Vietnamese-American Makes History With Promotion to Army General

Image: Vietnamese-American Makes History With Promotion to Army General U.S. Army Col. Viet Xuan Luong. (Fort Hood, U.S. Army)

Tuesday, 05 Aug 2014 10:12 PM

By Cathy Burke

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The Army has announced the promotion to general of a Vietnamese-born officer from Fort Hood, making him the first Vietnamese-American general in U.S. military history.

But the Wednesday ceremony for Col. Viet Xuan Luong, a 1st Cavalry Division deputy commanding general, will reach beyond the military to include the Austin, Texas, police and members of Austin's Vietnamese community, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

"It's a very proud moment," retired Army infantry soldier Binh Nguyen told the newspaper. "It's rare to come across another Vietnamese-American in the Army, let alone one so highly ranked."

The Austin Police Department's office of community liaison, for whom Nguyen now works, and more than 100 of Austin's Vietnamese-American community are set to attend the ceremony at which Luong will be promoted to brigadier general.

Luong's family evacuated Vietnam as political refugees during the fall of Saigon in 1975 and emigrated to the United States, the newspaper said.

He began his military career after graduating from the University of Southern California in 1987, where he got a degree in biological sciences. He also has a master of military arts and science degree.

He has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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