DVIDS – News – Lieutenant Louie

Groton, Connecticut – Lieutenant Jennifer Fung-Ming Louie, deputy head of the Warfighter Performance Laboratory at the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory (NSMRL), is constantly striving for advancement. The Navy provided her with the perfect opportunity to challenge herself.

Louie is from Middletown, New Jersey, where her parents moved from New York shortly after she was born. The second-generation Chinese American, whose roots come from Toisan, China, grew up as one of only four Asian-American students from elementary school to high school, which strongly influenced her identity.

As she continued her education (obtaining a bachelor’s degree from the College of New Jersey, a master’s degree from Villanova, and eventually a PhD from the University of Central Florida), she came into contact with more diverse ethnic and cultural communities, which broadened her ideas of what it was like to be Asian. and American.

“In college, I became much more comfortable with who I am and with my Chinese American and Asian American identity. My early struggles with trying to prove my worth diminished and I learned not to rely so much on outside validation.”

It was during this period of development that Louie began working on breaking the stereotype of Asian women who are often expected to be shy or submissive. She learned to hang-glide, ran marathons, and even learned to breathe fire.

The quest to challenge perception is part of what inspired Louie to join the Navy. She longed for a career that would challenge her both physically and mentally, and the Navy was the perfect fit.

“As an Asian American at the helm of the Navy, I am relatively unique and I love it. But usually someone doesn’t want to be the only diverse team member. If there is a population of different ethnicities and races, people will find comfort in knowing they will not be alone, which in turn will create a more inviting culture.”

Louie stresses the importance of respecting diversity and inclusion in the Navy. For those who might say that emphasizing diversity means emphasizing “otherness,” Louie points out that until we all have equal opportunities, it’s important to celebrate our differences and that we still have a long way to go.

“Sometimes I’m still seen as representative of all East Asian women, and that can be exhausting. It’s important to be aware of the cultural identity of others, but to realize that ultimately your beliefs are still assumptions, and to truly understand a person, regardless of their race or ethnicity, you need to know them on an individual level.”

Louie is a second-generation Chinese American who is proud of her ancestry and her history, but wants to emphasize that there is no “one” story of Asian Pacific Islanders (AAPI).

“AAPI is an evolving term that, as it evolves, captures our society’s understanding of what it means to be AAPI.”

DOD pays tribute to the generations of AAPI who have enriched our nation’s history through their countless contributions, vibrant cultures, and rich heritages. AAPI covers a diverse group of cultures, ethnicities and languages. These include those Americans whose ancestors come from the Asian continent and many regions of the Pacific Islands.

NSMRL, part of Naval Medical Research & Development, headquartered in Groton, Connecticut, keeps underwater warriors ready and ahead through innovative health and performance research.

Date of execution: May 24, 2023
Date of publication: 05/24/2023 16:27
History ID: 445475
Location: GROTON, CT, USA

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