• Attending the NPS ceremony recognizing AFCEA academic award winners are Adm. Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.) (front row, left), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Keith Alexander, USA (Ret.) (front row, right), former director of the National Security Agency.
     Attending the NPS ceremony recognizing AFCEA academic award winners are Adm. Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.) (front row, left), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Keith Alexander, USA (Ret.) (front row, right), former director of the National Security Agency.

Former Joint Chiefs Chairman, NSA Director Recognize Students, Promote Postgraduate Education

September 1, 2015
By Lawrence Reeves and Javier Chagoya

Gen. George C. Marshall, Army chief of staff during World War II, was no stranger to the Hotel Del Monte in Monterey, California. In 1917, he organized and led training there for 1,200 officers. Education has been a part of life at this famous resort since it opened on June 10, 1880. It has hosted a Navy preflight school and became home to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in 1951.

In June, Gen. Keith Alexander, USA (Ret.), former director of the National Security Agency, walked into the NPS, his alma mater, joining fellow alumnus Adm. Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The AFCEA Monterey Chapter invited the leaders to recognize the academic achievements of two international students and to promote the benefits of postgraduate science and engineering education. The careers of Adm. Mullen and Gen. Alexander are outstanding examples of the value of advanced degrees in science and engineering.

Adm. Mullen and Gen. Alexander signed special recognition documents for the two award winners. Turkish Air Force 1st Lt. Murat Dogen received the 127th AFCEA John McReynolds Wozencraft Academic Honor Award in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Pakistani Navy Lt. Cmdr. Tahir Majeed Asim received the 26th AFCEA John McReynolds Wozencraft Academic Excellence in Joint C4I award.

Following a brief introduction by Monterey Chapter President Lawrence Reeves, Adm. Mullen expressed his support for AFCEA, its work, the special awards and the Monterey Chapter’s unique role in higher education.

NPS faculty members, administrators and students as well as AFCEA members gathered to witness the presentation of the special documents to Lt. Dogen and Lt. Cmdr. Asim. Gen. Alexander and Adm. Mullen stood in the NPS Quarterdeck, formerly the Hotel Del Monte lobby, where 77 years earlier, Monterey Chapter co-founder Darryl F. Zanuck—co-founder of 20th Century Fox and producer of World War II films in the Army Signal Corps—and other notables were frequent guests.

Adm. Mullen gave a talk on the importance of international relations with Pakistan and Turkey and the role of the NPS in providing an environment to learn from each other. He and Gen. Alexander wished the award winners well in their future activities.

Lt. Cmdr. Asim, who will be the first AFCEA member in Pakistan, said he was delighted that the two U.S. military leaders took the time to meet with him and Lt. Dogen. “It’s a great honor for me to be selected for this award,” he said. “I feel really privileged to have received the award certificate signed from both of them.”

The AFCEA Educational Foundation, with the Monterey Chapter, has provided nearly 200 awards in 36 years for academic achievement in master’s and doctoral science and engineering programs for all U.S. services, many federal organizations and several international military and civilian groups.

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