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Former 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Infantry Commander’s Remarks to Seattle Veterans

01 Jun 2019 2:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

From 100th Veterans Hawaii Puka Puka Parade, June 2019 issue

Seattle, WA.  COL Keith Horikawa, former commander of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, a reserve unit which served tours in the Middle East and in the Philippines, and JAVA member, was the keynote speaker at the Nisei Veterans Committee, Seattle, WA, Installation Luncheon on March 16, 2019.   Following are Horikawa’s remarks as condensed by the Puka Puka Parade.  COL Horikawa and Puka Puka Parade granted approval to reprint.

The 100-442 reverted back to reserve status on December 12th, 1969.  The 442d as a regiment exists in name only under the Army’s Regimental System, and only the 100th Battalion remains as an actual unit; the 2d Battalion, 3d Battalion, 522d Field Artillery, 232d Engineers, and other specialty units of the original 442d remain deactivated. Currently, the 100th Battalion consists of Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), D Company, and the 740th Forward Support Company in Fort Shafter, Hawaii; B and C Companies in Pago Pago, America Samoa; and E Company in Guam and Saipan.  

In 2004, the 100th Battalion was ordered into active service and deployed to Iraq the following year in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III as part of the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Hawaii Army National Guard.  [Incidentally, the 29th IBCT replaced the Washington National Guard’s 81st IBCT, which performed brilliantly and set the conditions for the 29th IBCT’s success in theater.)   During this deployment, the 100th was assigned to the Balad area of Iraq operating out of LSA Anaconda. Five Soldiers assigned or attached to the 100th Battalion were killed in action:

 SSG FRANK TIAI, Charlie Company

 SSG WILGENE LIETO, Echo Company

 CPL DERENCE JACK, Echo Company

 SGT DEYSON CARIAGA, attached to Charlie Company from the 229th MI company, and

 SGT EVAN PARKER, attached to Delta Company from the 1-487th Field Artillery.

The battalion redeployed in 2006.  In 2007, a platoon from D Company, 100th Battalion, deployed to the Jolo region of the Philippines for a 9-month mission in support of counter insurgency operations with US Army Special Forces.  In 2008, the 100th Battalion was once again ordered to active service for deployment to Iraq. This time, the 100th Battalion was reorganized as a Motorized Infantry Battalion and performed over 1500 combat escort missions covering approximately 1.3 million miles throughout Iraq.  During this deployment, however, we did lose two Soldiers:

 SSG JULIAN MANGLONA, Echo Company, and

 CPL CASEY HILLS, Charlie Company.

I’m proud to report that the 100th Battalion today is a strong, relevant organization in the modern Army. The battalion has the latest in weapons, equipment, and technology; has served and fought overseas in the Global War on Terror; and continues to participate actively throughout the Pacific Theater in exercises in Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea, and New Caledonia to name a few.   Most notably, the current 100th Battalion is a manifestation of what

the Nisei Soldier fought for in WWII - equality and fairness. 

What was once a segregated unit made up of Japanese American Soldiers is now one of the most racially and culturally diverse organizations in the Army. The Battalion is spread out across the Pacific with units in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and Saipan. Throughout our ranks are Soldiers - men and women - of every imaginable race and ethnic background who proudly live and Soldier by the words, “Go For Broke“.  I can personally attest to the fact that today’s Soldiers of the 100th know the battalion’s WWII history intimately; sing the 442nd fight song powerfully and participate in Nisei veterans events, clubhouse cleanups, and sadly, Nisei veterans funerals on a routine basis. 

I have served in various units in the National Guard ten Army Reserve over the past 28 years and can honestly say that the 100th BN Soldiers are a special breed - they’re a more confident, competent, yet humble group than other units.  They have a certain can-do attitude that can only be described as the Go For Broke spirit. To a Soldier all have a deep pride in the regiment’s continuing history from WWII and strive to maintain the legacy and honor of the 442nd.


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