named Army vice
chief of staff
Gen. Eric Shinseki'sBy Gregg K. Kakesako
appointment to No. 2 in the
Army waits only for
Former Kauai resident Eric Shinseki, the first Asian American to wear four stars as a general, today was chosen to become vice chief of staff of the Army.
As the Army's No. 2 man in the Pentagon, Shinseki, 55, will report to Gen. Dennis Reimer, the Army's Chief of Staff. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.
Before Shinseki, the highest-ranking Asian Americans had been Lt. Gen. Allen Ono, now executive vice president with American Savings Bank, and Vice Adm. Richard Kihune. Both wore three stars before retiring.
In 1996, Shinseki was promoted to the three-star rank of lieutenant general and served in the Pentagon as the Army's deputy chief of staff for operations and plans.
In addition to commanding all U.S. Army forces in Europe, Shinseki currently is the commanding general of NATO Land Forces in Central Europe, and commander of the Stabilization Force presently deployed in the former Yugoslavia Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Shinseki had spent seven years in Europe as commander of the 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, assistant chief of staff, 2nd Brigade commander and assistant division commander with the 3rd Infantry Division.
He also served as assistant VII Corps chief of staff and deputy chief of staff of the Allied Land Forces South Europe in Verona, Italy.
Shinseki was born in Lihue and graduated from Kauai High School in 1960 and the U.S. Military Academy four years later. He received a master's degree from Duke University.
He was wounded twice in the Vietnam War. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Meritorious Service Medal.
In 1996, Shinseki became the sixth islander to obtain three-star rank.
Besides Ono and Kihune, the others were Air Force Lt. Gen. Benjamin Webster and Army Lt. Gens. Stanley "Swede" Larsen and George Cantlay.
Currently on active duty with the Army are several other Hawaii residents who serve as general officers, including Brig. Gen. Joseph Peterson, a 1968 St. Louis High School graduate, and Brig. Gen. Antonio Taguba, a 1968 Leilehua High School graduate and the first Filipino-American general.
Although Shinseki is the highest-ranking Asian American in the active military, there are six serving in the reserves. They are: two-star Maj. Gens. Edward Richardson, Kelly Lau and Eugene Imai; and one-star Brig. Gens. Dwight Kealoha, Dennis Kamimura, and Danny Paulino from Guam.