2017 Hoe scholar introduced

| September 7, 2017 | 0 Comments

Gen. Robert Brown, left, commander of USARPAC, shares a congratulations photo to 2017 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe scholarship recipient Cadet Vanna Nguyen, Aug. 28 along with Alan Hoe, Nainoa’s father.

Story and photos by
Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The 11th annual 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe Scholarship of Honor was awarded to University of Hawaii at Manoa ROTC Cadet Vanna Nguyen, Aug. 28, at the mission training complex named after the late lieutenant.

“I’m honored to be able to receive this award,” Nguyen said. “I joined the Army because I wanted to make my parents proud and because so many of my mentors in JROTC encouraged me to pursue the Army. I’m enjoying it so far and look forward to learning more about leadership and the Army.”

The scholarship, which this year amounted to a total of $2,500, is awarded to cadets from UH Manoa who demonstrate academic, athletic and leadership skills, and who have a commitment to public service.

“I admire young men and women from Hawaii who aspire to do good, not only for their families, but for their country,” said Allen Hoe, Nainoa’s father. “It gives me great satisfaction to see my son’s legacy continue in this way.”

Allen Hoe is also the civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army for West Oahu and a Vietnam War combat veteran.

A representative from U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard recognized Nguyen with a certificate, and Gabbard herself attended the ceremony in her role as a major in the Hawaii National Guard. She congratulated Nguyen and encouraged her to follow Lt. Nainoa Hoe’s example of leadership and service.

Hoe remembered
Gen. Robert Brown, commander of U.S. Army-Pacific, also shared a few words at the ceremony and bestowed a silver medallion upon Nguyen in honor of Hoe’s legacy.

Brown was Lt. Nainoa Hoe’s colonel at the time Hoe was killed by hostile fire while leading his platoon on a combat patrol to urge Iraqi citizens to vote in their first national election. He died on Jan. 22, 2005, in Mosul.

“I had a lot of time to get to know Nainoa Hoe, watching him as a leader. It was one of the greatest honors of my life … to watch him,” Brown said. “He was an authentic leader. His Soldiers loved him. They would follow him anywhere.

“I want to congratulate Cadet Nguyen,” he continued. “I know Nainoa would be proud of you, and we are all proud of you.”

Nguyen is a sophomore at UH Manoa, where she is studying animal science with the intent to serve as a veterinarian in the Army. She’s a member of the ROTC’s Warrior Battalion, serving as a second-year cadet under the Army’s Cadet Command.

Gen. Robert Brown, commander of USARPAC, offers congratulations to 2017 1st Lt. Nainoa Hoe scholarship recipient Cadet Vanna Nguyen, Aug. 28.

She graduated from Roosevelt High School in 2015, and was part of its JROTC program. She enlisted in the Army while she was a junior at there, through the Army’s delayed-entry program and, upon graduating, reported to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for basic training.

She is currently in the Army Reserve, assigned to the 311th Signal Command (Theater) at Fort Shafter as a financial management technician.

Lt. Nainoa Hoe was a 1995 Kamehameha Schools graduate and a cadet in its JROTC program. He went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration from UH Manoa and to commission as an Army infantry officer in 2003 through the university’s ROTC program.

The funding for this year’s scholarship came via a $1,000 endowment from Waimanalo businessman Ohelo Kaopio through the Wisconsin-based Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation, and a $1,500 endowment from Christopher Dawson, founder of the Hawaiian Native Corporation.

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