Staff Sergeant (R) Bobby Dove
Retired Staff Sergeant Bobby Dove, of Gloucester, VA, served as a Green Beret in the US Army Special Forces. On June 9, 2012, SSG(R) Dove was injured by an IED while driving a dirt bike on combat patrol in Afghanistan, resulting in amputations of his dominate hand and leg, as well as many other life threatening injuries. Dove’s immediate determination to overcome all obstacles was evident from day one of his recovery. He asked his father-in-law’s permission to marry his girlfriend the day he awoke in the ICU, and the two married in October, 2013, and welcome their son, Wyatt Alexander, in October, 2014.
Through his dedication and hard work he returned to duty 7 months after his injury and deployed again on a non-combat deployment only 12 months post injury. Since medically retiring in 2014, Dove has been actively involved with nonprofit organizations that strive to help wounded service members return to the outdoors. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Special Operations Wounded Warriors , and is a Team 43 Sports Warrior. He is one of few that have vowed to continue to succeed and take his life and recovery into his own hands. He also owns and operates “Hooligan Charters”, an Inshore and Nearshore fishing charter service in Destin, FL.
Command Sergeant Major (R) Jeffrey J. Mellinger
Command Sergeant Major Jeffrey J. Mellinger assumed the duties as the U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Command Sergeant Major on Nov. 2, 2007, and retired on 31 December 2011 with nearly 40 years of continuous active duty. CSM Mellinger was previously assigned to the U.S. Army Alaska and spent several months speaking to units and groups on his experiences in Iraq.
CSM Mellinger was drafted on April 18, 1972, at Eugene, Oregon. Following basic and advanced training at Fort Ord, California, he completed airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia. His first assignment was in the Federal Republic of Germany as a unit clerk. Upon his return from Germany, CSM Mellinger was assigned to the 2nd Battalion (Ranger), 75th Infantry, Fort Lewis, Washington. For the next five years, CSM Mellinger served as unit clerk, battalion personnel staff NCO, machinegun squad leader, rifle squad leader, rifle platoon sergeant and weapons platoon leader. He then performed drill sergeant duty at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and returned to the 2nd Ranger Battalion, serving again as a platoon sergeant.
Command Master Chief Steven P. Viola
Master Chief Viola enlisted in the Navy in December 1986. Over his career, his tactical, operational, and strategic assignments have included a full range of duties in the Navy, NSW, and Joint Special Operations communities. Concurrently while on active duty, Master Chief Viola graduated from Campbell University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science (BAS), and from TUFTS University; The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 2014 with a Master of Arts in International Relations (MA).
He has also graduated from several military schools, to include Navy Senior enlisted academy, Joint Special Operations University Senior enlisted academy, and the CMC leadership school.
He is also a Keystone Fellow, Keystone selects the top 100 SEL annually across all branches of the U.S. Military to attend the Keystone Fellows course at the National Defense University. The course is designed to educate the Command Senior Enlisted Leaders (CSELs) currently serving or slated to serve in a general or flag level joint headquarters.
He is married to the lovely Susan Gonzales; they have a wonderful son, Jerod.
Major (R) Raymond Sterling
Raymond Sterling was born in Port Limon, Costa Rica to his beloved mother, Rita Sterling. He was raised in Passaic, NJ and graduated from Passaic High School in 1986. He entered the United States Army in December of 1986 and attended Basic Training at Fort Jackson, SC and Advanced Initial Entry Training at Fort Sam Houston, TX. He has over 24 years of Honorable service to his country. His deployments include Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Unified Response.
Following Retirement from the Army, Ray worked as a government contractor for the Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) program providing guidance to Active and Reserve Medical providers on real time battlefield casualty surveillance and proper documentation of care using the Electronic Healthcare system during both pre-deployment training exercises and during their deployments in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Ray currently manages a clinic for the government in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
MAJ Sterling is married to the former Joycelynn Roberson and they have four kids, Desiree, Jasmine, Raymond Jr, and Trinity.
Chief Master Sergeant Paul J. Barendregt
Chief Master Sergeant Paul J. Barendregt is the Chief Enlisted Manager for the 212th Rescue Squadron, 176th Operations Group, 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. He represents the highest enlisted level of leadership in the 212th, and as such, provides direction for the enlisted force and represents their interests, as appropriate. He advises the commander on all matters affecting the welfare, readiness, training, professional development and effective utilization of the enlisted force.
Chief Barendregt was born in Newport Beach, California. He and his wife Josie Garton have three children, Joshua, Eliot, and Penelope. Chief Barendregt joined the Air Force in 1992. After completion of initial Pararescue training in 1994, he was stationed at Patrick AFB, Florida, as a member of the 41st Rescue Squadron. After 2 years of service in Florida, he transferred to the 56th Rescue Squadron Keflavik AB, Iceland. In 1997, he was assigned to the 33rd Rescue Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan. In 1999, he transitioned to the Alaska Air National Guard, serving with the 210th and 212th Rescue Squadrons. He has deployed in support of many operations all over the world, both combat and humanitarian.
SGM (R) John C. deVerteuil
Sergeant Major (SGM) deVerteuil retired from the US Military after 33+ years in the Army with over 25 years as a Special Forces operator. Serving in Latin America (Counter Narcotics), Iraq (Counter Terrorism), Afghanistan (Nation Building) and Africa. He has served more than 5 years in a combat or hostile fire zone, conducting over 800 combat patrols. His experiences has provided him a view from the ground and allowed him to affect US National Security from the highest to the lowest levels. SGM(R) deVerteuil was instrumental on initiating Village Stability Operations in Afghanistan providing a local affect that has national influence in securing the state.
In addition to his operational experience, John deVerteuil has briefed members of congress on combat operations in Afghanistan and counter narcotics operation in Colombia. He is trusted by US and Foreign senior military leaders and his advice has been sought globally by senior military leaders.
John deVerteuil presents solutions for US political issues that are reducing our international standing as well as our way of life. He cuts to the heart of every issue and outlines a serious course of action not rhetoric or sound bites. In doing so, John deVerteuil is able to capture the core issues and influence local leadership providing insightful solutions to complex issues.
Captain Dawn Paul
Captain Joseph T. Simms
Captain Joseph T Simms is the Chief of Public Affairs, 927th Air Refueling Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. The 927th Air Refueling Wing flies the KC-135R Stratotanker whose missions consist of in-flight air refueling, cargo and passenger airlift, aeromedical evacuation, and supporting contingencies and humanitarian operations around the world.
Captain Simms plans, develops, and oversees all aspects of the public affairs communication program and serves as the wing spokesperson for media and community relations events.
Captain Simms began his Air Force career with the Alabama Air National Guard as a command post controller in 1996. After serving 12 years with the National Guard, and attaining the rank of Master Sergeant, he transitioned to the AF Reserve and received his commission through Officer Training School in 2008.
Pamela Plager is a graduate of Mississippi State University. She moved to New York City upon graduation where she began an investment career. Pam worked her way up through the investment community serving in several functions, including as a retail and biotechnology equity analyst and portfolio manager. Pam worked for Citibank, Bankers Trust Company, Trust Company of the West, and Allen & Company Incorporated. She retired in 1998 as a Director and Vice President of Allen & Company.
She spent the next 16 years raising her 2 children, Samantha and Max Plager. Pam spent much of her spare time mentoring college students and conducting public speaking engagements at the MSU Business School and MSU Communications Department.
In 2012 Pam began a health and wellness business focusing on education, proper supplementation, and basic understanding of improving one’s health. She returned to the workforce in 2014, working for a non-profit veterans’ assistance organization, The Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation, in Apollo Beach, Florida. While developing a greater understanding of the plight of combat veterans, she began volunteering for the Elk Institute and became Secretary of the Board in 2016.
Sergeant Major (R)
Greg “Mo” Mulligan
Greg “Mo” Mulligan was the President of Triple Canopy and was responsible for directing Triple Canopy’s global operations and positioning the company for growth. When he was the Chief Operating Officer, Mo oversaw Triple Canopy’s business development, operations, human resources, legal, and finance departments. He previously served as Triple Canopy’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Human Resources.
A U.S. Army veteran with 24 years of service, Mo spent 19 years assigned to the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Delta Force), where he acquired an exceptional level of expertise across the entire spectrum of special operation missions. While serving in the Delta Force, Mo served as a Troop Sergeant Major, Unit Operations Sergeant Major and Selection and Training Sergeant Major. He was awarded a Legion of Merit and Purple Heart for his service.
Following his retirement, Mo continued to serve in a wide variety of public and private sector administrative and managerial positions requiring creative, goal-oriented leadership. His varied responsibilities spanned from training the security detail for the President of Afghanistan, managing force protection and physical security programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, facilitating economic development as the Executive Director of the Schoolcraft County Economic Development Corporation, to municipal public service as the Mayor Pro-Tem for the City of Manistique, Michigan.
Mo earned a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University. He also graduated from Methodist College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and an associate’s degree in business administration.