Major Mike Okusa


a JAVA Memorial Scholarship for High School Seniors

JAVA is profiling the sacrifices and contributions made by the men and women that our JAVA Memorial Scholarship program honors. The next in our series is the Major Mike Okusa Scholarship in honor of JAVA founding member, Major Muneo Michael Okusa, MIS veteran. The Okusa scholarship is sponsored by his family and friends, and is one of the $1,500 JAVA Memorial Scholarships that will be awarded to a high school senior. Application information can be found at the end of the article as well as on the JAVA website. 

Major Muneo Michael Okusa, MIS. 

Major Mike Okusa Scholarship

Muneo Michael Okusa was born in Paxton, Nebraska, on October 31, 1920, to a farmer, Sotaro Okusa, and his wife, Satoe Matsutani. Mike appreciated what he believed were the true qualities of life, unadulterated by today's technology and other luxuries which would have detracted from the pure and simple lifestyle he enjoyed in Paxton. Mike was subjected to confinement in internment camps during WWII but later was recruited along with many of his Nisei compatriots to dedicate themselves to fighting for the American war effort. He joined the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) and received training at Camp Savage, Minnesota. During WWII, he served as a linguistics expert, along with many other Nisei who demonstrated their loyalty to the United States. Indeed, their collective efforts were felt by many to have shortened the war by two years. He and other Nisei in the MIS, 100th Infantry Battalion, and 442nd Regimental Combat Team were recognized by the United States and were honored individually with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2011. 

Major Okusa also served in the invasion force in April 1965 to stabilize the Dominican Republic during the Dominican Civil War. He retired from active military service as a Major on June 30, 1965. His intelligence service continued through several more decades in positions in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. During his time in the CIA, he served in Vietnam for three years during the height of the conflict. He received several awards, including the American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. He was also the recipient of The Meritorious Civilian Service Medal from the National Security Agency and the Intelligence Medal of Merit from the Central Intelligence Agency. Okusa continued to serve the cause of the Nisei as one of the founding members of the Japanese American Veterans Association from the time of its establishment in 1992. He served as Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors.

[Ed Note: The profile was taken from an obituary that can be found in its entirety at]

Major Muneo Michael Okusa, MIS. July 19, 2009. 

JAVA Scholarship Eligibility and Applications


  • Descendants of a WWII Nisei military service member who served in the:
    • 100th Infantry Battalion.
    • 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
    • Military Intelligence Service.
    • 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion.
    • Other United States military units, including the Women’s Army. Corps or Army Nurses Corps.
  • Current members of JAVA whose membership began prior to April 1, 2018.
  • Children of current JAVA members are eligible to apply if the applicant’s parent or guardian was a member of JAVA prior to April 1, 2018.
  • Past or present members of the Army’s 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, are eligible and encouraged to apply to the Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship.


Applicants should first review published rules and forms.  Applications and supporting documents must be electronically submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 19, 2020, to  with either “2020 Inouye Memorial Scholarship,” “2020 Founder’s Memorial Scholarship,”  "Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship," or for the other named scholarships, “2020 JAVA Memorial Scholarship” and the applicant’s name in the subject line.  Applications not received by that date or that fail to meet the submission requirements will NOT be considered. Applicants will be notified of a decision by early June 2020.  Awards will be presented at the annual JAVA scholarship luncheon on July 18, 2020. 

2020 JAVA Memorial Scholarship Program Overview  here.

2020 U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye Memorial Scholarship here.

2020 Founder's Scholarship here.

2020 Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship here.

2020 JAVA Memorial Scholarships here.

Scholarship information can also be found on the JAVA website:

Questions or Suggestions: Please contact Neet Ford, at

Japanese American Veterans Association:  Address: P.O. Box 341198, Bethesda, MD 20827 I 

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