ROCK OF THE YEAR
ROCK OF THE YEAR
The Honorable John W. Shannon
U.S. Army, Retired
The Honorable John W. Shannon was born September 13, 1933, in Louisville, KY. He graduated from Central State University in Wilberforce, OH, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1955 and was commissioned a Infantry Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army. He received his Master of Science Degree in 1975 from Shippensburg State College, Shippensburg, PA. He is a graduate of the Army War College. On June 14, 1992, Central State University conferred upon Mr. Shannon the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
He served on active duty over 23 years and retired in the grade of Colonel. During that time he served in various assignments as a commander and staff officer. His active duty service included two tours in the Republic of Vietnam as an Advisor and as an Infantry Battalion Commander.
He has served as Acting Secretary of the Army, Under Secretary of the Army, and Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Base Closure Transition.
Mr. Shannon’s awards include the Secretary of Defense Awards fro Distinguished and Outstanding Public Service, Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award, Roy Wilkins’ Meritorious Service Award, the Korean Gugseon Award, and the Anderson Medal. His numerous military awards and badges include the Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, the Ranger Tab, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and Vietnam Battle Campaign.
Mr. Shannon retired from service with the Armed Forces of the United States of America with over 39 years of service on January 31, 1994. He is presently the president of Shannon Consulting Service, Inc. He is a member of the National Academy of Public Administration.
He and his wife, Jean, have a son, John Jr., a Captain in the Army Reserves.
ROCK OF THE YEAR
General COLIN L. POWELL
U.S. Army, Retired
General Colin L. Powell served as the twelfth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense, from October 1, 1989 to September 30, 1993, under both President George Bush and president bill Clinton. In this capacity, he served as the principal military adviser to the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the National Security Council. General Powell was born in New York City on April 5, 1937, and was raised in South Bronx. His parents, Luther and Maud Powell, immigrated from Jamaica. General Powell was educated in the New York City Public Schools, graduating from Morris High School and the City College of New York (CCNY), were he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geology. He received a commission as a Infantry Second Lieutenant upon graduation in June 1958. His further academic achievement includes a Master of Business Administration Degree from George Washington University.
After completing the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Ranger Course, and Airborne Course at Fort Benning, Georgia, General Powell was stationed as a Lieutenant in Germany. Subsequent operational assignments took him to Fort Devens, MA; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Leavenworth, KS; and Fort Carson, CO. General Powell served two tours in Vietnam from 1962 to 1963 and 1968 to 1969. He was also a battalion commander in Korea from 1973 to 1974. He later commanded the 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, KY and the U.S. Army’s V Corps in Germany. Prior to being named Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he served as the Commander in Chief, Forces Command, headquartered at Fort McPherson, GA.
In addition to his selection a White House Fellow in 1972, General Powell’s assignments in Washington, D.C. included duty as Senior Military Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense and as Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. He served as Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Energy for a brief period. In December 1987, President Ronald Reagan named General Powell as the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, a post in which he served until January 1989.
General Powell has been the recipient of numerous U.S. military awards and decorations to include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart. He has also been decorated by the governments of Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, United Kingdom, and Venezuela.
Among General Powell’s civilian awards honoring his public service are two awards of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the President’s Citizen Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. Additionally, he received an honorary knighthood (Knighthood Commander of the Bath) from the Queen of England in December of 1993.
General Powell, upon his retirement from the U.S. Army on September 30, 1993, began writing his autobiography, titled My American Journey, which was published in September 1995. He is currently lecturing to diverse audiences around the country.
General Powell is married to the former Alma Vivian Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama. The Powell family includes son Michael; daughters, Linda and Annemarie, daughter-in-law Jane, and grandsons Jeffrey and Bryan.