East Hawaii News

Ige Appoints Military Veterans to Administration

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A protocol officer and deputy military affairs liaison have been appointed by Governor David Ige.

Rob Lee will act as the State’s newest protocol officer, while Thomas Kahalu Lee Jr. is the new military affairs liaison.

“The legislature created this new military affairs liaison position last session to assist with community relations involving the military and state government,” Governor Ige said Wednesday. “We’re honored that Tom accepted this first-ever position in Hawai‘i.”

Rob Lee served with the United States Air Force from 1980 to 1988 before he joined the Hawai’i Air National Guard in 1988. He is scheduled to retire in Feb. 2016 with 36 years of service and has served as the senior enlist leader within the guard.


A graduate of Wayland Baptist University, Rob Lee earned his Bachelor of Science degree in education and Master of Science degree in administration.

“We are honored to have Rob on our team. He offers a wide range of knowledge and his military background will be an asset to my administration,” said Governor Ige.

Thomas Lee is an Army and Navy veteran who was honorably discharged in 1999, only to re-enlist in the Army after the 9-11 attacks. In 2007, he was deployed to Iraq, where he was severely injured in an improvised explosive device ambush that led to the amputation of his right leg.


Between 2008 and 2014, Thomas worked as a defense contractor with the Army Acquisition Corp in Fort Belvoir in Virginia. He was also a member of the United States Paratriathlon team vying for the 2016 games prior to an injury that sidelined him.

Thomas Lee will be the first person to serve in the position of military affairs liaison.

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