HONOLULU, HI — In a historic moment for the Filipino-American community, Roy J. Macaraeg was recently promoted from colonel to brigadier general, in a ceremony held at Washington Place, the official residence of the governor of Hawaii.
He is believed to be the first Fil-Am soldier to attain the rank of general officer in the documented history of the Hawaii Army National Guard.
Attendees of the momentous occasion included his family and friends, colleagues from the military and some legislators representing Hawaii, including Hawaii state governor David Ige and first lady dawn Amano-Ige.
The governor administered the oath of office to Macaraeg during the ceremony.
Some of Macaraeg’s relatives were visibly moved from the day’s events.
Macaraeg’s 29 years of military service include posts at the pentagon, and deployments to Iraq, Kuwait, and Kosovo.
These experiences have earned him numerous awards and decorations.
“If you want to be somebody, it’s just… making sure you work hard. It starts with self-discipline to do what needs to be done so that you can achieve whatever you want… I will say that anybody listening out there, if you’re young, and you’re thinking about doing something, go do it. Go do it. Figure it out.”
Macaraeg is an alumnus of Kalihi’s Wallace Rider Farrington High School, and has earned multiple college degrees, including a master of science in national strategy from the National War College.