Mana O Ke Koa Award Ceremony
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Master Sgt. Jenelle Castillero, U.S. Army Pacific color guard non-commissioned officer in charge, leads the color guard at the Mana O Ke Koa “Spirit of the Warrior” civilian community service award ceremony at Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, on Aug. 18, 2022. The MOKK civilian community service award honors individuals who are community leaders that have distinguished themselves by their support to Soldiers, their families, and the Army community in the Pacific. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Mason Runyon) (Photo Credit: Spc. Mason Runyon) VIEW ORIGINAL
Mana O Ke Koa Award Ceremony
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – From left to right, Gen. Charles A. Flynn, U.S. Army Pacific commanding general; Roberto Los Banos representing the late Domingo Los Banos, 2020 Mana O Ke Koa “Spirit of the Warrior” award recipient; retired Maj. Gen. Robert G. F. Lee, 2021 MOKK award recipient; retired Gen. David Bramlett, 2022 MOKK award recipient; and Command Sgt. Maj. Scott A. Brzak, U. S. Army Pacific senior enlisted advisor, pose for a photo Aug. 18 during the MOKK award ceremony held at Historic Palm Circle, Ft. Shafter, Hawaii. The MOKK civilian community service award honors individuals who are community leaders that have distinguished themselves by their support to Soldiers, their families, and the Army community in the Pacific. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Christopher Smith) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
Mana O Ke Koa Award Ceremony
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Master Sgt. Jenelle Castillero, U.S. Army Pacific color guard non-commissioned officer in charge, leads the color guard at the Mana O Ke Koa “Spirit of the Warrior” civilian community service award ceremony at Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, on Aug. 18, 2022. The MOKK civilian community service award honors individuals who are community leaders that have distinguished themselves by their support to Soldiers, their families, and the Army community in the Pacific. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Christopher Smith) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
Mana O Ke Koa Award Ceremony
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The 25th Infantry Division Nui Ha'a Koa demonstrates Ha'a at the Mana O Ke Koa “Spirit of the Warrior” civilian community service award ceremony at Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, on Aug. 18, 2022. The MOKK civilian community service award honors individuals who are community leaders that have distinguished themselves by their support to Soldiers, their families, and the Army community in the Pacific. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Christopher Smith) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

Fort Shafter, Hawaii— A Soldier who fought alongside American service members as part of the Filipino Regiments of World War II, another who rose through the ranks to be one of Hawaii’s top military officers, and a Vietnam War infantryman who culminated in a career with four stars were honored as recipients of U.S. Army Pacific Mana O Ke Koa (Spirit of the Warrior) award.

During a ceremony on historic Palm Circle, USARPAC Commanding General, Gen. Charles A. Flynn, presented the prestigious community service award to Roberto Los Banos, representing the late Domingo Los Banos (2020), retired Maj. Gen. Robert Lee (2021), and retired Gen. David Bramlett (2022).

The award is presented each year to individuals who have distinguished themselves by their steadfast support to Soldiers, their families, and the Army community in the Pacific. The award was not presented in 2019 and 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While COVID kept us from gathering for the last two years, I’m pleased that we are able to hold this ceremony this year,” said Flynn. “This evening will set us back on the right track – to continue to foster the deep relationships we need with our community.”

The individuals selected to receive this award are community leaders that have demonstrated unparalleled support for Soldiers and have worked for the betterment of their communities.

Los Banos received the award posthumously, having passed away before he could be honored. A survivor of the war to liberate the Philippines, Los Banos became a teacher and principal in Hawaii and was a galvanizing force in the campaign to gain rights and benefits for Filipino veterans.

“Until the very end of his life, our dad campaigned for the Filipino Infantry and those other Filipinos that served under (Gen.) MacArthur,” said his son Roberto Los Banos.

Lee graduated from McKinley High School and was commissioned as an Army officer from the University of Hawaii Reserve Officer Training Corps. He served in the Army Reserves and then the Hawaii National Guard rising to be the state’s adjutant general. Lee championed the Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project and the honoring of Nisei Soldiers of the famed 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry.

“My unit of assignment (after graduating from UH) was 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry. Those World War Two veterans (still serving) taught this young lieutenant how to become an officer in the Army. These veterans will always be special to me, and to the other Soldiers who they help mold and train,” said Lee.

Bramlett started his Army career as a platoon leader in the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks. He survived two combat tours in Vietnam and rose to command U.S. Army Forces Command before retiring after 34 years of service. Bramlett served on numerous boards and societies that benefitted Soldiers and their families. He continues to volunteer his time to this day.

“There are tremendous demands on those who serve. I’m honored and pleased to receive this award and it’s a reflection of that steadfast support. I’m just one of the thousands here in this community that support our Soldiers,” said Bramlett.

Each awardee was presented a medallion and a certificate of achievement. The award also includes a perpetual handcrafted Hawaiian kahili made of wood, bone, and feathers. The Kahili was used in ancient Hawaiian times in the same way as European nobility used shields with coats of arms. Hawaiian nobility used the kahili to show status, lineage, and family ties. These three outstanding Soldiers, patriots, and community leaders now belong to the ohana of Mana O Ke Koa.

The inaugural Mana O Ke Koa award was presented in 2007, and each year the award continues to symbolize the commitment to recognizing and fostering positive relations between the local community and the Army. This year marks the 16th anniversary of the award.

Below is a list of past Mana O Ke Koa award recipients:

• 2007- William W. Paty, Jr. (Legendary Hawaii WWII Veteran, D-Day Paratrooper, POW; Civic Leader and Civilian Aide to SECARMY Emeritus)

• 2008- Ms. Pasha Baker (Employer Support to Guard and Reserve Ambassador, Civic Leader)

• 2009- Hon. Linda Lingle (Hawaii Governor, Military Supporter/Army Community Covenant)

• 2010- Mr. Ken Bailey (Chamber of Commerce Armed Services Committee)

• 2011- Ms. Carole Kai (Great Aloha Run founder, Carole Kai Charities have made donations to Army MWR)

• 2012- Mr. Albert Silva (Outspoken Army Supporter, Waianae Civilian Advisory Board, Makua Military Reservation)

• 2013- Senator Daniel K. Inouye (Legendary Hawaii Soldier and Statesman, Posthumous)

• 2014- Mr. David Carey (Military Supporter, Outrigger CEO, Hawaii Chamber of Commerce)

• 2015- Hon. Ed Kubo (Hawaii Judge, Veterans Treatment Court)

• 2016- Sen Daniel K. Akaka (Legendary Hawaii Soldier and Statesman)

• 2017- Rep K. Mark Takai (Hawaii Soldier/Statesman, Posthumous)

• 2018- Mr. Allen K. Hoe (Vietnam Veteran, Civ Aide to SECARMY)

• 2019- Ed Gayagas (Vietnam Veteran, University of Hawaii Fallen Warrior Memorial)