Yoshi Takimoto was born in Yokohama, Japan just after the war with lingering effects of World War II. Thus, he had a humble beginning. He was adopted when he was 10 years old and took the last name of Smith. He and his new family left Japan to go to the United States when he was eleven years old. He is a naturalized citizen.
He attended high schools in Columbus, Georgia; Augsburg,Germany; Paris, France; and Seaside, California. He then attended Monterey Peninsula College and transferred to the University of Hawaii majoring in mathematics. He also earned a master’s degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. He is a graduate of a prestigious Air War College specializing in National Security.
Yoshi joined the US Air Force through the ROTC program while attending the University of Hawaii. He was selected for Air Force pilot training and became a KC-135, air refueling aircraft pilot. Throughout his 30 plus year career in the Air Force, he held positions of leadership from flying squadron commander, commanding over 350 airmen; Director of Safety Issues at the Pentagon; base commander, commanding over 1800 personnel in security, morale and welfare, human resources, engineering, and communications (to include computer technology) expertise. He was also a Professor of Aerospace Studies at Washington State University and the University of Idaho. He commanded the entire base of 15,000 military and civilian personnel, with an operating budget of over $350 million (does not include personnel costs) and with assets over $28 billion.
Yoshi also held positions as the assistant director for the Center for Human Rights, investigating and training civil rights issues and equal opportunity employments; and as the Associate Director of MBA programs at the college of business at Washington State University where he taught leadership in business.
He held positions on the Northwest Chapter of American Red Cross, board member and County Political Chairmanship. He also was employed as a semiconductor marketeer at Texas Instruments and flew commercial flights for Korean Airlines as a first-officer. He maintains his FAA Airline Transport Pilot and is a FAA Certificated Flight Instructor Pilot licensed in multi-engine and instrument flying.
He and his wife were married in Honolulu, Hawaii. They have three adult children and four grand children.