Maj. Gen. Robert L. Nabors was honored for his "personal commitment
to civil rights and equal opportunity," particularly during his
tenure as commander of the Army Communications-Electronics Command,
Fort Monmouth, N.J.
The citation read that Nabors' vision, as commanding general is humanity
and promoting diversity and fairness worldwide. When he was commander
of the 5th Signal Command, "he championed humanitarianism and
spearheaded efforts to create professional opportunities for all employees
regardless of race, gender or national origin," the citation
Among other efforts, Nabors directed the Communications-Electronics
Command to develop innovative management practices that facilitated
diversity within the command and in minority advancement and attainment
of several key promotion goals, according to the citation.
Dr. (Cmdr.) Linda A. Murakata was recognized for being "committed,
involved and dedicated to the civil rights movement in the federal
sector." She has made personal sacrifices resulting in significant
contributions to civil and human rights, her citation states.
"Dr. Murakata founded the Afrikasian Scholars Foundation Inc.
in 1991 after entering active duty as a Navy lieutenant in May 1990.
The foundation has awarded 20 scholarships to minority, teen, single
mothers and fathers who graduated from high school and continued their
education in college, technical, or trade school. She awarded 15 scholarships
from her personal paycheck."
Murakata is also a mentor and role model who frequently speaks at
local high schools, colleges and special education groups. "Her
frank discussions of her own journey from single welfare parent to
a medical doctor and naval officer has inspired thousands," according
to the citation.
The full story about Murakata's journey, "From Welfare Mom to
Navy Medical 'Detective" can be found at: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Apr2000/n04042000_20004043.html.
award citation calls Marine Corps Maj. Don M. Thanars "a staple
for human rights." As provost marshal at Marine Corps Recruit
Depot Parris Island, S.C., Thanars "promotes civil and human
rights, equal opportunity and public service on a daily basis,"
the citation reads. He also serves as the chairman for the Tri-Command
Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month Committee.
The citation reads in part that Thanars ensures the committee provides
a variety of diverse, educational and entertaining programs which
teach minority and nonminority members each other's culture.
"His efforts made it possible for students to receive scholarships
for college," the citation reads. "He also coordinates voter
registration drives and other forums to increase awareness and to
encourage local residents to be more involved in the community."
Force Maj. Sherry L. Stearns-Boles was cited for participating in
"programs and activities that have fostered a better understanding
among minority and nonminority members of the military and civilian
As a charter member and treasurer for the local Air Force Cadet and
Officer Mentoring Action Program chapter, Stearns-Boles "promoted
the professional and leadership development of future Air Force officers
by assisting candidates with their transition into the Air Force Officer
As the executive adviser for the 1999 Peterson Air Force Base (Colo.)
Black Heritage Committee, she helped educate both the base and surrounding
local community on the contributions of African Americans throughout
Stearns-Boles was also honored for outstanding contributions as a
member of the Colorado Springs Youth Leadership Conference Committee,
president of the Wyoming Buffalo Soldiers Association, and for spearheading
the 1998 Martin Luther King Memorial Service at F.E. Warren Air Force
The citation also states that, "as a charter member for first-ever
Wyoming Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, she promoted community
service and improved educational opportunities for both women and
Maj. Richard Donnell Kingsberry of the National Guard Bureau was honored
for his service as a mentor for at-risk youth and his participation
in the after-school enrichment program at Johnson C. Smith University,
"To fight against juvenile delinquency," Kingsberry served
as the chairperson of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, composed
of public officials and volunteers appointed by the Mecklenburg County
(N.C.) Commissioners, his citation states.
An avid member of the Federal Executive Association, Kingsberry is
also the founder and immediate past president of the 9th and 10th
(Horse) Cavalry Association of "The Buffalo Soldiers" Greater North
Second Lt. Pamela
Denise Townsend was recognized for her accomplishments since enlisting
as an airman in the Connecticut Air National Guard on June 12, 1991.
She earned a dual bachelor of science in psychology and sociology
in 1997 from Charter Oak State College. Townsend earned a master's
degree in education in 1998 and another in management in 1999 from
In the civilian community, Townsend serves as the advisory chairperson
of the Southwest Boys and Girls Club in Hartford, Conn., where she
has overseen the Smart Girl and Keystone Programs.
She also serves on the Diversity in Our Schools Committee in Windsor,
Conn. The committee imparts values to students regarding their race,
color, class or physical appearance. Townsend was also an active leader
and participant on the Air National Guard People Potential 2000 Diversity
Committee and Connecticut National Guard Black History Month Celebration
In 1998, Townsend established the "In Pursuit of a Dream Campaign"
exposing urban youth to career opportunities in the Connecticut Air
L. Fields received her Wilkins Award for "unparalleled leadership
in human and civil rights, equal opportunity and human resource development"
at the Defense Information Systems Agency, Arlington, Va. The citation
cites her unwavering community support and her establishment of annual
college scholarship funds through Saint Timothy's Episcopal and Cedar
Hill Baptist Churches that helps disadvantaged minority students.
She also established a technology support services contract for minority
institutions valued at $24 million the first of its kind in
the history of the Department of Defense.
Fields is chairperson of Government Information Technology Council's
Scholarship Committee, and serves as an advisory on the board of the
Washington chapter of the Armed Forced Communications and Electronic
Association, administering scholarships to promote technical studies.
Members of the
Coast Guard accounted for two Wilkins Awards and a Meritorious Service
Award, the NAACP's highest to a military policy maker.
Coast Guard Vice Adm. James C. Card, former vice commandant, received
a Wilkins Award for his commitment to excellence, diversity and civil
rights, the citation states. He was credited for leadership of the
Coast Guard "Managing Diversity as a Process" study, "the
seminal 'road map' used by the Coast Guard to improve its organizational
"The study report established guidelines for ensuring that all
people, regardless of race, color, gender, physical ability, or ethnicity,
have the opportunity to achieve their full potential," the citation
Card championed the findings of the study and mainstreams it throughout
the service. to help provide support for equal opportunity, civil
rights and diversity. He also focuses on building greater diversity
in the highest decision levels of the Coast Guard, according to the
"Jerry" Jones of the Headquarters Support Command Staff
in Washington is "committed and dedicated to helping others and
was instrumental in making the Coast Guard the employer of choice
for women, minorities and persons with disabilities," his citations
"Known for his commitment to diversity," it continues, "Jones
helps to create an environment where all of the people who work for
the Coast Guard will have the opportunity to reach his or her maximum
Jones is credited with helping the Coast Guard participate in the
national "Take Your Daughters-to-Work Day," to include a
"Take Your Sons-to-Work Day" program. His community activities
include the NAACP, National Capital Area Crisis Intervention team
and Interagency Disability Educational Awareness Showcase. He also
volunteers in local civic associations and serves meals to the homeless.
a special tribute, Adm. James M. Loy, Coast Guard commandant, received
the NAACP Meritorious Service Award from Julian Bond, president of
the organization's national board of directors. The NAACP cited Loy
for "championing equal opportunity, affirmative action, civil rights
and public service in the Coast Guard."
"As commandant, one of his initial acts was to appoint the first
African American to the position of master chief petty officer (Vincent
W. Patton III) of the Coast Guard," the citation read.
Loy was also honored for establishing two outreach programs that are
making strong contributions to minority officer recruiting. The College
Student Pre-commissioning Initiative is a scholarship program concentrated
primarily on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities.
More than 205 African American college graduates entered the Coast
Guard as commissioned officers through the program.
The Coast Guard Recruiting Initiative for the 21st Century has recruited
59 students as candidates for the Coast Guard Academy. Loy was also
honored for embracing the secretary of transportation's Garrett A.
Morgan Technology and Transportation Futures Program, named after
the son of a slave who invented the traffic light, the citation states.
"The Coast Guard's program has reached over one million students
who have been exposed to math, science and technology skills
required for military and transportation careers," according
to the citation.