| James Mukoyama|
James Mukoyama Wikipedia
James Mukoyama (born 1944) was the first Asian American to command a United States Army division. He served over thirty years on active and reserve duty in the Army, including service in Korea and Vietnam.
James Mukoyama was born on August 3, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois. His father was a Japanese immigrant and his mother was the child of immigrant parents from Japan. Mukoyama's mother's family was interned at the American concentration camp Manzanar.
Mukoyama first became involved with the military when he joined the Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC) program in high school. He later attended the University of Illinois at Navy Pier, where he earned a bachelor's degree in English. While pursuing his bachelor's degree, he continued his involvement with ROTC as well as Pershing Rifles and the Drill Team. He later earned a master's degree in Teaching of Social Studies. During this time, he attended boot camp, Officer Candidate School, and earned his Jump Wings.
Mukoyama volunteered to fight in the Vietnam War, but was sent to Korea instead. After serving in Korea, he was sent to Vietnam in 1969. In 1986, he became the youngest general in the army at that time. Soon after he was promoted to major general, commanding the 70th Training Division during Desert Storm.
In 1995, Mukoyama retired from the military. His accomplishments during his retirement include helping to form the Military Outreach of Greater Chicago, serving as Vice Chair of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans, and serving as chair for a committee with the National Veterans' Network to select the design for the Congressional Gold Medal award authorized by the Congressional Gold Medal for Japanese American Veterans Act.Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
Badges: Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Aircrewman Badge, Expert Marksmanship Badge
Illinois Veteran of the Month, May 2013
Transcript of interview with Pritzker Military Museum & Library
Profile for the Oral History Program at Pritzker Military Museum & Library
Profile on the U.S. Army website