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Hawaii News

Guard to honor Lee and Lingle in ceremony

William Cole

More than 800 Hawaii National Guard soldiers and airmen will be in formation to honor Gov. Linda Lingle and Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee in a farewell ceremony this morning at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The National Guard said the 9:30 a.m. "inspection of command" in a Humvee will allow the governor and Lee, the state adjutant general, to say aloha to Hawaii National Guard troops.

Lee, 62, was appointed the adjutant general on Jan. 1, 2003, by Lingle. The Cabinet-level position includes duties as executive director of the state Department of Defense, which includes the Hawaii Army and Air National Guard.

Lee also is state Civil Defense director.

Lee is retiring from the Hawaii Army National Guard, officials said.

Gen. Craig R. McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau, also will be part of the official party today. Aircraft operated by the Hawaii Air National Guard will be part of the farewell, and Lingle and Lee will receive a 19-gun salute from the Hawaii Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery.

Prior to becoming adjutant general, Lee was commanding general of the Army Reserve’s 9th Regional Support Command.

In 1971 he received his commission through ROTC at the University of Hawaii.

Lee’s civilian career included 27 years overhauling nuclear submarines at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. His final job was superintendent of nuclear regional maintenance for the U.S. Pacific Fleet submarine force.

About a half-dozen names have been mentioned as a possible successor to Lee as Neil Abercrombie prepares to become the next governor.

Among the names mentioned is that of Maj. Gen. Darryll D.M. Wong, commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard.

Wong received his commission in 1972 through the Air Force ROTC program at UH.


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