Wanting to do her part in serving the nation, Karon Uzzell-Baggett decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and join the military. She started as an executive officer in the U.S. Air Force at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia in 1986, and fell in love with all of the opportunities offered to her. Her talent and dedication led her to rise rapidly through the U.S. Air Force ranks, becoming an operations training officer at the Murted Air Force Base in Turkey in 1988, a command and control officer in Spangdahlem AB, Germany, in 1989, a SENEX mission director and the deputy chief of classified control for the Office of Secretary Defense at the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland in 1995, and the chief of classified control for the Office of Secretary Defense at the Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland in 1998. Other notable roles in the U.S. Air Force include director of operations and flight commander at the Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, detachment commander in Vicenza, Italy, commander of the Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, commander in Karshi-Khanabad, Uzbekistan, director of personnel and plans officer for the Office of Security Cooperation-Afghanistan, and director of personnel at Air University at the Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
Lt. Col. Uzzell-Baggett considers the highlight of her career to be commanding several units as a minority female, particularly at Robbins Air Force Base, which was where she had her first command. She was proud to work with so many wonderful people, and to be able to help others advance. Although she loved her job, she retired as the commander of the Air Force ROTC at Tennessee State University in 2011, and is now pursuing a degree in occupational therapy at Belmont University. She already holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and has completed postgraduate work at the University of Maryland.
Government | Military
Hardworking and passionate, Sandra K. Simpson began her distinguished career in government service by earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont in Burlington in 1971. She proceeded to join the U.S. Army in 1973, and, after being trained in medical logistics, she realized she had found her niche. Ms. Simpson quickly grew to become responsible for all medical logistics throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, where one of her most memorable accomplishments was successfully leading a team tasked with delivering medical necessities and supplies into Liberia during the Ebola outbreak.
In a culmination of all of her years of excellence in her field, Ms. Simpson served in the Defense Logistics Agency for the U.S. government in Wiesbaden, Germany, from 2007 to 2015, when she officially retired. A subsidiary of the Department of Defense, the agency was established to provide global logistics and support services catering to all military services including the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and civilian agencies and foreign countries during wartime and peacetime. Ms. Simpson’s additional distinguished positions for the U.S. government in Wiesbaden include theater level logistics manager, deputy director of internal logistics, maintenance management coordinator, and property accounting officer. Although she is retired, she still lends her expertise as a consultant to the U.S. government in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
Business | Defense
Although Maj. Barbara S. King initially became involved in her profession to help pay for college, by the end of her basic military training, she was hooked. Immediately after graduation from advanced individual training, she began looking for full-time work in the National Guard, and nine months later, she was hired for the first in a long line of U.S. Department of Defense positions. Ms. King proceeded to garner experience overseeing the financial management and administration of various programs under the construction and facilities management office for the Missouri Army National Guard, and knew she was committed for life.
Now a performance assessment officer for the Business Transformation Office of the National Guard Bureau, she parlays more than two decades of professional excellence to the position. Her responsibilities include overseeing the sustainment, restoration and modernization programs, supporting the office’s mission to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of business processes and systems, and reviewing projects that allow the 54 states and territories to maintain their Army National Guard facilities. She also coaches prospective Green and Black belt Lean Sigma Six candidates, and handles the implementation and sustainment of integrated and performance management programs.