FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - U.S. Army Pacific hosted a Staff Orientation Course Sept. 7-9, 2022, Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
The SOC welcomes newly arrived military personnel and government civilians to the USARPAC team through various speakers and briefings.
"It is important that our Staff Officers, NCOs, and DA Civilians have a deep understanding of not only the environment they are working in, but also the local community," said USARPAC Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Peter N. Benchoff.
The course ensures staff members are acquainted with the Theater Army's mission and available resources.
"In the spirit of Ohana and community, USARPAC leaders recognize that to be truly successful in our mission, we must have the support of our community," said Benchoff.
The SOC placed renewed emphasis on Hawaiian history and culture.
"Hawaii's place and people are unique," said USARPAC cultural advisor Judge (Ret.) Thomas K. Kaulukukui Jr. "The history and culture of Hawaii provide both opportunities and challenges for newcomers. A cultural briefing presented early after their arrival in Hawaii can provide education and sensitivity to the unique culture that has developed among the various people and cultures of Hawaii."
Kaulukukui is a native Hawaiian who has lived, studied, and presented on Hawaiian history, culture, and traditions for years. He is also a retired U.S. Army staff sergeant. He taught the attendees about the Hawaiian islands, the history of ancient Hawaii and ancient Hawaiian cultural practices; the settlement of and immigration into Hawaii; and the political history of Hawaii, including the reign and fall of the Hawaiian monarchy.
"Judge Kaulukukui was informative and passionate about Hawaii and the Soldiers stationed here," says Sgt. 1st Class Charles Petitt, USARPAC public affairs planner.
The SOC will continue to have this portion as part of the course to enhance the relationship between the Army and the local community.
"As the USARPAC marches onward with its "One Team" motto, it is imperative that we not only strive to look out for our Soldiers and their Families, and be good community neighbors," said Petitt.