November 11 is Veterans Day, an annual day of recognition honoring those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. DSFederal is grateful for the service of all military veterans, and we are especially proud of our many employees who have served. Of our current employees, over a dozen are veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. A few of our DSFederal veterans sat down this week to talk about their service.
Clockwise from top left: George Stone, Bob Browning, Dan Adams, Angela Alexander
Bob Browning, our VP of Operations, interrupted his studies at Penn State to join the Marines, after the U.S. Embassy in Tehran was seized by militants during Iran's 1979 revolution. He served as a cryptographic officer aboard Navy vessels; and then joined NSA as an analyst. Although he has been in private industry for many years, his motto remains “Non sibi, sed patriae” (Not for self, but for country).
Dr. George Stone, our Training and Education Practice Area Director, was a career military officer who spent many years serving in various training, education, and technical roles, including roles within DoD Joint Staff, OSD, Army G-3, Army G-8 MC; and as an instructor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, his alma mater.
George describes military service as "a great opportunity for a young person" to find a career and profession. After enlisting directly from high school in the early days of the all-volunteer Army, George was offered the opportunity to attend USMA prep school, then at Fort Monmouth, NJ. He was admitted to West Point, and earned a B.S. in General Science; and then served two command tours in Germany before returning to West Point as one of the USMA's first instructors in the then-emerging discipline of systems engineering. He was soon recognized by his peers as the best instructor of the year. Later reassigned to a technical role at the Pentagon, he was asked to lead an early simulation-based training project, and from there, he "grew up in the field" of virtual reality- and simulation-based training. George was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service to the United States, and retired from the Army as a colonel.
Angela Alexander, our USAMRIID Project Manager, was a career Navy officer. As a sophomore at Fort Valley State University in Georgia in 1987, she was selected as the first participant in the Navy’s brand-new Baccalaureate Degree Commissioning Program (BDCP). After graduation, she entered Officer Candidate School at the Newport, Rhode Island Officer Training Command, and was commissioned as a Supply Corps officer. She recalls her tour as supply officer aboard the fleet oiler USS Monongahela as her favorite tour with the Navy. “As a young lieutenant,” she says, “it was an awesome responsibility” to have full charge of logistics, supplies, laundry service, food, and payroll for a fuel supply ship with over 350 personnel on board. “The military is a microcosm of society,” Angela says, explaining that what she “gained the most” from her 20+ year career was the opportunity to serve with and lead “a diverse and talented group of individuals—I learned a lot from those I served with, and hope that they learned from me as well.” Angela retired in 2012 as a Commander.
Dan Adams, our CMS Clarity Project Manager, served in the Army, as a musician in the United States Army Band. A violinist, he started his military career in 1975 with the Air Force Band. After four years, he auditioned to join “Pershing’s Own,” and spent the rest of his 25-year career at Fort Myer (now Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall). Dan recalls many memorable events, including performances at White House and State Department dinners attended by world leaders from many countries. Dan served throughout the presidencies of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, retiring in 2000 as a Sergeant First Class.
Our newest military veteran is Jennifer Simpson, Web Content Manager for our USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Web Content Management project. Jennifer served for 12 years as a Human Resource and Public Affairs Officer in the US Army. She spent two years in an infantry unit, and three years in Germany.
As a small company, we are particularly proud that so many of our employees served with such distinction. We thank and honor them, and all veterans, for their service and sacrifice. Happy Veterans Day!