by Andrea "Aunni" Young
Special to the Afro
(December 9, 2009) - United States Navy Cmdr. Angela Alexander is on a mission every day to influence the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission to open the new world-class Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, Md. Since October 2008, Alexander has supported the contracting officer’s representative at the Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical (JTF CapMed). As a member of the Bethesda-based JTF CapMed, Alexander provides sound business advice, tailored contracting vehicles, and acquisition solutions that will meet the medical community’s time sensitive requirements.
Alexander is a decorated naval officer. She has a top secret clearance, and has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Naval Commendation Medals, and two Naval Achievement Medals. Alexander was commissioned as a U.S. Naval Officer in 1989 at the Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I.
When asked how this latest Navy opportunity has impacted her life, Alexander said, “I have been afforded many opportunities to serve my country with some of the most decent people you would ever want to meet. I feel privileged to serve and feel a sense of mission in the morning and a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. I feel a sense of honor in wearing my uniform and hope to wear it for a very long time.”
The Bethesda-based WRNMMC is expected to fully transition from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) on Sept. 15, 2011. Montgomery County officials expect approximately 2,300 jobs to transition to WRNMMC when the old Walter Reed closes. Alexander, who provides oversight to support the transition to WRNMMC, is responsible for ensuring that the existing WRAMC in Washington, D.C., remains a world-class casualty care center until it closes. Alexander explained: “If someone comes to our office with a requirement and problem, we (JTF CapMed) collectively get around the table, identify existing or new contracts, and leverage expertise to solve a problem.”
When WRAMC closes in 2011, WRNMMC will open as a world-class center of excellence for wounded veterans and others. Services provided at the WRNMMC will include a Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, Inpatient Pediatrics, Cancer Treatment Centers of Excellence, Amputee Center with the prosthetic piece, Pediatric Sedation and Procedure Unit, and Healthcare professional education, i.e. dialysis school. All primary and specialty patient care functions will be relocated to the new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia. Alexander expounded, “We (JTF CapMed) acquire a variety of products and services to support military service members, both active and retired, and their families, from pencils to hospital rooms.” By October 2010, Bethesda and Fort Belvoir locations must transition to a single joint command before the WRAMC closure in September 2011.
Alexander thanks the Navy for changing her life. While pursuing mathematics at Fort Valley State University, a recruiter helped her join the Navy and inaugurate the baccalaureate degree commissioning program on campus. For the rest of her time at Fort Valley State, Alexander was paid as an E3 and continued to receive her scholarship until she completed a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1989. Afterward, Alexander went on to officer candidate school in Rhode Island, where she became a fully commissioned officer. Alexander later earned a master’s in business administration with a focus in management from Brenau University in 1997.
Alexander is a District resident, and is miles away from her hometown of Deepstep, Ga. Alexander remembers Deepstep having approximately 500 residents during her childhood years. Alexander had to travel to a nearby town called Sandersville to complete her high school degree. Alexander’s Navy career and many accomplishments have long since outgrown the community where her maternal grandparents, Dave and Daisy Jackson, raised her. The 2000 U.S. Census states that Deepstep now has no more than 132 citizens, of which none are African American. Alexander always knew she wanted to travel and go places, and her grandmother would say, “There’s enough out there that we don’t know to make a whole new world.” From that moment forward, Alexander knew education was the only way out, and has fond memories of sitting in a corner, reading books.
Alexander is quoted as saying, “There is no other place I would rather live than the United States of America. I have had the opportunity to witness first-hand how other cultures live. You need (that) perspective to witness first-hand how blessed we are.”
Alexander is married to Leo Alexander, former Channel 4 News reporter, now a licensed insurance sales executive. They have a combined family of four children, Miles, Zachary, Leah and Cory.