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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | March 22, 2024

From civic leaders to military partners: Joint Base Andrews welcomes new honorary commanders

By 2nd Lt. Jimmy Nguyen 316th Wing Public Affairs

The base welcomed eight civic leaders into the 2024 Honorary Commander Program and recognized nine members transitioning to the Andrews Ambassador Program during an induction ceremony Thursday.

The Honorary Commander Program aims to bridge the gap between the military and surrounding communities by educating civic leaders about the base's missions, fostering an exchange of ideas, and building strong community relationships. Members of the program are invited to installation and unit events and are encouraged to engage with their military counterparts throughout their two-year term.

“The Honorary Commanders Program is an incredible opportunity to pair our military members and their families with those we share this community with and who are leaders in complementary careers,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Todd E. Randolph, 316th Wing and installation commander, in his remarks to honorary commanders, Andrews Ambassadors and base leadership.

Melissa Jenkins, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for the Washington Nationals, was one of the members inducted into the program and is paired with the 89th Airlift Wing. She looked forward to the opportunities that the program would provide in familiarizing her with the base's mission sets.

“Given the opportunity to get more involved with the base and learn more about everything that happens at Joint Base Andrews, I wanted to jump at the chance to learn more,” Jenkins said. “I've always had an appreciation [for the military] but have never had kind of a direct connection in the way that I'm hoping to learn a little bit more about now.”

Another honorary commander inductee, Chad Steele, Senior Vice President of Communications for the Baltimore Ravens, reflected on his exposure to the military growing up and its impact on his decision to accept the invitation to the Honorary Commander Program.

“My grandfather was a Buffalo Soldier and my father was in the Army. I have uncles and cousins who also served. So, the military is very important to me. Service important to me,” Steele said. He remarked how the Honorary Commander Program allows him to combine his professional work and personal connection to the military to make an impact on the broader community.

Steele is paired with the 316th Operations Group, which was represented at the ceremony by U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jeremy Powell, 316th Operations Support Squadron commander. Powell shared his leadership’s goals for their service members and their new honorary commander.

“We are excited in getting our members to integrate even further into the surrounding communities, giving Mr. Chad Steele more familiarization with what the Air Force does and demonstrating our day-to-day mission set,” Powell said.

Honorary commanders who have demonstrated active participation during their term are selected to join the Andrews Ambassadors Program. This program recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond in supporting Team Andrews and continue to maintain strong relationships with base leaders and continued support to service members and their families.

“It is imperative that we learn from one another and create opportunities to develop our local community and beyond,” Randolph said. “Joint Base Andrews is not a distinct community from the broader Prince George’s County and State of Maryland. We are all one community.”

The Honorary Commanders for 2024:
- Kent Digby, National Harbor executive vice president of asset management and operations.
- Millard House II, Prince George’s County Public Schools superintendent.
- Kelly Robertson-Slagle, Charles County Economic Development Department director.
- Adam Pohl, Bowie Baysox marketing director.
- Adam Davies, Maryland State Police Department sergeant.
- John D.B. Carr, Prince George’s County sheriff.
- Chad Steele, Baltimore Ravens senior vice president of communications.
- Melissa Jenkins, Washington Nationals vice president of strategic partnerships.

The Honorary Commanders transitioning to Andrews Ambassadors:
- Kevin Rochlitz, Baltimore Ravens senior vice president of corporate sales and business development.
- Ginger Miller, Women’s Veterans Interactive Foundation president and CEO.
- John Barnhardt, Bishop McNamara High School president.
- Barbara Holt-Streeter, Prince George’s County director of strategic partnership.
- Dr. Falecia D. Williams, Prince George’s Community College president.
- Dr. Felicia Martin-Latief, Prince George’s County Public Schools STEM instructional supervisor.
- Samantha Cotton, Charles H. Flowers High School Science and Technology Program coordinator.
- Sonya Gaston, Francis T. Evans Elementary School principal.
- Dr. Tameka Woodruff, Oxon Hill High School Science & Technology Program coordinator.