FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Donna Ferguson, U.S. Army Military Police School Behavioral Sciences Education and Training Division chief, was presented with the Department of Defense Spirit of Hope Award Wednesday.
Col. Steven Yamashita, USAMPS assistant commandant, presented the award to Ferguson, noting she is the epitome of selfless service and commitment to America’s service members and their families in her role of developing law enforcement training to better protect service members, their families and civilians from special victims’ crimes.
“The U.S. Army Military Police School is proud of Dr. Ferguson’s incredible impact in leading our Behavioral Sciences Education and Training Division,” Yamashita said. “Her hard work, dedication and expertise are absolutely integral in enhancing the response capability of our criminal investigators, first responders and family advocacy of special victims. We are incredibly fortunate to have her on our team.”
According to Yamashita, Ferguson has a sterling reputation within the Army and the DOD as not only an advocate for victims, but also a fierce catalyst for change in law enforcement training.
Ferguson developed special victims’ knowledge-based training and education tools that cultivated a level of learning within the family advocacy and law enforcement professions. This training changed historical approaches and enabled success in both educating practitioners and assisting DOD personnel involved in traumatic events.
She also built family violence lethality assessments, strangulation protocols and advanced professional development training in the areas of stress and trauma that enhanced the DOD’s ability to address suicide in the military community.
To establish the DOD’s first Multi-disciplinary Team Training Program on problematic sexual behavior among children, Ferguson brought together some of the nation’s top experts to collaborate and utilize evidence-based research and proven industry best practices. She simultaneously developed a DOD Family Advocacy Commanders Assistance Team Training Program.
Ferguson, who has served here since 1999, said receiving this award reminds her why she chose to become an Army civilian.
“I consider it an honor and a privilege to serve as an integral part of the Army team to support the duties and defense of our military and nation,” she said. “I remind myself daily that what I do today can determine who someone else becomes tomorrow, and, as a result, it is important to take every day seriously as a result of the implications.”
The Spirit of Hope Award was established in 1997, in honor of entertainer and military supporter Bob Hope. It is presented annually on behalf of the Office of the Secretary of Defense to seven individuals or organizations that embody Bob Hope’s values of duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment, integrity and selfless dedication.