In the Military

Gregg K. Kakesako

See also: For Your Benefit


St. Louis grad tapped
for two-star general

Army Brig. Gen. Jason K. Kamiya, a 1972 St. Louis School graduate, has been nominated for his second star. Kamiya since December 2001 has been commanding general of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk in Louisiana. His command includes 8,700 soldiers, 13,000 family members and 37,000 retirees spread over nearly 200,000 acres in west central Louisiana. It pumps more than $826 million annually into the local economy.

Other former island residents who wear two stars on their shoulders are Army Maj. Gens. Joseph Peterson, a 1968 St. Louis alumnus; and Antonio Taguba, a 1968 graduate of Leilehua High School. Taguba is the deputy commanding general for support for the 3rd Army at Fort McPherson, Ga. Peterson, former commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, is now vice director for operations on the Pentagon's joint staff.

When the frigate USS Reuben James left for Pearl Harbor on Feb. 12 for Central and South America, it carried several Coast Guard sailors who specialize in counter-drug operations. The frigate returned from the Persian Gulf 10 months ago following a nine-month war deployment.

The Pentagon, after a year of planning, has authorized the creation of a Korean Defense Service Medal whose period of eligibility stretches back to July 28, 1954. To qualify, a service member must have been assigned, attached or mobilized to units in Korea for 30 consecutive of 60 nonconsecutive days. Four hundred fifty-six Hawaii soldiers died in the war. During the three-year Korean War 33,665 service members were killed, 105,819 wounded and 8,177 listed as missing in action.

"We all know that for too long the men and women who served in the 'Forgotten War' have not received their full measure of recognition," said U.S. Rep. Ed Case. "The services of those who have defended South Korea since the technical cessation of hostilities in 1954 also deserve special recognition for the dangers they faced. Since then, despite the armistice, North Korea has conducted limited military actions, organized terrorist attacks and threatened to engulf the region into a massive conflict."

Christina Kemmer, executive vice president of Communications Pacific, was re-appointed to serve another two-year term as the civilian aide to the secretary of the Army, representing Hawaii. Civilian aides serve a two-year term without pay.

Kemmer, who was first appointed in 1999, serves as a liaison to acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee and provides information about the Army's missions and objectives to the citizens of Hawaii, and relates the civilian community's point of view to the Army.

Kemmer was among the Hawaii leaders who traveled to Bosnia in 2002 to visit areas where Hawaii soldiers were serving a six-month tour as peacekeepers.

Moving Up

>> Hickam Air Force Base: Col. Albert F. Riggle, director of security forces for Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, has been nominated for brigadier general.

>> Pearl Harbor: Cmdr. William Naut has assumed command of the destroyer USS O'Kane.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other
sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for
the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He can be reached can be reached by phone
at 294-4075 or by e-mail at


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