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William Cole

William Cole was a military writer in Hawaii since 2001, first with the Honolulu Advertiser and since 2010, with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser until retiring in 2021.


In 2004, he embedded with U.S. Army 25th Infantry soldiers on their first major deployment to Iraq, reporting from Kirkuk, Hawija, Tall Afar and Halabja on the Iranian border. During the same year, Cole also reported from Afghanistan on the deployment of a separate 25th Infantry brigade, reporting from Bagram Air Base and Orgun-E in Paktika province on the eastern border with Pakistan.


In June of 2005, he traveled to Kuwait and Iraq to report on a deployment by the Hawaii Army National Guard. In Iraq he reported from Camp Victory in Baghdad and Logistics Supply Area Anaconda north of Baghdad. That fall, he accompanied a Hawaii-based Army Chinook helicopter unit to Afghanistan and then Pakistan to report on earthquake relief humanitarian assistance flights to remote Pakistani areas.


Cole received seven first-place awards, including the top public service category award, in the 2010 Hawaii Publishers Association Pa'i awards for a four-part series on a fateful U.S. Army battle in 2008 in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan that resulted in the deaths of nine U.S. soldiers.


Cole has observed operations while underway on U.S. Navy ships including aircraft carriers, destroyers, cruisers, submarines, joint high speed vessels and littoral combat ships; traveled extensively by Army and Navy helicopters; and flown into and out of combat zones and other mission areas on Air Force C-17, C-5 and C-130 aircraft.
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