Mai briefly touched upon her 20-year service on the show ... but the 56-year-old was humble with her achievements -- and now we can reveal the full extent of the prestigious military awards with which she's been honored.
Mai has bagged a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal ... given to those who've served on active duty during a designated anti-terrorism operation for a minimum of 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days.
She's also in possession of 5 Joint Service Achievement Medals ... awarded to those below the grade of captain in the Navy ... who, while assigned to a joint activity, distinguish themselves by outstanding achievement or meritorious service.
Meanwhile, Mai's Navy "E" Ribbon is a nod to her permanent duty aboard a U.S. Navy ship or in a unit that won a battle efficiency competition. She also has 5 Good Conduct Medals for 3 consecutive years of "honorable and faithful service."
If that wasn't impressive enough, Mai has also been honored with a Meritorious Unit Commendation, two National Defense Service Medals, 4 Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, 5 Overseas Service Ribbons, a NATO Medal and is an Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist.
Mai came to the States in 1975 after escaping Vietnam as a young girl during the communist regime ... joined the US Navy at 18 and served for 20 years between 1985 and 2005. She spent time stationed in Florida, London, Italy, Hawaii, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
She now works as an immigration adjudicator for the Department of Homeland Security.