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Friday, July 28, 2000

Reservist chosen
for higher post

By Gregg K. Kakesako


A Honolulu attorney has been nominated as a one-star general in the Army Reserve and would serve as a coordinator of civilian and civil affairs in South Korea if war ever broke out on the Asian peninsula.

Col. Stephen Tom, a 29-year veteran with the Pacific Army Reserve command, was picked Tuesday by Defense Secretary William Cohen to be one of seven Army Reserve colonels to be elevated to the rank of brigadier general.

His nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.

Meanwhile, still pending is the promotion of Col. Robert Lee to the one-star rank as head of the 9th Regional Support Command -- the major Army Reserve command in Hawaii. Lee was appointed as head of Hawaii's Army Reserve in February 1999 -- several months before Tom. That position is supposed to be held by a one-star general.

A Fort Shafter spokesman said that Lee's promotion is still before the Office of the Chief of Army Reserve in Washington, D.C.

Another Army Reserve colonel awaiting word of her promotion is Coral Pietsch, who has been selected to be chief judge in the Army's judge advocate general's office. That position also is a one-star general officer's slot.

Tom, 51, has been holding the assistant chief of staff position at Yongsan, South Korea, since September 1999.

As an Army reservist Tom has served as chief of staff and deputy commander of the 9th RSC. He commanded 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade in Hawaii from 1992-95.

A 1967 Punahou School graduate, Tom graduated from the University of Michigan, where he was commissioned as second lieutenant through its ROTC program, and earned his law degree from Boston University.

"There was never any inkling that I could go this far when I first came aboard in 1971," Tom said. "I am deeply honored."

He and his wife, Diane, have two teen-age daughters.

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