Col. James Hirai
Chief of Staff
U.S. Army, Pacific (USARPAC)

Photo of: Col. James Hirai

      Col. James Hirai earned his commission through ROTC from the University of Hawaii in 1974.  He went on to obtain a Masters in Education Foundations from Troy University in Troy, Alabama.  Col. Hirai also graduated from the Army War College.  He began his tour as Chief of Staff for the US Army, Pacific, on 17 September 1999 and served in that capacity until July 2001.

     Hirai served two tours at the US Pacific Command, Camp Smith, Hawaii; the latter of which he was speechwriter for the Commander in Chief.  He commanded the US Army Garrison, Hawaii, from 1997 until assuming duties as Chief of Staff for USARPAC.

      Following Hirai’s tenure as USARPAC Chief of Staff, he served as the Assistant Division Commander (Maneuver), 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Hood, Texas.  From there, he became the Deputy Commandant of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.  While serving in that position, Hirai received a promotion to brigadier general in December 2002.  In August 2004, he assumed command as Commanding General, U.S. Army Alaska/Deputy Commander, U.S. Alaskan Command, serving in that capacity until July 2005.  Hirai was the special assistant to the Commander, Combined Forces Command – Afghanistan from July 2005 to January 2006 and worked in the Office of Security Cooperation – Afghanistan, where he led the external support to the Afghan Ministry of Defense and National Army.  Since his retirement in 2006, he has served as the Deputy Director of the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies.

      Hirai’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Expert Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and the Ranger Tab.


USARPAC postures and prepares the force for unified land operations, responds to threats, sustains and protects the force, and builds military relationships that develop partner defense capacity in order to contribute to a stable and secure U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.


General Vincent K. Brooks Commanding General

Vincent K. Brooks

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