Two promoted to CW5Published 8:58pm Saturday, September 29, 2012
Two people with Suffolk ties recently were promoted to the rank of chief warrant officer 5 in the military, including one who will become the first black and first female to receive the honor at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.
Alicia Lawrence, who lives in Suffolk and whose career with the Navy began 26 years ago, will be honored in a service Sept. 30 at 11 a.m. at Oak Grove Baptist Church.
“It’s an honor to be selected,” she said. “Out of 252 applicants that went up, 18 were selected and I was among that 18.”
Lawrence’s admiration for people in uniform led her to look at joining the military.
“I was fascinated by uniforms, the neatness of uniforms,” she said. “I actually wanted to be a police officer, but I saw the danger.”
Lawrence then wanted to join the Air Force but felt the wait to be shipped off to basic training was too long. A Navy recruiter told her she could leave within a month if she joined the Navy.
“I didn’t know anything about it,” she said. “I just wanted to travel and see the world. I have been afforded the opportunity to get my education, experience different types of people and walks of this world.”
Lawrence gave the credit for her historic achievement to God.
“I give all honor, all glory to God, because if it wasn’t for Him I would not have made it,” she said. “I made it against the odds.”
In addition, Christopher Hall also was recently promoted to CW5. A 1983 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Suffolk, he currently serves at the Warrant Officer Career College in Fort Rucker, Ala.
He has been in the Army for nearly 29 years and served in the enlisted ranks for 10 years as an infantry and signal soldier. After being appointed Warrant Officer One in 1993, he has taken several warrant officer courses and completed instructor trainer and security courses.
He has served tours of duty in Virginia, Hawaii and Pennsylvania, as well as Panama and Honduras. He also holds an associate degree in science from Northern Virginia Community College, a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from George Mason University and master’s degrees in management and business administration from American Military University.
He currently is in the final phase of his Doctor of Philosophy degree with Northcentral University.