Monday, June 21, 1999

Name: Myron Dobashi
Age: 55
Education: Central Washington University
Position: Commander, Hawaii Air National Guard
Hobbies: Yard work

Not break time yet

Col. Myron Dobashi discovered his fullest potential while serving in the Vietnam War more than 30 years ago.

A lieutenant in the Air Force at the time, Dobashi was a ground controller in the radar unit. He was in Southeast Asia during the 1968 Tet offensive, when communists launched large-scale attacks in South Vietnam.

His one-year tour of duty was the most challenging, yet rewarding, experience of his life, he said. It marked the beginning of an accomplished career in military service.

Gov. Ben Cayetano recently appointed Dobashi commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard. He replaced Gen. Dwight Kealoha, who retired last year.

Dobashi is responsible for overseeing the training and readiness of 2,500 officers and personnel in the Air National Guard, whose mission partly is to protect Hawaii residents from mass violence caused by natural or man-made disasters. Most recently, Dobashi served as head and full-time detachment commander of the Air National Guard's 201st Combat Communications Group.

"Dobashi has been instrumental in moving the unit to the forefront with new, lightweight, modular, high-capacity communication equipment," said Maj. Gen. Edward Richardson at a recent change of command ceremony. "His outstanding leadership at the 201st has prepared him well for the leadership of the Hawaii Air National Guard."

Born in Lihue, Dobashi received his commission in the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Central Washington University in 1965. He began his career in the Hawaii Air National Guard as a weapons controller in October 1969 and progressed through the ranks. His military awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.

Dobashi said his parents have been his source of inspiration. Both parents had minimal-paying jobs, yet sacrificed everything to send their three children to college.

Dobashi said he also owes a lot to his wife, Jean, who has stood by him for 28 years. Dobashi lives in Mililani and returns to his second home in Lihue at least once a month to spend time with family.

"I'm fortunate that I have a supportive wife," he said. "I've been lucky."

The Dobashis have three children, Corey, Kyle and Jill.

Dobashi expected to retire earlier this year after serving in the military for 34 years.

"There's a certain point in life you say, "That's enough. I want to take a break.' But it didn't turn out that way," he said. "I just felt that I could put my past experience and knowledge to good use."

By Shirley Iida, Star-Bulletin

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