2nd Lt. Chris Frost: Discovering Heritage

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zachary Wright
  • Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

Despite his name, 2nd Lt. Christiaan Frost, Missileer with 740th Missile Squadron , grew up in a small town in southern California and has learned to adjust to the cold here in Minot.

“I love the summers here, probably more than California,” said Frost. “Winters… awful. It was the first time I’ve ever seen a frostbite warning on my phone.”

Frost still keeps a smile on his face as he describes the elements, but with a sense of underlying pride in his words.

“Going to school in Colorado, I’ve seen snow before and it got kind of cold but this… this is a different kind of cold.” said Frost.

Frost is Japanese-American, with both of his parents being born here in the U.S.

“[Mom] was Japanese, but very Americanized,” Frost explains. Because of that, Frost admits there was not much of a Japanese influence in his home at the time.

However, Frost’s grandfather was a member of the Japanese American Citizens League who traveled to Japan frequently. In 2011, after the tsunami struck Japan, Frost accompanied his grandfather on a trip to Japan where he learned more about his Japanese heritage.

“After the tsunami actually, we took some things to elementary school kids. We made care packages over here and took them over,” said Frost. “I got to see firsthand how they were rebuilding, which was super cool.”

Frost’s interest in Japan grew after that, and he chose to serve a two year mission there.

“I got to learn about my heritage, culture and learn the language,” said Frost. “It was awesome seeing where that side of my family came from.”

“Now there's more Japanese influence in our house. Now that I served there, my younger sister served there as well,” continues Frost. “I tried to bring a lot of that back and absolutely embrace it a little more.”

During his time as an officer in the Air Force, Frost said he never felt any added pressure or challenges were placed on him due to his Asian heritage.

“I know it’s kind of cliche but [the 740 MS] is like a big family,” said Frost. “There’s all walks of life and I think that’s an awesome thing about being in the Air Force.”

With all walks of life present in his squadron, Frost appreciates how the Air Force embraces diversity and inclusion.

“It’s like a big melting pot of cultures and ideas and I think -- from what I’ve experienced in my limited time in the Air Force and here at Minot -- they do a good job of cultivating that,” he said. “You’re going to be judged based on your merits and how you do, not how you look.”