PRESIDENT Donald Trump intends to nominate a Filipino American retired Army major general to serve as the United States’ representative to the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the White House announced on Tuesday, November 24.
Major General Eldon P. Regua, who is Filipino and Mexican American, will be nominated to represent the country to the ASEAN with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.
The U.S. Mission to ASEAN, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, works with ASEAN-member countries like the Philippines to advance “U.S. interests in a peaceful, prosperous, and integrated Southeast Asia that respects the rule of law, upholds the dignity of its people and actively addresses regional and global concerns.” Issues covered include the South China Sea, peace and stability in the region, and trade facilitation.
Regua’s father Phillip immigrated to the United States from the Philippines in 1929 and became an agricultural laborer.
Regua, a San Jose native, served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve for 36 years before his retirement in 2013. He last served as Deputy Commanding General/Chief of Staff (Wartime) for the United States Eighth Army headquartered in Seoul, Korea.
Prior to that, he was the Commanding General of the 75th Training Division of the United States Army Reserve in Houston, Texas. He also served as the Chief of Staff, Assistant Division Commander and then Commanding General of the 104th Training Division in Vancouver, Washington, according to his biography sent by the White House.
As of 2010, Regua was the senior most active, or reserve, non-retired flag or general officer of Filipino American ethnicity, as previously reported by the Asian Journal.
He is the recipient of numerous awards for his military service, including the Army Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster.
Currently, the retired Army general is the vice president of NextStep Technology, Inc. in Springfield, Virginia.
“Train your soldiers and love your families,” Regua said during his retirement ceremony in March 2013, as reported by the Eighth Army Public Affairs. “Take your job seriously but don’t take yourself seriously. Training is everything, and everything is training — continue to train hard, Eighth Army, and I know you will.”