By Sonya LewisJune 16, 2009
NEW YORK -- The 100 Black Men of America organization honored Gen. William E. Ward with a lifetime leadership award and an honorary membership at its 23rd Annual Conference in New York City, June 13, 2009. Ward is the only active-duty, four-star African-American general, and he is only the fifth African American to achieve this rank.
Ward is the first commander of the U.S. Africa Command, based in Stuttgart, Germany. U.S. Africa Command is one of six geographic commands within the Department of Defense unified command structure. It is responsible for the U.S. military operations and military relations with virtually the entire continent of Africa. For his valor and service in the U.S. Army, he holds the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman's badge and many more.
"I am honored to receive this award," Ward said. "When I think of the members of this organization, I think about my father, who taught me that every individual has value and worth. That is what 100 Black Men teaches its members and youth. We all should teach these lessons and help today's youth realize their dreams."
The 100 Black Men said this award was given to Ward for his accomplishments as a multinational leader and for his courage and valor.
"We are very pleased to present this leadership award and honorary membership to General Ward," said Albert Dotson, chairman of the 100 Black Men of America. "With this award, we are acknowledging his outstanding service to our country, the example he sets for everyone. He embodies the 100 slogan, 'What they see, is what they'll be.' He is exactly what we hope our youth will grow to be -- individuals who exhibit honor, courage, and selfless service."
The U.S. Army is an official sponsor of the 100 Black Men of America's annual conference. Army leadership will speak at various workshops and events, and they will educate attendees about the Army's education and career opportunities. The Army has a national partnership with 100 Black Men of America that involves local Army representatives working with local 100 chapters to support education and mentoring programs in select cities around the country.