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2014 DOD National African American Month Celebration Luncheon

Military Awards

CPT Darold C. Carson was born in Tuskegee, Alabama. He was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force from 1994 to 1998, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in April 2004. Upon transferring from the Air Force to the Army, CPT Carson graduated Army Aviation Flight School and was assigned as a platoon leader with the 1st 230th Air Cav in Tupelo, Mississippi. During his assignment, he served as an Armed Reconnaissance Pilot and was awarded the Army Achievement Medal as a top gun pilot. CPT Carson is currently serving as the Logistics Officer for the 1st 131st Assault Helicopter Battalion. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Marketing, Management and Research as well as a Master’s of Science in Human Resource Management from Troy University. He has been instrumental in developing the Joint Diversity Executive Council for the Alabama National Guard as well as coordinating diversity training for senior leaders. His commitment to excellence has helped to establish the Alabama National Guard as a leader in diversity on the national level.

Senior Master Sergeant Shawanda M. DeVaughn is the Manpower & Personnel Section Superintendent assigned to the 117th Air Refueling Wing, Alabama Air National Guard. She started her career with the 117th ARW at the age of 21, enlisting into the Intelligence Squadron in 1988. Sergeant DeVaughn was hired as Production Recruiter in 1993 and remained in this position until her hire as the Recruiting Office Supervisor (ROS) in 1999. After 13 years in Recruiting and Retention, Sergeant DeVaughn was selected as the Manpower and Personnel Superintendent. Sergeant DeVaughn voluntarily deployed to Incirlik, Turkey and Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. Throughout her 25 year career, Sergeant DeVaughn has always believed that a diverse workplace enables an organization to become stronger and more capable. During her years in the recruiting office, Sergeant DeVaughn actively sought out diverse applicants to enlist into the Alabama Air National Guard, because she believed then and now that the Air National Guard benefits most when there is a diverse collection of skills and experiences. Sergeant was appointed by the Wing Commander to the State Joint Diversity Executive Council (JDEC) & the Wing Diversity Council. The vision of these councils is to achieve an organizational culture where diversity is valued as a personnel readiness, combat multiplier that is critical to mission readiness. Sergeant DeVaughn received her Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and is currently pursuing her post graduate education at UAB as well.

Lieutenant Colonel R. J. Smith graduated from Wenonah High School in Birmingham and graduated Cum Laude from Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama with a BS degree in Criminal Justice. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate from Auburn University at Montgomery where he was commissioned in the U. S. Army as a 2nd Lieutenant. Upon commissioning, he attended Rotary Wing and Fixed Wing Flight Training at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. After being awarded his Army pilot wings, he was assigned to Camp Humphreys, Korea where he served as a maintenance platoon leader and a mission pilot. Colonel Smith served nine and a half years in the active Army before joining the Alabama Air National Guard. Upon joining the Alabama Air National Guard, Colonel Smith earned his Air Force pilot wings and attended the KC-135R Qualification Course, Aircraft Commander Course, Instructor Aircraft Commander Course and the Air Force Advance Instrument School. Colonel Smith has served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, Alabama Army National Guard, Active Army, and currently serves in the Alabama Air National Guard. He has over 4,000 total flying hours and has flown over 100 combat missions in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He has been awarded the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal with one service star. He wears the Air Force Command Pilot Badge, Army Pilot Badge, Airborne Badge, and Air Assault Badge. Believing that everyone should feel included and be provided with the tools necessary to succeed, Colonel Smith is a participant in the Hoover High School Mentorship Program for At Risk Kids. Currently, Colonel Smith serves on the Alabama National Guard State Diversity Council and is Chairman of the 117 Air Refueling Wing Diversity Council. Colonel Smith is a member of The Air Force Association, The National Society of Pershing Rifles and The Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Martin Edmonds is originally from Demopolis, Alabama. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Finance in 1998 from Alabama A&M University. Upon graduation, he entered the Navy and was commissioned on September 18, 1998 after successfully completing Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, FL. LCDR Edmonds’ initial assignment was the Material Officer and later the Disbursing Officer on board USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75) stationed in Norfolk, VA from 1999 to 2002. He then served as a Defense Navy Acquisition and Contracting Intern at Defense Contract Management Agency, Philadelphia, PA from 2002 to 2004 before transferring to the USS CUSHING (DD 985) in Yokosuka, Japan as the Supply Officer. After the USS CUSHING (DD 985) decommissioned in 2005, he then transferred to the USS STETHEM (DDG 63) in Yokosuka, Japan as the Supply Officer from 2005 to 2006. In 2006 he entered the Financial Management Master in Business Administration program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He graduated in 2008, and transferred to the United States Naval Forces Central Command in Manama, Bahrain, where he served as the staff’s Logistics Planning Officer for normal and contingency operations in the United States Central Command’s area of responsibility. He then served on the Chief of Naval Operations’ staff at the Pentagon in N-Code N80 as a Program Objective Memorandum Mechanic in Arlington, VA. His current tour is on board USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) Norfolk, VA. LCDR Edmonds has been forward deployed twice, completed three Gulf deployments, and has completed one Individual Augmentee assignment in Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal (two awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards) and various unit and service awards. He holds a subspecialty code in Contracting and Acquisition Management, Financial Management and Operational Logistics Planning. He is a qualified Surface Warfare and Aviation Warfare Supply Corps Officer and is a member of the Navy Acquisition Professional Community.

LT. GEN Willie Williams, Retired United States Marine Corps, commanded and served at every level in support our nation’s tactical, operational, and strategic objectives. From 2009 to 2013, LT. GEN Williams (Retired) served as the Chief of the Marine Corps Staff, Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, DC. From 2005 to 2009, he commanded the Marine Corps’ only operational and strategic level logistics organization and supply chain. From 2003 to 2005, Willie was the Assistant Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics (Facilities), Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps. He was commissioned into the officer ranks of the Marine Corps after earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1974. During his 39-year career, he served in a wide range of logistics, supply chain, infrastructure, and leadership positions to include five commands and over thirteen years as a general officer. His academic degrees include an MBA from National University, San Diego, a MS in Strategic Resources Management, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, a BA in Business Administration/Minor in Accounting from Stillman College, Tuscaloosa, AL. He is also the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws, and has completed “Revolution in Business Practices” at the Naval Postgraduate School, “Logistics and Technology for Executives” at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, “Leadership at the Peak” at the Center for Creative Leadership, and the Joint Flag Officer War-fighting Course, Air University, Alabama. He has been recognized with multiple outstanding leadership awards, as a distinguished alumnus by his Alma Mater, Stillman College, and in 2009 as Albany State University’s International Citizen of the Year. He is currently an Executive Fellow with the Institute for Defense and Business, Chapel Hill, NC, and is currently working with the Stillman College STEM Institute in an effort to improve educational opportunities for students from rural Alabama Schools by instilling positive character and leadership skills and traits, and academic and physical discipline. The Stillman College STEM Institute focuses on a stretch of schools and children in rural poverty areas of Alabama historically called the Alabama Black belt. It marshals Stillman’s commitment to being a resource to high school administrators, teachers and students in the heart of the black belt of Alabama.

K-12 Award
Robert E. Lee High School – AF JROTC Color Guard. Thank you to the Robert E. Lee High School (Montgomery, Alabama) AFJROTC – Junior Color Guard for Posting of the Colors today. At this time, DoD would like to recognize this award winning Lee High Air Force ROTC Color Guard for the numerous accolades they have received under the leadership and guidance of SMSGT Jodell Dunlap and staff. The Senior Color Guard could not be present with us today because they are conducting their annual blood drive. This outstanding Senior Color Guard received First Place award at the Pell City High School Drill Competition in November, 2013. We would ask that their Instructor SMSGT JoDell Dunlap please come forward to accept this award.”

Small Business Award – Future Research Corporation

Future Research Corporation is headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama. Since its inception in 1995, Future Research Corporation (FRC) has been blessed to have been afforded the great opportunity to support the Department of Defense (DOD) in its efforts to create, discover, and employ innovative concepts and ideas in protecting our homeland and our troops abroad. As a small disadvantage business, FRC successfully completed and benefited greatly from the 8(a) program. For over eighteen years, FRC has provided Information Technology and Engineering Technical support to the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. Among its core competencies, FRC is responsible for the design and development of three major DOD software development programs that are currently being utilized by the US Army Corps of Engineers world-wide ( Program Management Information System (P2) and the Army Facility Component System (AFCS)). In addition, FRC designed, developed and deployed the US Army’s Transportation Coordinator’s Automated Information for Movement Systems II (TC-AIMS II) that is used during war time and peace. All of the aforementioned programs are critical to DOD and are necessary for insuring adequate resources and equipment gets to the troops on time. FRC is 100% committed to providing continued quality support to our DOD customers.

DOD Prime Contractor’s Award – The Boeing Company

Boeing is the world's leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined. Additionally, Boeing designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. The company also provides numerous military and commercial airline support services. Boeing provides products and support services to customers in 150 countries and is one of the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales. Boeing has a long tradition of supporting HBCUs and MSIs in the areas of STEM Student Development, Faculty Development and Research and Development Infrastructure support, including grant and contracting. Boeing’s Supplier Diversity and HBCU/MSI program have provided support for diversity organizations and institutions over the past several decades as a DOD prime and direct partner with diverse colleges and university, minority STEM organization and agencies. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 170,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries. This represents one of the most diverse, talented and innovative workforces anywhere.

HBCU/MI Advocate Award

Oliver S. (“Bo”) Leslie is a Senior Principal Specialist and HBCU/MI Program Manager in the Supplier Diversity Program Office at The Boeing Company. Leslie has been with The Boeing Company more than 40 years and held positions of increasing responsibility in the Avionics Engineering Division prior to joining the Supplier Diversity Program in 1992. Leslie joined the McDonnell Douglas Corporation in 1972 as an electrical engineer. He worked in the Avionics Laboratory as a Test Engineer and later in Avionics Systems Engineering as a Lead Engineer, where he was responsible for the Communication and Navigation Systems on the F-15 Eagle Program. As Lead Engineer, he interfaced with the Department of Defense and McDonnell suppliers on a daily basis. Leslie also served as a technical recruiter for the Engineering Division for 15 years. Currently, Leslie facilitates the expanded utilization of diverse suppliers for The Boeing Company. As such, he is the Enterprise program manager for Boeing’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions (HBCU/MIs) Initiative. Leslie received a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering technology from Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Ala. In 1996, he completed the African-American Leadership Program at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, N.C. Leslie was the recipient of the 2008 Black Engineer of the Year Affirmative Action-Supplier Diversity Award.


Tuskegee University’s College of Engineering – Presenting Sponsor
Dr. Legand Burge, Dean

Tec-Masters, Inc.
Huntsville, AL President’s Welcome Reception Sponsor
Dr. Marvin Carroll, President/CEO

The Boeing Company
St. Louis, Missouri
Celebration Luncheon Sponsor

SAK Corporation, LLC
Mobile, AL
Afternoon Break Sponsor

Fairfax, VA
Morning Break Sponsor

Download DOD 2014 National African History Month Celebration  Program