Chicago – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs recognized Maj. Gen. James H. Mukoyama, Jr., a prominent veteran leader with over 30 years of service to his community, county and to his fellow veterans, as the Illinois Veteran of the Month for May 2013. Mukoyama, a U.S. Army veteran, was honored at a ceremony scheduled for Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at the Pritzker Military Library, 104 South Michigan Ave, Chicago IL.
“Maj. Gen. Mukoyama epitomizes the great service connection and community involvement of our veterans in Illinois,” said IDVA Assistant Director Rodrigo Garcia. “For over 30 years, he made a difference in the Army, commanding from the platoon to the division level in peacetime and combat. Since retiring he continues to make a difference – from founding the Military Outreach Greater Chicago, to serving as the Chair of the VA’s Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans, to serving as a patient volunteer for Rainbow Hospice in Park Ridge.”
Mukoyama’s service began in the Army in 1965 upon graduation from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature, followed by a Master’s degree in the Teaching of Social Studies in 1966. During his 5 years on active duty, Mukoyama served in the demilitarized zone in South Korea and as an infantry company commander in Vietnam where he was wounded and received the Silver Star for gallantry. Leaving active duty, he served nearly 25 years commanding at the company, battalion, brigade, and division levels in the Army Reserves. He was the youngest General Officer in the entire U.S. Army in 1987, and subsequently the youngest Major General when promoted 3 years later. In 1989, he became the first Asian-American to command an Army division and led the 70th Training Division to participate in Operation Desert Storm in January 1991.
Following his 38-year career in the financial services industry, including membership on the New York Stock Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Mukoyama established Military Outreach Greater Chicago (MOGC), a faith-based 501(c)(3) serving active military, veterans and their families, to help them cope with the visible and invisible wounds associated with military service.
His decorations and badges include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, 3 Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, Parachutist Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He was nominated by Kenneth Clark, President, Pritzker Military Library.