By Staff Sgt. Shameeka StanleyMarch 29, 2019
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Robert K. Maeshiro, a Communications Security (COMSEC) account manager assigned to the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater (MIB-T), was commended and thanked by Maj. Gen. Gary W. Johnston, commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command's, for serving 55 years with the U.S. federal government as an active duty Soldier and as a Department of Defense (DoD) civilian this year.
Maeshiro's is responsible for strategic and tactical communications security throughout the brigade and other elements.
"After 55 years of service, Maeshiro optimizes the Army values," said Maj. Benjamin W. Gong, executive officer, 500th MIB-T. "He is an asset to the brigade with his many years of COMSEC expertise. We would not be able to do our mission without him."
Born and raised on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, Maeshiro decided at the age of 18, to voluntarily enlist in the U.S. Army, March 1963 during the Vietnam War. He made the decision to defend his country while experiencing new opportunities.
Maeshiro attended basic training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Ord, California, where he was trained to be a clerk typist (an administrative assistance), he received his first duty assignment to the National Security Agency (NSA), Fort Meade, Maryland, where he worked in the Communication Center.
"A change in environment was just what I needed," said Maeshiro. "Although I was used to a climate with sunny skies, palm trees, and warm temperatures all year around, I was up for the new challenge and ready to trade it all for cold winters and snow in Maryland."
After his first enlistment, Maeshiro decided to reenlist for four more years and seek an assignment overseas. He was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Security Agency (ASA) Pacific, Camp Zama, Japan, where he worked as a personnel specialist, gaining valuable experience in a variety position he held at ASA.
Maeshiro's military career took him on a journey that not even he could've imagined for himself. He went from the island of Oahu to Maryland then Japan and other various assignments throughout the U.S. and the Pacific, before he decided to leave active duty in April 1970. Maeshiro was honorably discharged after serving seven years in the Army, at the rank of Specialist Six (E-6) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Back home in Hawaii, Maeshiro decided to continue his education in computer programming. In 1971, he received a phone call offering him a position as a Department of Defense (DoD) employee with the U.S. Army Computer Systems Command Support Group Pacific at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
Over the next four decades, Maeshiro held many positions in the U.S. Army, relocating him between Japan and Hawaii, moving between countries four times and joining the 500th Military Intelligence (MI) Group in 1985, where he accepted the positon of the Automated Data Processing (ADP) Chief, Asian Studies Detachment, 500th MI Group, Camp Zama, Japan.
Throughout Maeshiro's career, he has been known as a great asset to the team, contributing his expertise and skills to others, according to Daniel "Dan" Wong, Command Language Program Manager, 500th MIB-T.
"I met Bob in 1995 in Camp Zama, Japan, while we were assigned to the 500th Military Intelligence Group. He was a consummate professional, ensuring that our intelligence systems worked," said Wong. "He was instrumental with getting correspondence out. His work ethic has brought him far in his career."
Maeshiro spent approximately 30 years in Japan throughout his entire career. Although he is a third generation Japanese, after his grandparents immigrated to Hawaii from Okinawa, he and his siblings were raised to speak English. While working as a military security programmer with a group that included local nationals, Maeshiro was able to pick up on conversational Japanese.
Maeshiro was very active in participating in non-profit community-based activities for the military community and in the local community. He joined the U.S. Army Japan bowling team, served on the Board of Directors for the local bowling association, and even went on to compete in state level bowling matches in Hong Kong with American and Japanese professional bowlers.
Maeshiro's meticulous attention to detail and work ethic when it came to completing a task was key to his success. He truly enjoys his job and gives 100 percent every time, which has been the "secret" to his career and longevity.
"All throughout my career, for the most part, I was doing a good job. I just do the best I can do and people are happy and I keep working," said Maeshiro. So, my basic theory is do a good job and you got a job."
Maeshiro has proven himself to be resilient and dedicated to duty. Whether it was working with a team of analysts and programmers to help manage U.S. Army ports worldwide, installing systems throughout different locations in the Pacific or ensuring that all authorized Brigade Communication Security (COMSEC) users meet the Brigade's COMSEC requirements in Hawaii and abroad, Maeshiro has humbly risen to the occasion every time and plans on continuing to do so.
Over the course of Maeshiro's career, retirement was never something that he actually thought about.
"The work has been interesting. I intend to keep working for as long as I can work," said Maeshiro. "As long as I can function and complete the mission, then why retire? It keeps me active and keeps my mind active."
After 55 years of federal service, Maeshiro is still working as hard as he was when he first enlisted back in 1963, with no plans to retire anytime soon. He continues to play a key role in the mission of the 500th MIB-T and U.S. Army Intelligence Command (INSCOM) making a committed effort to continually working together with others and make a difference in order to protect Soldiers' lives, today and in the future.