Monday, February 15, 1999Name: Col. Robert G.F. Lee
Education: McKinley High School, UH
Occupation: Commander, Pacific Army Reserve
Hobbies: Jogging, golf
The Pacific Army Reserve's seventh commander, Col. Robert G.F. Lee, acknowledges that his 3,500-member reserve force faces "turbulent times" ahead as it juggles limited
increasing demands on its soldiers.
Lee noted that in the last three years, the Army Reserve in the Pacific has been called to active duty more often than in the last two decades -- with deployments to Bosnia and to Guam to help with the relocation of Kurds and to support the emergency relief effort following a devastating typhoon there two years ago.
"This has caused a lot of stress on families and on businesses," Lee said.
Lee has spent almost all of his 28 years in uniform serving with the Army Reserve, after being commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1971 through the University of Hawaii's ROTC program. "There were 50 of us in our graduating class, but the war (Vietnam) ended and there were too many lieutenants."
Lee was assigned to the Pacific Army Reserve, where he had planned only to serve his mandatory six-year tour. "It was really the friends I made that made me stay in," he said.
That -- along with assignments to the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry -- changed his mind, and Lee continued to attend monthly drills while working at Pearl Harbor in the Navy's nuclear submarine program, where he now is superintendent of Nuclear Regional Maintenance.
"Having the opportunity to serve in the 100th Battalion in different positions made me aware of the accomplishments of the 100th Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II," he said.
From 1988-91 he commanded the 100th Battalion, and in 1996 he was elevated to chief of staff for the Army Reserve's 9th Regional Support Command, which has two-thirds of its forces in Hawaii and other units in Alaska, American Samoa, Saipan, Guam, Japan and South Korea.
Lee also has earned a master's in business administration from the UH.
He assumed his new command this week, and is expected to be promoted to brigadier general later this year.
He and his wife, Judith, have two children, son Bryan and daughter Alison.
Gregg K. Kakesako, Star-Bulletin