In the Military
Kaneohe Marine awarded Silver Star for battle rescue
A second Kaneohe Marine has received the Silver Star, the nation's third highest medal for valor, for rescuing his comrades while repelling insurgents during the battle for Fallujah in November 2004.
Cpl. Kristopher D. Kane was a member of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, on Nov. 10, 2004, when his company was ordered to attack insurgents who were firing from a house.
"Once we got over the wall, gunfire erupted and a couple guys got hit," said Kane in a Pentagon news release. "A really good friend of mine, Lance Cpl. Aaron Pickering, couldn't be found. He was my protégé, so I set out to find him." Pickering was killed during the firefight.
Unable to find Pickering, Kane found one of the platoon's corpsmen at the end of a hall trying to help the wounded. Kane shielded the corpsman from the fire of the insurgents. While under fire, Kane threw a grenade into the room where the insurgents were. Missing with the first grenade he threw a second one, which killed the insurgents. Soldiers eliminated only a portion of the insurgents, and 1st Lt. Dustin Shumney, Kane's commanding officer, called for a bulldozer to demolish the house. Kane was injured by the falling rumble and was evacuated.
On May 5, Brig. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., commanding general of the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego, pinned the medal on Kane, now a marksmanship coach at the recruit station.
He was the second Kaneohe Marine to earn a Silver Star. First Lt. Stephen Boada, 27, was credited with directing aircraft attacks on al-Qaida forces and other insurgents May 2005 in eastern Afghanistan, resulting in the death of about 30 insurgents.
Boada, an artillery officer with Kaneohe's 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, since July 2004, was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, as a forward observer and forward air controller. His job was to coordinate both artillery and close Air Force support for the 3rd Battalion.
The Pentagon said Kane's citation for the Silver Star was supposed to have been submitted by Shumney. However, before Shumney could submit his recommendation, he was killed on Jan. 26, 2005, in a helicopter crash in western Iraq that took the lives of 25 other Kaneohe Marines and a Navy corpsman.
U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie said the military appropriations bill approved by the U.S. House May 11 includes a requirement that the Army study and identify by March 2007 alternative sites to Makua Valley for live-fire training exercises. "We have to bring the Makua issue to some sort of resolution," Abercrombie said.
Abercrombie said if the Army chooses another site other than Makua, which has been used as a firing and bombing range since World War II, Hawaii's congressional delegation can secure funding for it.
Col. Kevin Owens, who once commanded the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, of the 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, has been selected as the next commander of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk's Operations Group in Louisiana. Owens now commands the 173rd Airborne Brigade and in that capacity commands Combined Task Force Bayonet in Afghanistan and serves as the regional commander for the southern region (RC South).
Retired Hawaii Air National Guard Maj. Gen. Albert "Putt" Richards has been named to serve in WFI Co.'s government division. WFI is involved in the design, deployment, and management of wireless communication networks, information technology solutions and security systems. A 38-year veteran of the Air Force and Air National Guard, Richards will direct WFI's Hawaii/Pacific Rim business development efforts.
» Pearl Harbor
: Capt. Robert Carter has assumed the command of Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, relieving Capt. Robert Bronson.
» Hickam Air Force Base: Maj. Gen. Jeffrey A. Remington, deputy director of politico-military affairs (Asia) on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, to special assistant to the commander of Pacific Air Forces.
"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako
, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin. He can be reached by phone at 294-4075 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org