YCAPS is bidding farewell to one of its primary leaders, Christina Wong. As founding Secretary of YCAPS, she played a key role in conceptualizing the organization, scoping its mission, and developing the foundational documents. She shepherded YCAPS through recognition as a COMFLEACT Yokosuka private organization and paved the way for eventual organizational growth. In May 2016, she began her tenure as the Treasurer of YCAPS where she filed the requisite documents to obtain 501(c)3 status from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, established the financial banking account, managed two annual budgets, conducted two annual audits, and completed two annual reports. In addition, she directly supported more than thirty YCAPS events, serving as the primary leader for several, and yielding more than 2500 hours of professional development training for members of Yokosuka’s active duty, Navy civilian, dependent, Japanese national, and international communities. Having been in Yokosuka as a military staff member focusing on government relations for the Commander, Naval Forces Japan, she will now begin a training program for future military duties. She will be missed, but her legacy will be alive in YCAPS.
As she prepared for the upcoming transition, she took a few minutes to answer a few questions:
When did you first come to Yokosuka?
- I arrived July 2015, but this is my third time being stationed in Yokosuka. The first time being back in 2003.
What did you appreciate most during your time in Yokosuka?
- Enjoyed being able to experience Japan more so than my previous times in Yokosuka, as well as being able to start a family.
What drew you to help out with YCAPS?
- YCAPS had been a longterm goal for John Bradford and he mentioned it to me prior to me arriving in Yokosuka. It was an interesting opportunity to bring together so many different communities in the Yokosuka-Yokohama-Tokyo area and to learn and discuss how international and regional relationships evolved with the Asia-Pacific region as a focal point. It was particularly apropos since I am a Foreign Area Officer in the U.S. Navy.
Any advice to Americans in Yokosuka?
- Get out and explore! Time, especially for service members, goes by very quickly and Japan has so many interesting places to see and experience, from beautiful scenery to bustling metropolises to amazing food!
What are your reflections on the community?
- I've learned a lot about how the U.S.-Japan Alliance works and how much both sides bring to the relationship, as well as areas where there can definitely be improvement. I've also met a lot of great people and expanded my academic and professional knowledge and hope people will continue to be able to gain that from YCAPS.