Defense In Hawaii: Past and Present
Hawaii’s strategic location in the Asia-Pacific region has made it an appropriate home to the
U.S. military since it became a U.S. territory in 1898. The historic attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which led the United States into World War II, was the most notable event in Hawaii’s military history. More than 2,000 American soldiers and sailors lost their lives on what became known as “a date which will live in infamy.”
Today, the military is the second largest economic driver for the state of Hawaii with more than
146,000 military members and their dependents across the state representing the Army, Navy,
Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and National Guard.