GOVERNOR’S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE: Two military veterans join Governor Ige’s administration

Posted on Dec 2, 2015 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

HONOLULU – Gov. David Ige has appointed Rob Lee as protocol officer and deputy military affairs liaison, and Thomas Kahalu Lee, Jr. as military affairs liaison.


Lee served with the United States Air Force from 1980 to 1988 before joining the Hawai‘i Air National Guard in 1988. He served as the senior enlisted leader at the Hawai‘i Air National Guard and is scheduled to retire in Feb. 2016 with 36 years of service.

Lee is a graduate of Wayland Baptist University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education and Master of Science degree in administration. Lee was raised in Kāne‘ohe where he graduated from James B. Castle High School. He coached youth football at Damien Memorial High School and for the Kahalu‘u – He‘eia Broncos. He currently resides in Kahalu‘u with his wife Kandi. He also has a son, Brandan.

“We are honored to have Rob on our team. He offers a wide range of knowledge and his military background will be an asset to my administration,” Gov. Ige said.


Military affairs liaison Thomas Lee is an Army and Navy veteran who was honorably discharged in 1999, only to re-enlist in the Army after the 9-11 attacks. Lee was deployed to Iraq in 2007 and was severely injured in an improvised explosive device ambush that year, resulting in the amputation of his right leg. Lee received the Purple Heart – which is awarded to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are wounded or killed while serving.

From 2008 to 2014, Lee worked as a defense contractor with the Army Acquisition Corp in Fort Belvoir in Virginia. He works with veterans to share his knowledge of available services and programs. He also enjoys working with disabled youth, motivating children to remain active and engaged.

Until an injury sidelined him, Lee was a member of the U.S. Paratriathlon team vying for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

Lee will be the first to serve in the position of military affairs liaison.

“The legislature created this new military affairs liaison position last session to assist with community relations involving the military and state government. We’re honored that Tom accepted this first-ever position in Hawai‘i,” said Gov. Ige.


Media Contacts:

Jodi Leong

Deputy Communications Director/Press Secretary

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0043

Mobile: 808-798-3929

[email protected]


Cindy McMillan

Communications Director

Office of the Governor

Office: 808-586-0012

Mobile: 808-265-7974

[email protected]