Monday, September 13, 1999

Name: Lt. Col. Jon D. Lee
Age: 37
Education: St. Louis School, University of Santa Clara
Occupation: Military operations planner
Hobbies: Golf, family

Choice command

Jon Lee in 1994 decided he needed a career change.

Lee had split his time between being a restaurant operator and a part-time citizen soldier since receiving an Army ROTC commission in 1984. After a decade of doing that, though, he decided to make the military a career and joined the staff of the Pacific Army Reserve's famed 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, as a trainer and head of the unit's training program.

On Saturday, Lee will take over as commander of the 630-man unit which can be traced to World War II, when the 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up mainly of Japanese Americans, fought in seven campaigns and earned eight Presidential Unit Citations.

"It was the opportunity for leadership training," Lee, now a lieutenant colonel, said in explaining his decision to change careers.

Lee's family used to operate the Willows restaurant in Moiliili. A 1980 graduate of St. Louis School, Lee said he worked as the restaurant's general manager for 12 years while serving part-time in the Army Reserve.

When the Willows closed, Lee joined the Sheraton hotels and operated several of its food and beverage operations.

Since joining the Pacific Army Reserve in 1994, Lee has become a staff operations training specialist in the office of the deputy chief of staff of operations and plans at the 9th Regional Support Command.

The 100th Battalion this summer completed intensive combat training as part of the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Infantry Brigade at the Army's premier training center at Fork Polk in Louisiana.

Besides Hawaii, the 100th Battalion draws soldiers from Guam, Saipan and American Samoa.

"We will now be refocusing our efforts on smaller unit leadership training," said Lee, noting that all of the 100th Battalion's five companies have new leaders. "This is going to be a growing year for the battalion."

Lee and his wife, Maile, have two sons, Peter and David, and two daughters, Awapuhi and Lindsey.

Gregg K. Kakesako, Star-Bulletin

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