The beauty of the cultural awareness observances highlighting individuals throughout the Department of Defense is that regardless of race, creed or color, America is, as the saying goes, “big enough to accommodate their dreams.”
Just ask Jeannie Nguyen, a procurement analyst with the Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground. A native Asian Pacific islander, Jeannie and her family came to the United States from Vietnam nearly 30 years ago. Nguyen said that she was around the age of 10 when her family made the journey to America. Of her life in her native Vietnam, she said she was raised in a religious home, and that a Catholic education was embedded in her daily life and family values.
Gleaming with pride, Nguyen said that she has the utmost respect for her heritage and values. Adding that her family has played an integral role in her ability to pursue her goals and dreams, she said, “Like most parents, mine are very involved and supportive. Also like many other immigrants, their view of America is that of a land of opportunities.”
Fast forward the years, and Nguyen, a proud Vietnamese American, has channeled the spirit of her early upbringing to become an equally proud mother, wife and employee with the U.S. Federal government. “We were newly wedded, but I spent most of my time traveling to New York City to work. My husband had encouraged me to go back to school and earn the 24 hours business credits requirements, and so I applied to the Contracting Intern Program. My original degree focus was in healthcare administration,” said Nguyen.
“Perseverance and patience paid off. In 2006 I began working in contracting at Fort Monmouth. The irony behind my landing that position was that I was called to an interview by accident, but I quickly turned the incident around, and used it as an opportunity. Fortunately, I impressed the panel.”
Since then, Nguyen has seized nearly every opportunity to professionally excel. With six years as a member of the Communications-Electronics Command Small Business Program to add to her experience, she as recently as last year joined APG’s Army Contracting Command.
No stranger to hard work, Nguyen said such a work ethic is not at all uncommon among Asian Americans.
“We often view ourselves as hard working Americans,” she siad. “Asian Americans have contributed greatly to the workforce and growth of our nation through innovations and dedication. In the APG community, we have many great Asian American engineers, scientists, developers, programmers, and professionals supporting the mission.”
Speaking to her personal commitment and dedication, Nguyen said, “Although I have not served in the U.S. military, I am honored to serve in my current capacity as a civilian and public servant.
“I feel a sense of great pride in my work and my contributions to the workforce. I always do my best in whatever tasks and challenges.”
Her tireless energy anything but subdued, Nguyen added, “My goal is to continue to support the Army’s mission, and be known as a trusted professional, and a responsive teammate.”
By Mary Grimes, Communications-Electronics Command