Albany State University Military Liaison Cmdr. Claven Williams is shown Friday as ASU’s Military Outreach Center held an on-campus informational session. “We take our veteran students and veterans very seriously at Albany State University,” Williams told the crowd who had gathered in Wiley Hall to hear about the opportunities offered by military service. (Staff Photo: Terry lewis)
ALBANY — Albany State University’s Military Outreach Center held an informational session Friday where retired and active duty military discussed careers and opportunities in the armed forces.
The speakers included ASU Military Liaison Cmdr. Claven Williams, ASU Police Chief John Fields, Navy pilot Lt. Cmdr. Chris Williams and retired Navy Chaplain Cmdr. Ken Miller.
“We take our veteran students and veterans very seriously at Albany State University,” Williams, who is the father of Chris Williams, said. “If it wasn’t for our veterans, only God knows where we would be today. I want to be sure that our students, faculty and staff are aware of what’s going on with our military.”
Before joining the staff of Albany State, Fields served in the U.S. Army for four years, including a tour in Operation Desert Storm. He was employed by the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years, most recently as the Jail’s Operation Commander, before talking over ASU’s Police Department in 2011.
“Over the course of my career I have found that true leadership comes from the military,” Fields, an Army veteran who served during Operation Desert Storm, said. “Our guests today will show you the opportunities and advantages offered in today’s military.”
The younger Williams successfully completed initial F/A-18 Super Hornet training, and earned the distinction as the number one pilot in his squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron 136 (also known as VFA-136 “Knighthawks”) and the number five pilot in the entire air wing on board the USS Enterprise. Williams also earned the Knighthawk designation during deployment to the Persian Gulf in support of Afghan and Iraqi operations.
The Savannah native graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a degree in mechanical engineering.
“This (ASU) is a fantastic place with a fantastic military outreach,” Williams said. “I’m here to support my father and to give back and to answer questions like ‘is the military right for me?” Gatherings like this are not only encouraging to the military, but for our entire country.”
Cmdr. Miller, who retired after 20 years of combined military service, spent nearly four years as chaplain at the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.