JAPANESE AMERICAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION
1666 K Street,NW, Suite 500, Washington,D.C. 20006, c/o Gerald Yamada, Esq.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Vol. II
September 7, 2006 No. 18
CONTACT: Terry Shima (301-987-6746; email@example.com)
FOR PHOTO: Go to www.javadc.org, scroll down to press release, pictures embedded in article.
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KAY WAKATAKE PROMOTED TO MAJOR IN US ARMY JAG CORPS. HOLDS RESPONSIBLE POSITIONS IN JAVA AND ASIAN AMERICAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION
By Japanese American Veterans Association
On Friday, August 18, 2006, Kay Wakatake, was promoted to the rank of Major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps) in Rosslyn, Virginia. Kay Wakatake is the editor of the JAVA newsletter, a board member of the Asian American Veterans Association, and is of Japanese and Korean descent. She has been serving in the U.S. Army JAG Corps since 1999.
Colonel Mark L. Warren, Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate General and MAJ Wakatake's
husband, David Radovich, pinning on Major's Oak leaves
The impressive promotion ceremony was attended by the Army’s Judge Advocate General Major General (MG) Scott C. Black, The Assistant Judge Advocate General MG Daniel V. Wright, and the Regimental Warrant Officer of the Corps Chief Warrant Officer Four Carol E. Hauck. Colonel Marc L. Warren, Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate General, presided over the ceremony.
Ten members of the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) also attended. The WWII veterans were Grant Hirabayashi of Merrill’s Marauders and a member of the Ranger Hall of Fame; Yeiichi Kelly Kuwayama of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) and Silver Star recipient; Terry Shima of the 442nd RCT and JAVA Executive Director; Joe Ichiuji of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 442nd RCT; and Grant Ichikawa of the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). Other JAVA members were Chosei Kuge, Korean War veteran; Vic Mukai, JAVA Vice President; Earl Takeguchi, JAVA Treasurer; Michael Yaguchi, JAVA Deputy Executive Director; and Major Sharon Nitsche, Military Intelligence and JAVA member. MAJ Wakatake’s husband David Radovich and her two-year-old twins Peter and Jack were also present.
Some JAVA members who attended the promotion ceremony. L-R: Grant Ichikawa,
Grant Hirabayashi, Kelly Kuwayama, Colonel Warren, MAJ Wakatake, Terry Shima,
Chosei Kuge, Joe Ichiuji.
COL Warren began the ceremony with a brief background of the 442nd RCT and Merrill’s Marauders, and then recognized each veteran individually. COL Warren praised the wartime heroism of the 442nd, MIS, and Merrill’s Marauders, stating there was “more valor among them than any other organization in the US Army.” He also said that with “MAJ Wakatake’s impressive academic background, she could have pursued a civilian career that commanded large financial benefits; however, like her predecessors, she answered the call to duty to serve her country. Promotion to a field grade officer position attests to her leadership potential, Warren concluded.”
MAJ Wakatake also gave tribute to the veterans, stating to them “you have inspired me -- I have become a Major because you have broken down barriers, creating a bright future for the newer generation of Japanese Americans.” As a token of her appreciation, she gave each JAVA member the Army the Judge Advocate General Corps Regimental coin. Many in the line congratulating MAJ Wakatake on her promotion also thanked the JAVA members for their military service.
Major Wakatake has been reassigned to her next duty station, at Charlottesville, Virginia. She has been selected for attendance at the JAG Graduate School for completion of a Master of Laws degree in Military Law. 30