YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — South Korea’s first four-star general presented a leadership award named in his honor to eight South Korean soldiers who work with the U.S. military, according to a U.S. Army news release.
Gen. Paik Sun-yup, who earned fame during the Korean War, presented the Gen. Paik Leadership Award to the Korean Augmentees to the U.S. Army — referred to as KATUSA — during an opening ceremony Tuesday for the 8th U.S. Army’s KATUSA/U.S. Friendship Week.
According to the release, Paik told nearly 1,000 community members gathered on a Yongsan athletic field that 8,000 of the 43,000 KATUSA who served in the Korean War lost their lives.
He called today’s KATUSA-U.S. alliance a major symbol of a strong South Korean-U.S. alliance, according to the release.
The 8th Army commander, Lt. Gen. Charles Campbell, praised the KATUSA, stressing how the group contributes to the Army’s mission.
“The KATUSA soldier program augments the 8th U.S. Army with … highly capable, highly intelligent and highly spirited soldiers, and … increases the ROK/U.S. combined defense capability on the peninsula,” he said. “Don’t ever wonder if you are appreciated — because you are.”
The eight KATUSA who earned the award were: Sgt. Park Chang of 1/43rd Air Defense Artillery; Sgt. Park Tae-hyun of 4th Quartermaster; Cpl. Jo Jung-ho of 305th Quartermaster; Cpl. Im Keun of 17th Ordnance; Cpl. Lee Kuk Hyung of 348th Quartermaster; Cpl. Choi Byung-jun of 6th Cavalry; Cpl. Im Soo-bong of 19th Theater Support Command; and Sgt. Han Yoo-don of 501st CSG.