Ranger Harold G. Kaiama was born on 28 May 1938, in Lahaina Maui, in the territory of Hawaii. He joined the Army in 1955 and served until 1975 as an Airborne Ranger including three tours of duty in Vietnam. Early in his career, he served with the 501st Airborne Infantry, 101st Airborne Division and later as a 101st RECONDO school Instructor at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in the 1960's.
During his first tour in Vietnam with E Troop 17th Cav 173rd Airborne Brigade in 1966-67, Ranger Kaiama distinguished himself on numerous occasions and was awarded an Air Medal with "V" device for providing covering fire during an emergency helicopter extraction of a Long Range Recon patrol that was pinned down by intense enemy fire. He served as a Ranger Instructor at the Florida Ranger Camp 1968-1970 and later served as a Ranger Platoon Sergeant with L Co 75th Infantry Rangers, 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. He trained and mentored young Rangers in his platoon and made sure they were ready for combat patrols. In 1971, while still in Vietnam he re-enlisted for a third tour while hanging from a rope beneath a hovering helicopter, a first in Army records.
He was a Master Parachutist and was awarded the Pathfinder Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star w/2OLC, Army Commendation medal w/2OLC, Air Medal w/V Device and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm. He earned the Weapons Expert Badge with Bayonet, Rifle, Pistol and the 106mm Recoilless Rifle. He also earned and was awarded the coveted Ranger Tab.
His last assignment from 1972-1975 was to Training Command at Fort Polk, Louisiana where he retired as a Sergeant First Class after serving 20 years and two days in the US Army. He lived in Vernon Parish, Louisiana and served as a Boy Scout Leader, and Baseball and Softball Coach. He coached his son when he played for the "Tigers," "Dodgers," "Recondo's" and "A's". He coached his daughter when she played for the "Blue Birds" (until his wife fired him). He coached his grandsons when they played for the "Marlins" and "Rangers" and his granddaughters when they played for the "Lady Rangers" and the "Lady Bandits." Ranger Kaiama is survived by his wife of 56 years: Irene Faye Kaiama; daughter: Kelly Kaiama-Goodwin and husband Tim; son: Paul Kaiama and wife Lisa; grandchildren: Jacoby Kaiama and wife Tabitha, Maile Goodwin-Walter and husband Kyle, Josh Kaiama, and McKenna Goodwin; 3 great grandchildren: Kai, Bella, & Brexton.
SFC Kaiama was a role model to all who knew him. He was one of my Florida Ranger Instructors when I went through the course in 1969. I was very much honored to serve with him again in L Company Rangers during my time there. Ranger Kai was proud to be a Ranger! All who knew and respected Ranger Kaiama will remember him always for his professionalism, dedication and leadership.
The US Army Mountain Ranger Association takes great pride in honoring Ranger Harold G. Kaiama at the Fallen Ranger Memorial. Rangers Lead the Way!
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