SDDC inducts inaugural Surface Warrior Hall of Fame Class

By Rob WielandJune 14, 2024

SDDC inaugural Surface Warrior Hall of Fame Class
Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command leadership share the stage with the Class of 2024 SDDC Hall of Fame honorees in a ceremony June 14, 2024. (Photo Credit: Rob Wieland) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCOTT AFB, ILLINOIS -- The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command inducted four members into the inaugural class of its Surface Warrior Hall of Fame during a ceremony held Friday in the Seay Auditorium here.

Maj. Gen. Gavin Lawrence, SDDC commanding general, hosted the event which honored four former members of the SDDC Surface Warrior Community for their significant and enduring contributions to the Surface Warrior Community and the Army.

The Class of 2024 Hall of Fame inductees included two former commanding generals, a former senior enlisted leader, and a career civil servant.

The inductees “were selected from a pool of notable candidates, with a full and thorough nomination, review and selection process ensuring the most worthy were inducted,” explained Lawrence.

The four members inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2024 include:

Gen. (Retired) Ann Dunwoody served as the Commanding General of MTMC/SDDC from September 2002 to August 2004, one of many noteworthy assignments in a career of over 35 years. She was the first woman in U.S. military history to achieve four-star general officer rank, receiving her fourth star on November 14, 2008, while serving as the Commanding General of Army Materiel Command.

Lt. Gen. (Retired) Kathleen Gainey served in numerous critical Army and Joint roles in DoD Transportation throughout a diverse and impactful 35-year career. She served as SDDC’s Commanding General from September 2006 to May 2008. Gainey went on to even more senior leadership roles, retiring in 2013 after serving as the Deputy Commander of U.S. Transportation Command.

Command Sgt. Maj. (Retired) Tomás Hawkins served as the Senior Enlisted Leader of SDDC for more than five years. His impactful tenure from June 2004 to November 2009 made him the longest serving command sergeant major in SDDC’s history. Hawkins later made history as the first U.S. Army Soldier to serve as the Senior Enlisted Leader of the U.S. Transportation Command.

Mr. Conrad Townes dedicated his 39-year career to various Transportation roles within the Department of Defense. A command plank-holder, he served for 26 years as an Army Civilian assigned to MTMTS/MTMC from February 1965 until his retirement in July 1991. His extensive duties and assignments involved him in critical missions from the Vietnam War to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Townes passed away in 2021 and was represented at the ceremony by his daughter Mary, who is a member of the SDDC workforce.

“While each of our inductees was selected for this honor based on their unique and individual accomplishments,” said Lawrence, “one thing that they all have in common is their legendary service as professionals.”

The Surface Warrior Hall of Fame recognizes and memorializes former members of the SDDC Surface Warrior Community, which includes both Soldiers and Civilians from the command group, headquarters, brigades, battalions, and Reserve Components who have made a significant and enduring contribution to the Surface Warrior Community and the Army.

These components share a common heritage and mission of providing critical support to Soldiers and the U.S. Army.

“I’m both humbled and honored to be selected for this recognition, it is truly special to have the pleasure to serve with two of the Army’s leadership icons Lt. Gen. Gainey, and Gen. Dunwoody, and while I didn’t personally know Mr. Townes, I did get to know his legacy though his daughter Mary, who I served with, and glad to be able to call her a friend.” said Hawkins during the ceremony.

The Surface Warrior Hall of Fame is intended to preserve the history of the command and give all members a sense of heritage, honor, pride and belonging.

Membership in the Surface Warrior Hall of Fame is open to any Service Member or Department of Defense Civilian with a previous assignment to SDDC, the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC), or the Military Traffic Management and Terminal Service (MTMTS), whether assigned at command headquarters or to subordinate organizations.

Persons may be nominated regardless of their rank or grade and are only eligible for induction if their most recent period of service in SDDC ended four or more years prior to the opening of the nomination period.