to prepare Soldiers for that transition," said McKenzie, noting that the Army already spends a year working to help soldiers back to civilian life. "But it's even better when you have a partnership in your local communities where Soldiers transition back."

While the police department is the first agency to join the PaYS program in Greenville, McKenzie hopes more businesses in the Upstate will join.

At the ceremony, the Columbia Recruiting Battalion Commander, COL Andrew Sanders, said, "Army Soldiers and Veterans are prospective employees that come with trust, a strong work ethic, detail-oriented, high standards and get the job done all qualities that the Greenville Police Department look for in prospective officers."

Right now, Greenville actively recruits Veterans, according to Police Chief Howie Thompson.

"I'm proud to say that our agency employs 55 Veterans, which is more than 25% of our agency. One in every four officers at the Greenville Police Department is a Veteran," said Thompson. "This partnership with the Army will give the Greenville Police Department a direct link to candidates that are highly skilled and motivated while also supporting the Veterans' opportunity to work. It also allows us to capitalize on the diversity and the instilled values of the Army Soldiers."

Osceola County Sheriff's Office logo

Osceola County Sheriff's Office Joins the Army PaYS Program

Story by: Samuel Armstrong
Photographs by: Rodney Weibley, A&PA Specialist, Tampa Recruiting BN

On 14 July 2020, Osceola County Sheriff's Office became the 918th partner for the U.S. Army Partnership for Youth (PaYS) Program. To announce the new partnership, Osceola County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Army Tampa Recruiting Battalion participated in a PaYS signing ceremony held at the Sheriff's Office in Kissimmee, Florida, on 12 April 2021.

LTC Terry Fry, Commander, Tampa Recruiting BN presents Sheriff Marcos Lopez, Osceola County Sheriff's Office with Army PaYS certificate

Left - LTC Terry Fry, Commander, Tampa Recruiting BN presents Sheriff Marcos Lopez, Osceola County Sheriff's Office with Army PaYS certificate
LTC Terry Fry (Tampa Recruiting Battalion Commander) and Marcos Lopez (Sheriff, Osceola County Sheriff's Office)
Cutting the ceremonial cake.
Right - LTC Terry Fry (Tampa Recruiting Battalion Commander) and Marcos Lopez (Sheriff, Osceola County Sheriff's Office) Cutting the ceremonial cake.

Below Left - LTC Terry Fry, Commander, Tampa Recruiting BN, Landy Dunham, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Central Florida, and Sheriff Marcos Lopez, Osceola County Sheriff's Office

Osceola County Sheriff's Office is the largest law enforcement agency in Osceola County, Florida. Osceola County Sheriff's Office has over 700 employees and serves a population of over 400,000. Osceola County Deputies patrol 1506 square miles in Kissimmee and surrounding areas. Sheriff Marcos Lopez is the first Hispanic to serve as Sheriff in the county.

Representatives from the U.S. Army Tampa Recruiting Battalion, Osceola County Sheriff's and local community members were in attendance for the ceremony.
LTC Terry Fry, Commander, Tampa Recruiting BN, Landy Dunham, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Central Florida, and Sheriff Marcos Lopez, Osceola County Sheriff's Office
The ceremony concluded with the signing of the PaYS ceremonial Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) by LTC Terry Fry, Tampa Recruiting Battalion Commander and Sheriff Marcos Lopez, Osceola County Sheriff's Office.

Osceola County Sheriff's Office is currently seeking to fill 40 deputy positions and 26 Civilian positions. Sheriff Lopez states he is trying to create a diverse workplace and PaYS will support that effort.

To view all job opportunities, visit:

Memorial Day graphic

Honoring Memorial Day

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Military. Memorial Day 2021 will occur on Monday, May 31. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

The PaYS Team acknowledges and honors all who served.

A Big Thank You to these Partners Celebrating their May PaYS Anniversaries:

Ruan Transportation Mgt. Sys. Inc. 6-May-02 Johns Hopkins Hospital/Health Systems 13-May-02 New York City Police Dept. 2-May-03 Stewart & Stevenson (Bought by BAE Systems NOV 07) 8-May-03 Arizona Dept. of Public Safety 9-May-03 Ohio State Highway Patrol 20-May-03 Vermont State Police 20-May-03 Benning Construction Company 20-May-03 City of Harrisburg, PA 28-May-03 D. M. Bowman, Inc. 2-May-04 Cincinnati Police Department 2-May-04 Cintas Corporation 2-May-04 Walgreen Co. 3-May-04 Bell Ambulance, Inc. 6-May-05 Jacksonville Sheriff's Office 16-May-05 City of Cambridge Massachusetts 24-May-05 San Diego County Sheriff's Dept. 3-May-06 Turner Corporation 3-May-06 Infotech Solutions DBA Avysion IT 3-May-06 Critical Intervention Services, Inc. 22-May-06 Houston Police Department 22-May-06 Scotts LawnService 22-May-06 Ring Power Corporation 31-May-07 Eastman Chemical Company 31-May-07 Dresser - Rand 14-May-09 Centro Medico del Turabo, Inc. 3-May-10 Casey's General Store, Inc. 10-May-10 City of Chicago 5-May-10 City of Indianapolis 18-May-10 Cleveland County Sheriff's Office 18-May-11 Banner Health 18-May-11 Patrick Cudahy, Inc. 18-May-11 Time Customer Service, Inc. 18-May-11 Aaron's, Inc. 25-May-11 McDonald's Restaurants of Hawaii, Inc. 2-May-12 The Los Angeles Film School 2-May-12 Bridgepoint Education 9-May-12 Quicken Loans 18-May-12 Cuyahoga County 30-May-12 Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) 12-May-14 MOAC Mall Holdings, LLC 1-May-14 Kappler, Inc. 1-May-14 Prairie Quest Consulting (PQC) 5-May-14 Interstates Construction Services, Inc. 14-May-15 Monster Worldwide Incorporated 26-May-15 JLB Trucking Company, Inc. 30-May-15 Price Pump 30-May-15 84 Lumber 27-May-15 Global Aviation Services 9-May-16 AlliedBarton Security Services 9-May-16 First Data Corporation 2-May-18 One World Logistics, Inc. 2-May-18 North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center 1-May-19 Eden Senior Care, LLC 1-May-19 Rockdale County Sheriff's Office 10-May-19 State of New Hampshire 10-May-19 Aetos System 20-May-19 7-Eleven 20-May-19 TDIndustries 20-May-19 ABF Freight System Inc. 20-May-19 Charter Communication d.b.a. Spectrum 28-May-19 Michigan Department of State Police 28-May-19 Estes Express Lines 11-May-20 The Cooper Health System 20-May-20 Littlefield Investment Company 20-May-20 Covenant Transport 20-May-20 Ponsse North America, Inc. 20-May-20 Altice USA 31-May-20



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