Rosemead Councilmember Steven Ly has taken six month leave during which he will be entering the U.S. Army Reserves.
The announcement was made in a Facebook posting on Sunday,Dec. 29. He said he will start Dec. 30th with basic training, after which he will be attending officer's candidate school. He said he will return to his council position and job sometime in June. He wrote that he signed up for the Army Reserves two months ago.
His posting also stated that "federal and state laws respectively protect my job and council seat."
Ly was elected to the Rosemead City Council in March 2009. At the age of 24, he was the youngest council member to serve Rosemead. He also served as the City’s youngest mayor at the age of 27 from March 2011 to March 2012. He was re-elected to a four-year term in March 2013. He has been a resident of Rosemead since the age of three. He attended Willard Elementary School, Temple Intermediate, and Rosemead High School.
In his Facebook posting Ly explained why he had taken this action at this time.
"My family was fortunate enough, after leaving the war-torn country of Vietnam, to be sponsored to live in America. During that time, my family has proven itself as productive members of society, becoming doctors, engineers, architects, even a mayor. This is an opportunity for me to pay back the country that has been very good to my family," Ly wrote.
After completng his military training, Ly will be subject to regular military drills and service. In addition, he will be subject to active duty in the event of a national emergency. Many reservists have been called into active duty to serve in the Iraqi and Afghanistan war zones.
Ly said that one of the reasons he joined at this time is because at the age of 28, he was nearing age limitations for service.
"As I approach the age limit and as I have trained and am now in the best shape of my life, I decided it was now or never. I did not want to look back many years from now and have regrets about not serving,"
Ly said he will be undergoing 10 weeks of Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. After that he will attending aOfficer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia for the next12 weeks. He does not epect to return until sometime in June when training is complete.
Steven is the Chief Executive Officer for the Regional Chamber of Commerce – San Gabriel Valley, representing the business community in the Southeast San Gabriel Valley. He is also the publisher of the San Gabriel Valley Business Journal.
Steven graduated from UCLA with bachelor’s degree in both Political Science and Public Policy. He is currently active in various non-profit organizations, He said he would not be available by phone or email during the training.