KARAT, Okinawa — A 17-year-old student from Okinawa has been awarded a spot at the United States Marine Corps Academy, a new honor after posting inflammatory comments about the Japanese martial art karate.
The honor comes in recognition of a year-long effort by the academy to raise awareness of karate in the U.S.
The Marine Corps’ 1st Lieutenant and the first American to graduate from the academy since World War II, Michael Ngo, received the award in a ceremony on Thursday.
Ngo posted a series of tweets from January 2017 criticizing Karate, which is not recognized by the U-S.
“The Marine Corp is a family of warriors and has fought and won wars all over the world.
We should not forget that the Marines were also Marines, and have fought in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, where they died for our freedom,” he wrote.
“We should not be proud of this, but we should not shy away from sharing our history.
The Marines were the Marines of the world and we must continue to do everything we can to educate the public.”
Ngo’s tweet was quickly deleted, but his account has been reinstated.
The academy, a small U.T.A. program in northern Okinawa, said in a statement on Friday that Ngo was chosen because he was “a natural fit” for the academy and “a leader of Marines who have fought and died for the freedom of the people of Okinawa.”
He graduated last month from the Marine Corps academy at Camp Pendleton, California.
The Marine Corps said Ngo had earned a degree in karate and the honor of the academy is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a Marine Corps member.
The academy said Ng was the only student in its history to be awarded the Marine Corp’s highest award for the highest achievement in a Marine career.
Ng was accepted into the academy as an honor student in February 2017 and is scheduled to graduate in May.
The Marines are now considering awarding the honor to another Marine, a 20-year veteran of the Corps who also has received a Marine Corp medal for service.