In the Military
Iolani alum earns award for excellence at Academy
Steven J. Schowalter Jr., son of Steven and Elizabeth Schowalter and 2005 graduate of Iolani School, has earned the superintendent's award for excellence and the distinguished cadet award at the U.S. Military Academy.
The superintendent's award for excellence is presented to the top 5 percent of cadets who excel in the academic, military and physical programs. Distinguished cadets are those who demonstrate academic excellence by achieving a grade point average of 3.67 or higher. He will graduate from West Point in 2009 and will be commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
During the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team farewell ceremony at the Aloha Stadium on Aug. 16, an attempt will be made to try to set the Guinness World Record for the largest group hug. "We are going to send off our 29th IBCT and the 100th, 442nd Infantry again in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom," said Maj. Gen. Bob Lee, state adjutant general. "The departure ceremony is an opportunity for loved ones to say goodbye to our soldiers as one unit in Aloha Stadium."
Aloha Stadium gates will open at 8 a.m. and parking for the event will be $1 per person. Many companies and organizations such as The Elks Club, Tri-West, BAE Systems, USO, and Girl Scouts of America will donate bentos and drinks for the deploying soldiers and their families. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and end with an attempt at a record-breaking hug. The current world record is 6,623 and was set in Mexico. Participants will need to get into one continuous ring formation for the record to be valid. Photos and documentation of the hug will be taken and sent to Guinness World Record officials for verification.
The Hawaii National Guard said the idea to set the group hug record was suggested by Ashley Kakazu, a 11-year-old Punahou School student. Kakazu, who is serving as the group hug organizer and wants to raise awareness about hunger in Hawaii, is asking that all participants also bring a canned good for donation to the Hawaii Food Bank. In order to be a part of the hug, participants can find more information and register online at www.grouphughawaii.com.
The Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will be heading to Kuwait. About 1,700 soldiers will be mobilized for this deployment. The unit is made up of a Headquarters Company, and Cavalry, Field Artillery, Brigade Support, and Special Troops battalions and the 100th/442nd Infantry of the U.S. Army Reserve. The soldiers will provide the security force at several installations in Kuwait and for guard units convoying north to Iraq. The 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team was mobilized in August 2004 and deployed to Iraq in 2005.
Hickam Air Force Base
» Col. Debra Doty has assumed command of the 15th Medical Group, relieving Col. David Hocking.
» Lt. Col. Jon J. Chytka has assumed command of Army Corps of Engineers' Honolulu District, relieving Lt. Col. Charles H. Klinge.
"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 email@example.com