In the Military

Gregg K. Kakesako

See also: For Your Benefit


Saint Louis grad
takes task force in Italy

Jason Kamiya: Will receive second general's star

Brig. Gen. Jason K. Kamiya, commanding general of the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk in Louisiana, has been selected to be the next commander of the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force (Airborne) in Italy. The task force's mission is to provide trained forces that are deployable within 72 hours. With about 1,900 soldiers, it is the largest U.S. Army force south of the Alps in Europe. The U.S. airborne rapid reaction force is located at Caserma Ederle in Vicenza, about 25 miles west of Venice.

Last month, Kamiya, 48, was tapped to receive his second star as a major general.

Kamiya, a 1972 Saint Louis School graduate, has been the commander general of the Joint Readiness command for nearly three years. He also oversaw the changes to the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Polk as it converted to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

Kamiya served as a platoon leader and company executive officer with the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990-91, Kamiya was the deputy operations officer with the 24th Infantry Division. He commanded the 101st Airborne Division's 1st Battalion from 1992-94.

In 1997, Kamiya returned to Fort Polk to head the Warrior Brigade and then was assigned as the 101st Division's chief of staff in 1999. In March 2001 Kamiya was named as assistant commander for the 101st and served at Fort Campbell until his he was selected to command the Joint Readiness Training Center in December 2001.

His father, Lawrence, fought with the 100th Battalion in World War II. He is married to the former Carmen Unciano, a 1973 Waimea High School graduate whom he met while attending Gonzaga University.

Hawaii Army National Guard Maj. Gen. Dennis Kamimura, former commander of the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Infantry Brigade, will retire April 12. He will be replaced by Brig. Gen. Ronald Crowder as deputy commanding general at U.S. Army Pacific, at Fort Shafter. Kamimura, 56, in civilian life heads the city Motor Vehicle Licensing Division. Crowder, a Vietnam War veteran, is now deputy director for operations at the U.S. Northern Command. His primary responsibility is the missile defense mission, which is to deter ballistic missile attacks on the United States, its territories, possessions and bases. Crowder, a former judge, served from 1999 to 2003 as head of the Colorado Army National Guard units and its 3400 citizen soldiers. Kamimura is also a St. Louis graduate -- class of 1964.

Gen. Bill Begert, Pacific Air Forces commander and air component commander for U.S. Pacific Command, will retire Aug. 1 after more than 36 years of service. A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Begert served as a forward air controller in the Vietnam War, where he flew more than 300 combat missions. His replacement has not been announced.

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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