DVIDS – News – Navy Commander is proud to be the first known Nepalese O5 in the US Army

Commander Jatan Bastola has achieved the distinction of becoming the first known Nepali O5 in all branches of service in the US Army. Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha, is a landlocked country sandwiched between India and China and home to the Himalayan mountains, including the world’s highest, Mount Everest. Bastola, the youngest of three children, was born in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

“I have wonderful childhood memories of growing up in Nepal,” says Bastola.

She was born in a country that was then ruled by a king and thinks back fondly on her younger years.

“At the time, there were social norms that did not give girls the same freedoms as boys. There were clothing restrictions – we had to be home before sunset – and we weren’t allowed to work. Instead, we learned to cook and do household chores. Despite these social norms, my parents were different and allowed us to be who we wanted to be. I wouldn’t have left Nepal if I didn’t have their support.”

Seeking opportunity, independence, and a life free of social restrictions, Bastola came to the United States in 1995, when she was twenty years old, where she joined her older sister and her brother-in-law in the Navy, homeporting at Pearl Harbor , Hawaii.

“That was my first international flight. I was nervous, but at the same time excited for my better future,” Bastola said.

Inspired by her submarine brother-in-law, she began her career in the Navy in 2001 when she joined the Navy Reserves.

During the boot camp, Bastola learned the importance of teamwork. She also learned that mission success is a priority.

“All that mattered was teamwork and unity to carry out the mission,” Bastola said.

Bastola earned her commission in 2006 through Navy Officer Candidate School after graduating from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Bastola has great appreciation for the diversity of the Navy. “After joining the Reserves, I was inspired by the culture of the Navy, where it didn’t matter what your race, culture and background was, or where you came from,” Bastola said.

“I wanted to do something for the United States that gave me the opportunity to be who I wanted to be.”

In June 2015, she obtained her master’s degree in Contract Management from the Naval Post Graduate School.

Bastola’s duties at sea include serving as Disbursing/Sales Officer and Assistant Supply Officer aboard USS Chafee (DDG 90); Wardroom and Stock Control Officer aboard USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75); and Assistant Supply Officer aboard USS Wasp (LHD 1).

Her shore assignments include the Business Financial Management Program at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, PMA-280 Tomahawk Weapons Systems Program Office; Contractor at Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania; and Flying Hour Program Manager at Pacific Fleet, Hawaii.

Bastola is proud to be the first known Nepalese O5 in the U.S. Army.

“Nothing is impossible if you have the determination to achieve your dreams,” Bastola said. “The sky is the limit and I am proud of my family and the Nepalese community. I hope that my achievements will be an example for the coming generation, especially for women. I realized the pride my family has after seeing my father cry the first time he saw me in uniform during OCS graduation.”

Bastola’s plans include continuing to thrive as a United States Naval Officer and making her family proud. She is grateful for the support of Prabal Bastola, her husband of 20 years. She enjoys world travel, has visited more than 30 countries and plans to make time for future adventures.

“Nepal has eight of the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. I plan to trek to Mount Everest base camp in the fall or next spring,” Bastola said.

Bastola currently serves as a Maritime Supplier Operations Officer at Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime in Columbus, Ohio.

Date of recording: 22.05.2024
Date posted: 22.05.2024 11:07
Story ID: 471974
Place: US

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