Jin H. Pak ’90 is a major in the U.S. Army, and the son of hard working immigrant parents from South Korea.
Born in Seoul, he immigrated to the United States at the age of six, and grew up in Queens. After Townsend Harris, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Jin first served in Europe in various logistics units, and deployed twice to the Balkans to help enforce the Dayton Peace accords. As a captain, Jin served in the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, and then deployed again to the Balkans.
From 2001 to 2003, he earned a masters degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and then returned to West Point to teach international relations. While attending graduate school, Jin completed a summer internship with the United Nations where he facilitated the movement of U.N. forces into and out of U.N. missions in Sierra Leone and Eritrea.
During his time teaching at West Point from 2003 to 2006, Jin wrote numerous research papers on topics that included: public opinion on military force; North Korean nuclear weapons; maritime security in Southeast Asia; and the rising Chinese power. For his scholarly work and passion for teaching, he received the Osborne Scholar Award for Research in Asian Studies in 2004, the William Murdy Award for Teaching Excellence in Comparative Politics in 2005, and the Robert E. Linhard Award for Research in 2006.
In 2007, Jin transitioned back to the tactical side of the military and served in the 3d Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, for two years. Jin first served as the unit’s principal logistics officer, and orchestrated the fielding of over 500 different types of equipment—including everything from soldier body armor to 105mm howitzers—to all 3,200 plus soldiers in the brigade within the short fourteen months they had before deployment to Afghanistan. n U.S. Affairs, and by mentoring cadets applying for academic scholarships.
In his second year, Jin was the executive officer for an 800 soldier battalion, and deployed with them to Afghanistan where they operated in an area that bordered Pakistan, and spanned the volatile provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. Upon return from deployment, Major Pak was assigned to the Pentagon, where he now serves as the military assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Lieutenant General Mitchell Stevenson.
Jin has received numerous military awards during his career, but more importantly, he has been an active member of the different communities where he and his family have resided while moving from place to place with the Army.
Jin and his wife Lucie, also a Townsend Harris graduate, were often involved in family support groups that provided assistance to family members of soldiers away on deployments.
While at the Kennedy School, Jin tutored high school students at the local Cambridge Public High School, and participated in their annual Cambridge Leadership Workshop where he gave presentations on effective leadership. Furthermore, Jin has taken an increasingly active role in leader development by participating in the Marshall Foundation’s ROTC Awards Seminar, West Point’s Student Conference on U.S. Affairs.