DVIDS – News – Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: US Navy sailor connects with culture after enlistment


Naples, Italy–For some, joining the U.S. military is an opportunity to show patriotism and serve the country. For Senior Master-at-Arms Daniel Arnoudse, joining the United States Navy was a chance to connect with people of his nationality while serving.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, he moved to the United States with his brother when he was six years old after being adopted by an American family in 1989. Arnoudse is currently serving with the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples.

“I didn’t have the traditional Asian upbringing,” Arnoudse said. “Growing up in West Michigan, I wasn’t exposed to a lot of Asians or Asian Americans.”

He added that growing up he couldn’t think of himself as an Asian American. Instead, he saw himself as strictly American.

Arnoudse credits the diversity of the Navy’s workforce with allowing him to experience parts of his nationality.

“Joining the navy exposed me to Asian culture, like food and heritage,” he said. “Since the Navy is diverse, […] I was able to kind of reconnect to where I came from,” added Arnoudse.

The first time he came into contact with his home culture was after meeting a shipmate of Samoan descent. His shipmate, and now friend, exposed him to Asian American and Pacific Islander practices. The senior chief colleague introduced him to a community of Samoans who showed him their indigenous values.

“They exposed me to culture and closeness,” Arnoudse said of the sense of togetherness and inclusion he felt.

“Even if they are not blood, [it was] an atmosphere of being one family,” he said.

Arnoudse describes the family he had growing up, his (adoptive) parents, as a family that gave him and his brother every chance to succeed in life.

“They taught me about family values ​​and hard work, and that through hard work you can be successful in anything you do. Apply that to the military and work your way up to the position I hold right now is a great achievement for me,” said Arnoudse.

Arnoudse described the journey that brought him to where he is now, beginning with his first few months in the United States.

“When we got here it was a huge adjustment,” Arnoudse said of the language barrier and cultural differences. Arnoudse learned English three months after moving to the United States.

After graduating from high school and attending Grand Rapids Community College, Arnoudse joined the United States Navy in February 2003 to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps.

“I always wanted to join the Navy,” said Arnoudse, “My grandfather was in the Navy from 1942 to 1945,” he said.

Arnoudse added that being able to serve in the Navy allowed him to experience more diversity and additional cultures.

“For me, serving in the Navy is an opportunity to give back to a country that has given me so many opportunities. Being in the Navy forced me to step out of my comfort zone and do things I wouldn’t normally imagine myself doing. See different cultures and countries, […] surrounding myself with diverse experience has made me a better person overall,” Arnoudse said.

The Michigan native is described as an outstanding and righteous leader.
“MACS Arnoudse leads by example with great attention to detail in his day-to-day duties, which his sailors emulate,” said NSA Naples Security Officer Lt. Cmdr Alexander Lamis. “Sailors also see that he makes time with them to complete a task and is available to them,” Lamis said.

With his proven leadership skills, Arnoudse represents “Advancing Leaders Through Collaboration,” the theme for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month for 2022.

The celebration takes place throughout the month of May to honor the service and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islanders to the United States.

NSA Naples is an operational shore base that enables U.S., Allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed, when they are needed to provide security and stability in European, African, and Central Areas of Responsibility. .

For more information on NSA Naples, please follow us on Instagram @NSANaples and Facebook at facebook.com/NSANaples/.

Date taken: 26.05.2022
Date posted: 26.05.2022 02:39
Story ID: 421559
Location: NAPLES, IL

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