Col. George Ishikata, Civil Air Patrol’s Pacific Region commander, died Dec. 30. He was 59.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Col. George Ishikata. He led the Pacific Region with grace, humility, wisdom, and strength, always offering a warm smile and a caring word,” said Maj. Gen. Edward D. Phelka, CAP national commander and CEO.
“He will be terribly missed by all of Civil Air Patrol.”
Ishikata became region commander Nov. 14, 2020, after being named to the position by Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, then national commander and CEO.
Ishikata’s CAP career began in 1977, when he served as a cadet before embarking on a career in the U.S. Army. Over the ensuring 43 years he served at multiple levels of CAP, helping lead the California Wing’s San Francisco Cadet Squadron – one of the California Wing’s most successful squadrons – and also at the wing and region levels.
He was national Cadet Programs staff coordinator from September 2017 until his tenure as region commander began. He also served with CAP’s national Cadet Officer School and with the International Air Cadet Exchange.
Ishikata retired from the Army as a colonel after nearly three decades. He served as an Army military intelligence officer, holding sensitive intelligence positions at the highest levels in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo.
He received two Defense Superior Service Medals from the Army, the Legion of Merit Award and a Bronze Star Medal, as well as five Meritorious Service Medals. Other military honors include the Federal Asian/Pacific American Council Meritorious Service Award, which he received in 2006.
His CAP awards include five Exceptional Service Awards, two Meritorious Service Awards and five Commander’s Commendation Awards