Shirey Memorial Scholarship 

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. Today's issue features the Shirey Memorial Scholarship in honor of JAVA member Major Orville Shirey, 442nd Veteran, and his wife Maud Shirey. It 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 Orville Shirey, 442nd Veteran

Major Shirey was born in Cumberland, Maryland, and graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1942. While at Maryland, Orville participated in the ROTC program and was editor of the school newspaper, Diamondback. Following the activation of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated Japanese American unit in 1943, he served as the S-2 Regimental Intelligence Officer during the unit’s entire historic combat role. Immediately after the war, in 1946, Major Shirey's book Americans: The Story of the 442nd Combat Team, was published by the Infantry Journal Press, where he worked as Assistant to the Editor. Shirey's book continues to be one of the most authoritative sources on the combat record of the segregated Japanese American troops. 

Shirey considered his military service in 442nd Regimental Combat Team as being a high point in his life. During the memorial service for Orville, Yeiichi Kelly Kuwayama, a Combat Medic in Company E of the 442nd, remarked, "Major Shirey was held in high respect by the men and officers of the Japanese American 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team for his intelligence, honesty, integrity, and devotion to duty." Shirey's son, Michael, noted that, while his father did not discuss details of his war years, it was clear that "serving with the 442nd was the proudest and most rewarding experience in his lifetime. He loved you guys." Major Shirey’s military awards included the Legion of Merit, Combat Infantryman Badge, Distinguished Unit Badge and the Medaglia al Valore Militare (Medal of Valor) from the Italian Government. 

After the end of World War II, Mr. Shirey went on to a enjoy a successful career in marketing consulting. While working at the Infantry Journal Press (now Army magazine), his boss asked him to lead the firm’s mail order service. He became fascinated with this line of work and in 1953 left the Press to open his own direct marketing consulting firm. Eventually, he would have as his clients the National Rifle Association, US News and World Report, the National Geographic Society and the Air Force Association. He became the president of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington and editor of its newsletter for ten years.

Maud Shirey graduated in 1939 from Allegany High School in Cumberland, Maryland and graduated from Western Maryland College in 1943. She majored in English Literature with a minor in Library Science. Following graduation Maud moved to New York City and landed a job as a radio engineer at Voice of America and the Armed Forces Radio for three years until the war ended. After the war, Maud returned home to Cumberland, married Orville Shirey, and moved to the Washington, D.C. area. In addition to raising and caring for her family, she served on the founding boards of Grace Episcopal Day School and Grace Episcopal Church’s Pennyworth Shop, where she volunteered faithfully for over 40 years.

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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