George Ishikata

George Ishikata

George Ishikata was an inspiring leader who worked tirelessly to keep JROTC alive at San Francisco high schools. He helped cadets develop their leadership identities and upheld the values he instilled: service, loyalty, and integrity.

Ishikata spent 43 years with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), serving in multiple roles. He directed one of California Wing’s most successful squadrons, San Francisco Cadet Squadron; served as National Cadet Programs Staff Coordinator for CAP; and joined International Air Cadet Exchange as Vice-Chairperson.

Early Life and Education

Growing up as a Japanese American in the United States has profoundly shaped George Ishikata’s life. As leader of California Wing, CAP and throughout his military service career, he strived to make an positive impact on a diverse community.

Ishikata served in the Army National Guard as a Military Intelligence officer and in key overseas positions, earning two Defense Superior Service Medals and five Meritorious Service Medals. Additionally, he was an officer cadet in CAP and held leadership roles at wing, wing and region levels.

As both a cadet and CAP officer, Ishikata set an example for other Asian American leaders to achieve success within the organization. He believes diversity within CAP has improved, and he hopes it will continue to expand as an organization.

Professional Career

George Ishikata earned an impressive list of accolades and accomplishments throughout his professional life. He was a decorated military intelligence officer and served as the Commander for CAP Pacific Region. Among other awards, he received two Defense Superior Service Medals, the Legion of Merit, and two Defense Superior Service Medals.

George was an inspiring leader in addition to his military and CAP roles, actively involved in veterans and Asian-American communities. His tireless advocacy for JROTC to remain alive in San Francisco high schools continued for many years – in fact he spearheaded its most recent iteration! This model he was proud to have helped shape and nurture. We will always remember George’s thoughtful leadership, insightful insights and warm camaraderie.

Achievements and Honors

George Ishikata was an exemplary leader, having a diverse career that encompassed the military, avionics, high tech industries as well as community service. With a career spanning over three decades, he was proud to have been part of some of the world’s premier organizations. His most remarkable accomplishments were his tenure as a senior executive for the California Army National Guard, where he spearheaded an award-winning division. George culminated his illustrious military career as a high technology officer in the United States Army, earning him two Defense Superior Service Medals and other prestigious awards. Additionally, George was one of only a few individuals to be elected California wing commander in 2013.

His passing is a great loss to his family, colleagues and the greater San Francisco community at large. There can be no doubt that he was an inspiring visionary and true gentleman; we will deeply miss him.

Personal Life

George Ishikata served as a colonel in both the California Army National Guard and US Army, as well as serving in key Military Intelligence positions throughout Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo. For his service to his country and its Armed Forces he received numerous awards and recognitions.

After retiring from the military, Ishikata continued his involvement with San Francisco’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). He worked hard to maintain the program at the high schools he taught at, and as Director of Army Instruction he strived to enhance cadet experiences. Furthermore, he served as Pacific Region Commander for Civil Air Patrol (CAP). Most importantly, Ishikata was an incredibly dedicated and caring individual who contributed significantly towards cultivating our future leaders.

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