From 2000-2003, Paul was enlisted in the United States Army and served as Wheeled Vehicle Repair Specialist and wrecker operator, recovering and repairing HMMWVs ("Humvees") and other vehicles. While serving both in the United States and the Republic of Korea, Paul maintained personal accountability for over $360,000 in government equipment.
In three years of service, he was promoted three times, eventually reaching the rank of Specialist (E-4). He was repeatedly commended for high standards of dedication and responsibility and took on leadership roles in a variety of situations, including conducting on-the-job training.
"Specialist Yokota's expertise, knowledge, dedication and selfless service contributed greatly to the unit's mission. His performance is within the keeping the finest traditions of military service and reflects great credit upon himself, the 595th Maintenance Company, the 498th Corps Support Battalion, and the United States Army."
Sgt. Corey Richardson – Squad Leader
(Excerpt from recommendation for second Army Achievement Medal)
After being honorably discharged from the military, Paul began attending Foothill College. He soon joined the school's award-winning speech and debate team, competing at multiple tournaments and earning the title of Parliamentary Debate Co-Champion (Novice Division).
During this time Paul supported himself by working a series of part-time and full-time jobs, while pursuing a Communication Studies degree. He ultimately graduated with an Associate of Arts in June 2009.
"Paul has a quick mind capable of strategic thinking and flexible rhetorical framing. His excellent communication skills will make him an asset anywhere he goes."
Autumn Tyr-Salvia – Debate Partner/Co-champion
San Jose State University
After earning his A.A., Paul transferred to San Jose State University, where he excelled in courses across a variety of subjects, including organizational communication, public relations, marketing and new media. He has been recognized as a Dean's List scholar with a GPA of 3.735. He is graduating with a B.S. in Public Relations as of May 2011.
"His work was exemplary and stood as an example for the rest of the class to view and review. Paul understands critical thinking and has the distinct ability to take on a project and work with all of its challenges and come out the other end a complete success. I recommend Paul without any reservations at all!"
Peter Young, PhD. – Professor, New Media
"Paul produced some of the best written work I have received in over ten years of university teaching."
Richard Webb, PhD. – Professor, Organizational Communication
"Paul is an excellent team member. Paul demonstrated excellent graphics design techniques as well as captivated our audience during the presentation."
Araceli Vizcaino-Serrano – Classmate