Contributed by Walter Tanimoto, Nisei Veterans Committee
On 10 February 2018, members of the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) had the privilege to attend the I Corps Centennial Ball. This was an invitation-only event, and the NVC was not only remembered by I Corps (pronounced “First Corps”) but was acknowledged as one the of the few community organizations attending this exclusive event.
The I Corps Centennial Ball was an Army black tie event and followed a formal program that included: Posting the Colors; National Anthem; Remarks by Lieutenant General Volesky, I Corps Commanding General; and Dancing following the formal portion of the event.
The I Corps Centennial Ball was a celebration of the 100th anniversary of I Corps. The Corp was activated at Neufchateau, France on 15 January 1918, during WWI. I Corps actually participated in battle during the Civil War, and has participated in WWI, WWII, and the Korean War. It is the most decorated U.S. Corps in the active Army. I Corps is also the only Corps aligned with a Combatant Command, U.S. Pacific Command, which is under the command of ADM Harry B. Harris Jr., who is a life member of the NVC and the highest-ranking officer of Asian American ancestry in the US military.
Attending the I Corps Ball is a reaffirmation of the relationship between the NVC and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. That relationship, started many years ago, has flourished with ongoing programs including NVC: hosting the Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces (JGSDF) Luncheon with the 7th Infantry Division of I Corps, inviting I Corps Commanders to speak at the NVC Memorial Day event, and helping to educate I Corps soldiers on the Nisei experience.
In addition to mingling with members of the many military organizations and offices within I Corps and JBLM, the I Corps Centennial Ball also afforded the NVC another opportunity to directly engage with the JGSDF Liaison Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Fumio Takagi, and to further a partnership with the Japanese Consul General’s office, represented by Senior Consul Takeshi Murazawa.
NOTE: I Corps, also known as America’s Corps, is based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the State of Washington. It is a globally responsive and regionally aligned joint task force capable headquarters that focuses on the Pacific Rim and supports the U.S. Pacific Command’s theater campaign requirements.