JAPANESE AMERICAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION
(Amour, LLC; 1313 Dolley Madison Blvd; McLean, VA 22101)
April 20, 2011
CONTACT: Terry Shima 301-987-6746; email@example.com
PHOTO: Two photo accompany this press release.
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TWO ELITE US ARMY AIRBORNE DIVISIONS COMMANDED BY JAPANESE AMERICANS
Japanese American Veterans Association
[EdNote. It is a rare occasion indeed when the stars align so that the US Army’s two legendary Airborne divisions are each commanded by a Japanese American. Here is that story. JAVA wishes to thank the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions Public Relations offices for the creation of this article.]
Washington, DC. – There’s no doubt that opportunities for minorities in America have come a long way, it’s no different for those who serve in the military. In the past there haven’t always been the same opportunities for minorities in the military as there are today.
You can find proof of the large strides that have been made by looking at the U.S. Army, two of its most legendary combat units; the 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) are both commanded by an American of Japanese heritage.
Major General John F. Campbell, commanding general, 101st Airborne Division., based out of Fort Campbell, Ky., Japanese ancestry comes from his mother’s side. The Fairfield, California native is a graduate of the US Military Academy, class of 1979. He joins the ranks of other famous commanders of the 101st “Screaming Eagles,” to include Generals Maxwell Taylor, William C. Westmoreland and David H. Petreus.
Major. General James L. Huggins, Jr., commanding general, 82nd Airborne Division, based out of Fort Bragg, N.C., has Japanese ancestry that also comes from his mother’s side. The Honolulu, Hawaii native, a Leleihua High School graduate, entered the Army via Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Georgia. He follows in the footsteps of famous former 82nd “All-American” commanders such as Generals Matthew B. Ridgeway, James M. Gavin, Maxwell D. Taylor, and Omar N. Bradley
Having Japanese heritage isn’t the only thing these commanders have in common; they both have impeccable credentials for their respective positions. They are close friends having once served as Brigade Commanders in the 82nd Airborne at the same time and are known for their outstanding leadership qualities and caring for the welfare of their men, women and their families. The two officers are well respected by their subordinates, peers, and superiors.
The older of the two airborne divisions is the 82nd Airborne, which was activated on August 5, 1917, while the 101st Airborne Division, was activated on August 16, 1942.
During World War II, both elite divisions launched a massive air invasion, the largest air assault in history, to secure landing zones for the infantry forces on June 6, 1944, Normandy Invasion. They both contributed to Germany’s defeat in the historic Battle of the Bulge.
In the post-World War II era, neither division was deployed during the Korean War, but both divisions would serve in the Vietnam War, the 82nd Airborne deployed there for 22 months and the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) spending seven years in country.
In August 1990, both divisions were dispatched to Kuwait where they launched the invasion of Iraq on January 16, 1991 (Desert Storm/Desert Shield).
Since the events of September 11, 2001, both divisions have faced multiple deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, the 82nd and 101st have swapped command of the International Security Assistance Force Regional Command-East headquarters at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan back-to-back from each other for at least one year deployments since summer 2007. 30