TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Hawaii –
Public Health Command – Pacific chief of Operations, Hee Kim, was promoted to lieutenant colonel on Jan. 1, 2020.
In honor of Kim’s promotion, a ceremony was held Jan. 24 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Col. Heidi Mon., PHC-P commander, was the host of ceremony.
“Good afternoon one and all, and thank you all for joining me today on this auspicious occasion of the promotion of Hee Kim to lieutenant colonel,” said Mon. “If you have been to a promotion ceremony or two you are probably expecting me to say that Hee is a great Army officer and he is. He is likely the smartest person that I know, and I am surrounded by brilliant minds in Public Health Command – Pacific. But Maj. Kim, Lt. Col. Kim, is extraordinarily bright, as well as perceptive, creative, and enterprising.”
Kim represents one of 59 active duty Entomology officers currently serving in the U.S. Army. In 1991, Kim and his family emigrated from Seoul, South Korea, to the United States. Since leaving South Korea, Kim always wanted to practice Medical Entomology, and after the Sept. 11 attacks, those two factors solidified his desire to join the Army in 2005.
“I give this glory and honor to God first and foremost, because it is amazing what he has allowed me to accomplish throughout my life,” said Kim. “I was an immigrant boy who didn’t speak a lick of English at 11 years old, and just had a fascination with bugs. Fast forward 29 years later, here we are in this awesome setting, sharing this special moment with friends and family.”
Kim recognized his fellow officers, enlisted Soldiers and Army Civilian employees, adding they are the biggest reason he is where he is today.
“I love promotions, because they are a platform that we can use to thank those people who put you here. We have all been in this business for a long time, you don’t get here by yourself,” said Kim. “I want to thank everyone who has been instrumental in my place here.”
Kim also thanked friends and family for attending the ceremony, particularly Mirka, his wife of 14 years.
“I really appreciate your support, and how amazing and talented you are,” said Kim “If you didn’t know, she is an artist, and keeps a professional career while also caring for our three children and me ¬¬– amazing!”
Kim also thanked his children, Aila, Eelis, and Liina.
“I know I said this before when I got my Ph.D., but daddy loves you, and I do this every day for you guys,” said Kim.
As the ceremony came to a close, Kim was presented the Order of Military Medical Merit medallion for distinguished service, excellence, and promoting fellowship and espirit de corps among Army Medical Department personnel.
Membership in the order recognizes those individuals who have clearly demonstrated the highest standards of integrity and moral character, displayed an outstanding degree of professional competence, with selflessness, and have made a sustained contribution to the betterment of Army Medicine.