Writer : Han, K. D Date : 2012-05-17 Hit : 933
Reunion with a US officer who loves the ROK as much as his own nation, the USA.

                        Reunion with a US officer who loves the ROK

                             as much as his own country, the USA.


It was my great pleasure to have an opportunity to reunite with a US officer with whom I served two decades ago in the same Headquarters. Dr. JamesL. Mowery, or "Jim" as his friends call him is a West Point graduate of 1970. He obtained a Doctorate in Education in 2004 and now serves as a contractor to support the US Army by performing building simulations to assist training, war games, course of action comparison, and operational exercises.  


I am writing this to proudly reveal a fact that his father and father in law had devoted their part of lives to the Republic of Korea. Both served as infantry company commanders during the Korean War; his father served in the US 45th Division and his father in law for the US 7th Infantry Division. The two heroic fathers were wounded in action, but joined again their units later and returned home after the armistice agreement was concluded in 1953.


Jim and I served together in the ROK-US Combined Field Army inEuijung-bu between 1988 and 1989. Jim served as the deputy C-3 and I was the C-3 at that time. He was my right hand man and a professional partner. Our team had 7 combined ROK and US sections led by 4 ROK LTCs and 3 US LTCs as in the capacity of the section chiefs. So the time and place of working together had functioned not only as a unique symbol of the ROK-US alliance but also atop-notch combined strategic, operational, and tactical classroom where we all were able to learn from each other.


As is often the case with such particular relationship, even though many years have passed since we worked side by side, we both still confirm that there are a lot of common concerns remaining. What is more, Jim still vividly recalls with high interest that my emphasis on the PAW exercise of killing three birds with one stone (13조 자즐보 운동) that had eventually enabled our C-3 members to build high morale in terms of the maximum utilization of time available and combat readiness.


While planning his visit to Korea, he informed me by email of his schedule and asked me to let him know of a hotel nearby my home and preferred time so that he could easily invite me and my wife to a dinner at which we two family members may share old stories. However, I offered him back to stay at my home with his wife as there is an extra bedroom. As to my suggestion Jim thankfully accepted the offer, which finally allowed us to have a meaningful reunion at my home in more than 20 years.


His first voice upon arrival at my home was about the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Our task at that time was to deter North Korea's possible provocations attempting to interrupt the Olympic Games. Although he lost a chance to attend the historic Olympic sites with his family Jim said his family was rather happy to see that the Seoul Olympic Games was safely and successfully completed. Despite my dim memory, Jim further brought a story on Bulgogi party I hosted at my house for his family members in an effort to celebrate the successful completion of the Olympic Games.


He added that his children still remember my name and asked him to bring an autographed picture of myself on the way back home. Finding my picture in dress black uniform hanging on the wall in my room, he said he would like to use it for my autograph for his children.His expression made me feel a great pride in our friendship, and I confirmed special affection of his family towards Korea that might have been handed down from his father and father in law to him and his children for long period of time. He took a picture and I had to locate a digital DP&E shop for duplication.


As soon as Jim and his wife Jenn unpacked, we moved to the Yongin Folk Village and mingled with the crowds of Koreans enjoying the fully bloomed cherry blossoms, traditional Korean foods, and various kinds of entertaining performances. Leaving the Folk Village we took a photo of ourselves wearing Korean traditional costumes for the sake of keeping common memories. This photo will be posted later in this ROKFV bulletin board.


After finishing the tour of the Village, we went to TROKA HQs where we used to visit together in uniform longtime ago, and recalled countless memories we shared while we were in active service.Walking on the green grass of the parade ground of TROKA we both felt regrettable that the ROK-US Combined Field Army Command where we had served together and learned a lot is no longer existed.


What saddens us more was the fact the ROK-US Combined Forces Command which is more important than CFA, was originally planned to be disbanded as of April 17, 2012. No explanation is possible except as mysterious. We strongly hope that ROK and the United States will jointly prepare a measure to continue the present ROK-US CFC that has greatly contributed to preserving the world peace and stability through ensuring strong alliance between our two countries, the ROK and the USA.


Passing through the main gate of TROKA HQs Dr. Mowery and I shouted in our mind "Gachi Gapsida = Let's go together" strongly believing that the most effective way of going together is to maintain the ROK and US Combined structure following that of the CFA in what ever echelon of HQs even on the brigade or division level.


19 May 2012

Han K. D 

(Fomer) C-3, CFA


Yoon-ki Hong  2012/05/21 09:11:09 [Reply] modify delete
Your touchable story has forced me to think about how you were excited to meet the old American friend in many years. Despite unforgettable great sacrifice of those who have been represented as the US soldiers to the Koreans, it is deplorable that there are a lot of North Korea sympathizers rampant throughout the country. What is worse, a handful of such pinks are tenaciously clinging to become members of the National Assembly.
Seok-mun Oh  2012/05/21 09:12:09 [Reply] modify delete
Seok-mun Oh 2012/05/21 09:00:20 [Reply]
Reunion made in two decades would be a great pleasure for everybody as well. In terms of this, I assume that your recent reunion with Dr. Jim from the United States must have been you general’s exceptional excitement too.
The fact that his father and father in law had participated in Korean War, is not only a something uncommon but also presents various things we Koreans should remember, to which I would like to express my respect.
Furthermore, hearing that Dr, Jim has expressed a sadness with regret over the deactivation of the ROK-US Field Army Command amid countless NK sympathizers are threatening the national security, I am compelled to bow my humble respect again to his unparalleled affection towards Korea. I strongly hope that the connotative sense of this article will be widely echoed to the veterans as a rhythmical beat of the drum for the adamant unity.

jmowery  2012/05/23 19:39:18 [Reply] modify delete
It was such a great time to revisit my home away from home and see all the progress in ROK.
Korea is a bastion of freedom and a proud example of what free people can accomplish.

I will upload some of the pictures we took as soon as I determine the best way to accomplish that.
Han, K D  2012/05/25 06:09:00 [Reply] modify delete
Thank you comrades: Oh, Seok-mun and Hong Yoon-ki for joining me in
welcoming Dr. Jim Mowery.
Yes, it was a special pleasure meeting after twenty some years!

HI! Jim! Our rendezvous on this site, ROKFV. COM, is finally realized!
It will be a good news story for all my Korean friends here as you also are
Vietnam War Veteran, serving as a Platoon Leader in the 1st Cavalry Division.

There will be many memories that we can share on this site. Your thoughts about the
necessity of a ‘Combined Hqs’ needs be introduced for the friendship of our two nations-USA and ROK.

Thank you and I look forward to our discussions here.

Jim Mowery  2012/05/27 07:43:31 [Reply] modify delete
I am humbled to be accepted in this forum. The ROK is a bright light in the efforts to achieve freedom. I hope you are as proud of your achievements as my family is proud.

We go together!
kim.myung.soo  2012/05/28 18:25:20 [Reply] modify delete
Hi.Mr Mowery. I am Dr Kim. chief of c-3 plan of CFA. My counter partner LTC Starry.It is 23 years since we dismissed. After retirement as o-6 in 2006, professor at university 2006-2009. Now, I am working at Rok culture- security study agency and as wargame controller,involved in combined exercise such as key- resolve and UFG. Sometimes, politicians make bad decision on national security.After CFA deactivation in 1990 ,CFC to be deactivated in 2015 was done by ROK EX president No Mu Hun. Especially CFC deactivation can be catastrophic tragedy.
but, as we have strong friendship between ROK and US, we can get security crisis over.my honorable Jim Mowery,let us keep in touch. your sincerely myung soo
Jim Mowery  2012/05/29 14:25:03 [Reply] modify delete
COL/Doctor Kim, It makes my day to hear from you. The work you and LTC Starry accomplished at CFA was noteworthy. You handled many challenges and all with great style and professionalism. Do you remember the Macintosh computers? Everyone said they would die--now look at Apple. Vision is key. And it will be critical for the USA and ROK to always remember that the ROK is one of the crown jewels of freedom in this world and an example to all nations of the world as to what can be accomplished if you do not take your eyes off the objective.

It was with US and ROK blood that ROK's freedom was saved and sustained. And it will be ROK and US resolve that keeps the North at bay until reunification is a reality. There must be a joint vision sealed by a combined element that keeps the ideas and capabilities of both countries on the table. The resolve and actions of those who support this site will be key in keeping that vision alive.
myung soo  2012/06/04 07:57:35 [Reply] modify delete
Hi,Dr Mowery.great pleasure to hear from you. Rok and US are permanent friend. In consideration of our survival, prosperity and unification in the future , Rok and US bond of emphasis is not our choice but our fate. When I give security class to Seoul citizen, I never fail to emphasize our alliance, US. My working experience at CFA was the most valuable in my Army life. Especially, Future OPN estimate by hand on wargame was excellent. US SAMS officer reading habit made me to have reading , more than two thosuand books during last 20 years. The first prize at regiment combat train assessment in 1997 was by dint of CFA experience. If we mix cement,water and sand properly,strong brick necessary for the building come out. Our ROK and US combined spirit produces strong brick.We are friends made from blood sharing. I hope ROK and US FTA would make our friendship more strong based on win-win strategy.thank you
Jim Mowery  2012/06/08 15:05:03 [Reply] modify delete
Dr. Kim, Your comments are on the money.
Joe Nawrozki  2012/06/14 04:37:45 [Reply] modify delete
Dear Gen. Han,

Your story about meeting your friend, the heights of friendship -- we all should attempt to reach such wonderful, meaningful ties. And your sharing the experience shows the strength of character you both possess, the joy in your hearts. Congratulations to you both!

As you know, I developed an immediate and deep respect for you when we met ten years ago at the reunion held by the Korean Veterans of Vietnam; we've corresponded since then. Mr. Jae Chung introduced me to you at breakfast in the hotel -- I will never forget it -- and he explained that I had served with your unit in Vietnam, the Tiger Div., in 1966-67, and later became a writer with the Baltimore Sun. In Vietnam, I was a U.S. Army correspondent and received permission, the privilege, from Gen. Lew and others to cover three combat operations as well as pacification team work in Binh Dinh Province and beyond. During that time, I made many dear friends, started my life-long study of taekwondo and began to comprehend the courage, the commitment, of the ROK soldiers and marines in Vietnam. Later, I learned of your valor at the famous battle of Duc Co, when a small unit of Tiger Division soldiers held off a large NVA infantry attack, in hand-to-hand combat that ran through the night, and the defeated North Vietnamese troops retreated into Cambodia. That story, and others where the ROKs performed incredibly well, were never told; that was an injustice I attempted to correct.

There is an old axiom that reads: "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel."

Thank you sir for all you have given us.

Joe Nawrozki

Jae-sung Chung  2012/06/14 04:37:45 수정 삭제
Hi Joe, it was nice talking to you yesterday over the phone. I am pleased to find your thoughtful comments added to Gen. Han's recent posting on amicable reunion in 20 years with one of his old team members, a US retired full colonel who once worked for him in the CFA in Korea.
Coincidently this morning I have discovered an important headline news covered by a leading paper, the Chosun Daily that Gen James D. Thurman, commanding general, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, and United States Forces Korea has suggested the nullification of the CFC's disbandment scheduled in 2015. The general is quoted to have said that the ROK-US Combined Forces Command needs to be maintained even after the wartime OPCON is transferred to the ROK. He further said that the commanding general of the CFC can be replaced by ROK's four star general. I do hope best solution will be drawn as soon as possible for the sake of tight security of the Republic of Korea. Thanks again.
Jae-sung Chung  2012/06/16 15:51:07 [Reply] modify delete
It is an extremely grateful news for those at home and abroad who have been particularly apprehensive about the ROK's tight security against North Korean provocations to learn that at the meeting recently held in Washington between the two defense ministers, Seoul and Washington have agreed to maintain the US 2nd infantry division now stationing in Korea into a combined unit system in hopes to build the strong deterrence power against North Korea. This makes us further fortunate because it coincides with what MG Han and Dr. Mowery have seriously discussed ROK's future security strategy.

Such strategic reorganization as envisioned by the ROK and the United States will not only be a symbolic strategy of the two blood-bonded allies but also a stern warning as an invincible joint deterrence against the north Korean Stalinist regime.

According to the agreement, it was informed that the present US 2nd infantry division will remain at the same point, north of Seoul. In terms of a strategic point of view, it will surely play the greater role of an immediate intervention by the United States Armed forces as a function of the 'trip wire' should North Korea miscalculates.
As one of the fellow citizens of Korea, I, who have strongly opposed to the early transfer of the wartime operational control, would like to extend my deepest thanks to the ministers of the both countries who have brought such a wise decision.

Han, K D  2012/07/02 18:05:33 [Reply] modify delete
Hello Joe, I am sorry much for not getting you sooner.
And thank you Jae-sung Chung for keeping in touch with Joe
in the mean time saying almost all what I want to say.

Joe, as you mentioned I was very much pleased to meet Dr. Jim Mowery
who served together in the same HQs. We became just like brothers!

But I found in your letter you had met General Lew in 1966-67. Then you and I must have met together in the Tiger Division as I was his aide-the-camp in ‘66 and ’67. I was picked up as his aide after the Ducco battle is over and accompanied him back to Korea! Such a small world we are living in! I have some more to tell and I need your E-mail address.

joe nawrozki  2012/07/02 18:05:33 수정 삭제
Dear Gen. Han. Each day brings new surprises -- now to learn that you were Gen. Lew\'s ADC after your heroic stand at Duc Co. I will never forget that day because I was so very nervous. I knew very little of Korean customs, protocol and here I was, seated at this long table at Tiger Div. headquarters for the CG\'s birthday party. All I did was watch, trying to soak in every nuance of how to eat, when to eat, when to stand, when to sit down...I was going a little crazy! But it worked out so well and when I met Gen. Lew, he must have detected my unease because he made me fell welcome...and he gave me a direct order -- write good stories about his troops! That order has stood for more tan 40 years!!!
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