Inouye recognized for leadership
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii was awarded the President’s Leadership Award February 12 on Capitol Hill at the Washington Area Congressional Reception. Citadel President Maj. Gen. John S. Grinalds presented the award to the senator for his contributions to the country and to The Citadel.
The reception is hosted annually by the college and The Citadel Club of Greater Washington to honor the South Carolina legislative delegation. This year marked its eighth anniversary.
Sen. Daniel Ken Inouye was only 17 years old when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, but he displayed the strong leadership by which he would later become known, working tirelessly as the head of an emergency treatment team. He left the University of Hawaii as a freshman in March 1943 to enlist in the U.S. Army's 442nd Regimental Combat team where he served as patrol leader. His regiment was assigned to the Fifth Army commanded by General Mark W. Clark. The young soldier became a platoon leader, won a battlefield commission as a second lieutenant, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his participation in the rescue of the Lost Battalion, one of the most significant military battles of the war.
In the last months of the war on the Italian front, Sen. Inouye was hit by a bullet that traveled through his abdomen and out his back, just missing his spine. Despite his wound, he continued to lead his platoon. After successfully tossing two hand grenades, his right arm was shattered by a German rifle grenade. He threw his last grenade with his left hand and continued to attack with a submachine gun until he was hit by a bullet in the leg.
Sen. Inouye returned home with a Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart with cluster and 12 other medals and citations. On June 21, 2000, his Distinguished Service Cross was upgraded to a Medal of Honor, the nation's highest award for military valor.
Now the fourth most senior member of the United States Senate, Sen. Inouye has played a major role in shaping the defense policies of the United States. He was key in getting the money to replace Padgett-Thomas Barracks, and he is responsible for securing funding for the new indoor rifle range being planned.
Click here to read Sen. Inouye’s speech at the Padgett-Thomas Groundbreaking Ceremony.