‘Go for Broke’: Hawaii unit upholds a tradition – Training – 100th battalion, 442nd infantry

‘Go for Broke’: Hawaii unit upholds a tradition – Training – 100th battalion, 442nd infantry – Brief Article

Vincent Oliver

FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif.–“Go for Broke!” is the battle cry of the Hawaii’s 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, and go for broke they did while conducting desert training here recently.

The citizen-soldiers of the 100th say they have a proud tradition to uphold. The Honolulu-based infantry battalion, formed in World War II from Japanese American volunteers, is the most decorated unit of its size in the history of the United States Army.

Spc. Sean Cripps of the battalion’s anti-tank company says that training in the California desert is a new twist for the Hawaiians and that one of the biggest challenges they faced was the temperature variations.

“What’s weird is the temperature during the day is about 100 degrees and at night it gets down to about 40 degrees,” Cripps said.

Cripps says he likes being in the Army Reserve and that he originally joined for a change of pace. The 22 year-old University of Hawaii chemistry student said that being a part-time soldier gives him an added advantage as a civilian.

“I believe I’m a better person since I joined the Army. I have more self-control and am more aware of what’s going on around the world,” he continued. Cripps also noted that the Army Reserve tuition assistance program helps out with his college expenses.

Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Nakashima, temporarily filled the role of the company executive officer during annual training.

Nakashima has served with the 100th for nearly 20 years and says the unit’s greatest challenges while training in the desert was navigating the unfamiliar terrain, compensating for the extreme heat and avoiding snakes.

Nakashima says his family is very proud that he is able to serve in the 100th. “The 100th Battalion is a large part of Hawaii’s history and I feel honored to be in the unit,” he said.

(Spc. Oliver is with the 305th Press Camp Headquarters, Fort Shafter, Hawaii)

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