KARON UZZELL-BAGGETT

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.

When Lt. Col. Uzzell-Baggett has spare time, she enjoys running, weightlifting, sewing, gardening, and being active in her community. She is currently a board member of Matthew 25 Ministries and the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, and is a memorial volunteer for Women in Military Service. She also donates to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and maintains affiliation with the Society for Human Resources Management, the Human Resources Certification Institute, and the American Occupational Therapy Association. Previously, Lt. Col. Uzzell-Baggett served as the director of the Career Development Center at Tennessee State University, an emergency medical technician for the Orange County Rescue Squad in North Carolina, the treasurer of the Melwood Parent Teacher Association, an entitlements volunteer for the Whitman Walker Clinic, and a volunteer for a three-day event for Susan G. Komen.

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