Bert Mizusawa

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Major General
Bert Mizusawa
Birth name Bert Kameaaloha Mizusawa
Born January 1957
Honolulu, Hawaii
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1979-2013
Rank Major General US-O8 insignia.svg
Awards Silver Star
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal
Combat Infantryman
Master Parachutist
Air Assault
Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge
Humanitarian Service Medal
Meritorious Civilian Service Award

Bert Kameaaloha Mizusawa (born January 1957) is a retired major general in the United States Army Reserve, serving in the Army from 1979 to 2013. His awards include the Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, and 30 other awards as well as the Combat Infantryman, Master Parachutist, Ranger tab, Air Assault, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Badges. Mizusawa has also received the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and awards from two foreign governments.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bert K. Mizusawa was born January 1957 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mizusawa is the second of six sons born to George T. and Theodora Mizusawa.[2] Mizusawa's father met his mother in Europe while serving in the United States Army.[3][2] Soon thereafter Mizusawa's father enlisted in the United States Air Force, and Mizusawa grew up in the Netherlands, Oklahoma, Ohio, Japan, Virginia and Germany before his family settled in Hampton, Virginia.[3]


High School

Mizusawa attended high school in Kaiserslautern and Frankfurt, Germany and in 1975 he graduated from Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, Virginia. While in high school Mizusawa participated in varsity football, wrestling, and track.[3]

West Point

In 1975 Mizusawa was accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point. While at West Point he served in the Cadet Captain position as Brigade Athletic Officer.[4] On June 6, 1979 Mizusawa received his bachelor's degree from then Deputy Secretary of Defense, Charles W. Duncan, Jr., and graduated as the "number one man"—first in his class.[5]


Mizusawa attended Harvard Law School and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1989. He also received a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and was twice selected as a MacArthur Fellow in International Security. While at Harvard, he interned with the United States Attorneys' Counterdrug Task Force.[6]


Graduating as top man on the list, Mizusawa received his first choice in the USMA Corps of Cadets' branch drawings—infantry.[7]


As a captain, Mizusawa, an Airborne Ranger, served as a paratrooper in Italy with the 1-509th Airborne Battalion Combat Team and commanded the Army's most forward-deployed combat unit, the Joint Security Force, in the Korean DMZ.[1]

Soviet Defector Incident

On November 23, 1984, Mizusawa deployed from Camp Kitty Hawk [renamed Camp Bonifas in August 1986[8]] to the Korean Demilitarized Zone and commanded Joint Security Forces during the Soviet Defector Incident. At approximately 1130 hours, during a communist-led tour, Soviet citizen Vasily Matusak suddenly dashed across the Military Demarcation Line into South Korea. Thirty KPA soldiers pursued him, firing their weapons as they did so. The KPA soldiers, who were pinned down by fire from the JSF's 4th Platoon on guard duty in Panmunjom, were quickly outmaneuvered and isolated in the area of the Sunken Garden, now the site of the Unification Monument. In the 40-minute firefight that ensued, Corporal Jang Myong-Ki was killed, and Private First Class Michael A. Burgoyne was wounded.[2]


As a Colonel, Mizusawa commanded the first team deployed to Afghanistan from the Joint Center for Operational Analysis, U.S. Joint Forces Command, and the Army Reserve Information Operations Command.[1]


The Army Reserve Information Operations Command headquartered in Adelphi, Maryland, supported Grecian Firebolt 2002 and its quest to test homeland-defense communications. Activated in October 2001, ARIOC is a U.S. Army Reserve asset charged to conduct information operations. The organization, commanded by COL Bert Mizusawa, has five subordinate IO centers. IOCs are located at Adelphi, Maryland; Fort Devens, Mass.; Oakdale, Pennsylvania; Dublin, California; and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Each IOC is commanded by a lieutenant colonel and is authorized 90 soldiers with the mission to conduct information-assurance and computer-network-defense operations.[9]

Brigadier General[edit]

As a brigadier general, Mizusawa served as the Deputy G3 (Operations) of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, as Deputy to the Commanding General, Multinational Corps-Iraq and the Deputy Commanding General of the 335th Theater Signal Command.[1]

Major General[edit]

On August 2, 2011 Mizusawa was promoted to major general and assumed the assignment of Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives, Joint Chiefs of Staff.[10] He later served as the reserve assistant to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff and as commander of the Combined Joint Interagency Task Force-Afghanistan (CJIATF-A), which was awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award for its performance during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Government and politics[edit]

From 1995 to 1998, Mizusawa was appointed as a Professional Staff Member on the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services, where he assisted the Chairman with oversight of national defense. In 1996, he authored the GOP national security platform for the presidential campaign. In 1998, he was appointed as a three-star level Senior Executive in The Pentagon.[3]

Mizusawa is admitted to the bars of New York, the District of Columbia, Virginia and the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2010, Mizusawa unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the U.S. Congress from Virginia.[11] In May 2016, during the 2016 Republican presidential primary process, Mizusawa endorsed the candidacy of Donald Trump[12] and soon thereafter became a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign.[13][14] In 2018, he launched a campaign for the GOP nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, but failed to collect enough signatures to make the ballot.[15]


  • Decentralized information age training: key to U.S. antiterrorism efforts. (Homeland Security) — (Sep. 2003) Colonel Mizusawa discusses the application of decentralized information age training in coping with the homeland security threat posed by terrorism in the U.S. Colonel Mizusawa also discusses the advantage of the application for city and country leadership; challenges in the deployment process; and drawbacks of Internet-based applications.[16]


  • Dangerous Games: faces, incidents and casualties of the Cold War by James E. Wise, Jr., and Scott Baron. Naval Institute Press (2010): Annapolis, Maryland
  • The Reagan Diaries edited by Douglas Brinkley. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation (2007): New York, New York (Referencing Soviet Defector Incident in Korean DMZ)


  1. ^ a b c d "USAR". United States Army Reserve. [permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c Wise, James E. (2010). Dangerous Games: faces, incidents and casualties of the Cold War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-59114-968-2. 
  3. ^ a b c d Payne, Kimball (June 6, 2010). "BIO: Bert Mizusawa". Daily Press. 
  4. ^ "Annual Report of the Association of Graduates" (PDF). Vol. 37, No. 3, December 1978. Collection of U.S. Military Academy Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-24. 
  5. ^ "Annual Report of the Association of Graduates" (PDF). Vol. 38, No. 2, September 1979. Collection of the U.S. Military Academy Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-24. 
  6. ^ Harvard Law School Alumni Directory, 1953-2003. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Law School. c. 2003. 
  7. ^ "Annual Report of the Association of Graduates", Vol. 38, No. 1, June 1979, Collection of the U.S. Military Academy Library 
  8. ^ "Korea DMZ and JSA at Panmunjom". 
  9. ^ Haight, Timothy LTC (2002). "Information Operations Command partners with 331st Theater Signal Command". Army Communicator. 
  10. ^ "Presidential Nominations (2011-2012)". 112th Congress. PN835-112. 
  11. ^ 1, Bearing Drift / June; 2010 (1 June 2010). "Bearing Drift Endorsement: 2nd Congressional District - Bert Mizusawa". 
  12. ^ "USA For Trump 2016 on Twitter". 
  13. ^ "Here's who Donald Trump is taking foreign policy advice from" – via LA Times. 
  14. ^ "Trump's clear-eyed approach to foreign policy: Column". 
  15. ^ Roanoke Times Retrieved 4/3/18.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Mizusawa, Bert (September 2003). "Decentralized information age training: key to U.S. antiterrorism efforts". Officer. 80 (6): 16–18.