HERO OF THE WEEK: Donna Williams served for duty, honor and country

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 15, 2022

This week’s Vicksburg Post Hero of the Week is Brigadier General (Retired) Donna R. Williams. Brigadier General (Retired) Williams is a native of Vicksburg and earned her commission through the Senior Army ROTC Early Commissioning Program (ECP) at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. where she also received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. She served her Nation honorably as an Army Engineer Officer for 32 years. Brigadier General (Retired) Williams’ duty stations included key developmental and career-enhancing assignments across the Continental United States, Hawaii, Iraq and other overseas assignments. She holds a master of business administration degree in Information Technology and Military Management from Touro University, and a Master of Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College (USAWC), Carlisle Barracks, Pa. Brigadier General (Retired) Williams is an employee with the Engineer Research and Development Center at the United States Corps of Engineers Reachback Operations Center in Vicksburg. She is a proud member of the Vicksburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Vicksburg Branch of NAACP and a lifetime member of the Army ROTC Hall of Fame.

What is your rank? 

I achieved the rank of Brigadier General in the United States Army.

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Which branch of service were you in, and what years were you active? 

I served in the United States Army for 32 years (27 years active). 

What were the reasons why you joined?

The reason I joined the military is that I wanted to contribute to the security of a democratic society and the common defense of our nation with a lifetime of service. I am a firm believer of duty, honor and country.  

What was your job in the military?

 My primary military occupational specialty was Combat Engineer, where I was responsible for vertical and horizontal construction in peacetime and wartime contingency operations. I also worked in my secondary occupational skill identifier as a Force Manager where I was responsible for shaping the Engineer Force structure of the military in terms of personnel, training and equipping the force.

Where did you spend the majority of your time in the service? 

The majority of my service was across the continental United States in locations including Alabama, California, Georgia, Hawaii and North Carolina. I also served a tour in Iraq from 2006 through 2007.

How did you imagine military life before you joined? How did your perceptions change after serving? 

I envisioned it would be a structured, disciplined and accountable environment. My perception of the military changed as I developed an appreciation of the sacrifices that military personnel had to make in terms of their family life, fiscal responsibilities, personal and professional development for career progression.

How does your military experience affect your life today? 

It provided me with a better appreciation for the importance and value of effective communication, planning and organization, problem-solving, decision making, collaboration and consensus-building with diverse groups in a dynamic and everchanging environment.

If there is a veteran or active duty military member who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to vera.fedell@vicksburgpost.com.