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Alumnus Receives Secretary of Defense Medal
September 21, 2012

– In a ceremony steeped in military tradition, retired Colonel and SES (Senior Executive Service) Ronald M. Joe, a 1966 Florida A&M University (FAMU) alumnus, received the Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding Public Service.  The ceremony, officiated by Retired General Fred Vollrath, principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense for Readiness and Force Management, was a Change of Command for Joe who led the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) for the past two years.  He relinquished command to his Vice Commandant, Captain Yolanda Reagans, who became the first African-American female to lead the Institute.  Joe was the first civilian to lead the 40-year old Institute that he commanded as a Colonel from 1991-1996.  Joe retired in June 1996 after 30 years of service in the Army.  

DEOMI, located at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., is a joint service school that supports all Department of Defense and U.S. Coast Guard equal opportunity and equal employment program requirements.

One month after Joe left DEOMI, he received positive news regarding the Institute’s reaccreditation status.  The inspection, performed by the Council on Occupational Education (COE) looked at curriculum, facilitator training and instruction using an objective set of 11 standards established by the COE. The inspection team did not find any recommendations for the 11 standards.  A comment from one of the evaluators said, “This facility is probably one of the best educational facilities that I’ve had the experience of visiting.”

Colonel Joe is a life member of the FAMU Alumni Association, life member of the FAMU National ROTC Alumni Association, member of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Tallahassee Chapter, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, a member of the FAMU (formerly) College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame and a subscribing life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  

He is the recipient of the FAMU Distinguished Alumni Award and the FAMU President’s Service Award.  He also served FAMU as director of Student Activities, associate vice president of Development, executive director of the FAMU Foundation and interim vice president for University Relations.

A Daytona Beach, Fla. native, he and his wife, Lenita, also a Daytona Beach native have one adult son, Ronald M. Joe II and one granddaughter, Caitlin, a sophomore at FAMU.

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