Recognizing the Service of Ltc (Retired) Michael Yap

Floor Speech

Date: May 27, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CONNOLLY. Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the service of retired Lieutenant Colonel Michael W.L. Yap as he retires from my District's Service Academy Advisory Board (SAAB) after 14 years of steadfast service, assisting in the nomination process. I want to thank him for his lifelong dedication to his country and the cultivation of the next generation of leaders.

Michael Yap was born in Honolulu, Hawaii during the Second World War and grew up involved in and admired by his community. From tennis team captain to valedictorian, he was a leader and a role model in everything he put his mind to, and he continued that excellence in his time at West Point. Michael was nominated by the late Senator Hiram Fong and became the only Chinese-American student in his class. He remained an active athlete, playing in the Corps Squad for both tennis and squash.

After graduating from West Point, Michael was commissioned into the Field Artillery. He served one tour in Vietnam and returned to the United States to teach nuclear target analysis. Michael went on to attend Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, Kansas and continued to serve as an atomic energy expert. He then obtained two Masters of Science from the University of Illinois, one in Physics and one in Nuclear Engineering.

Michael Yap has remained an active member of the West Point community. First on the Association of Graduates Advisory Council, and now he currently chairs a task force to make alumni events more accessible. Since 1987, he has coordinated all class events in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia in his role as Class Vice President for the Capital Region. Michael facilitates quarterly brunches, an annual dinner, and a ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial every five years.

His influence has produced a number of significant initiatives for West Point. Michael introduced the Class of 2017 Affiliation Class and helped coordinate the Surviving Family Member program. His strong ties to the Academy have been a vital contribution to my office's annual nomination process these last 14 years. We have relied on Michael's thorough understanding of the rigor and community that make West Point unique in order to elevate candidates who will do us proud.

Madam Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in commending the extraordinary service of retired Lieutenant Colonel Michael Yap as he retires from our Service Academy Advisory Board. His contributions have been paramount in ensuring the next generation of military leaders from Virginia's 11th District is a cut above the rest. And while we wish them well, they will have big shoes to fill in matching Michael Yap's legacy.