2016 Great Immigrants Recipient

Viet X. Luong
U.S. Army Brigadier General
Born in:

“Being Americans meant that we were afforded the opportunity to embrace the wonders and privileges given to us by our Constitution,” Brig. Gen. Viet X. Luong said in a 2016 keynote speech celebrating Veterans Day. The day before the fall of Saigon, nine-year-old Luong and his family escaped Vietnam aboard the USS Hancock, a Navy aircraft carrier, and came to the U.S. as political refugees. The experience had a profound effect on Luong, inspiring him to join the U.S. military and “give back to our nation for all the opportunities it's given us, saving us from harm's way but also the opportunity to assimilate and move up through education." Luong commanded a battalion of 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers in Iraq and led the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan. In 2014 he became the first Vietnamese-born general officer in the U.S. military. Updated July 2016