Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Since its establishment in 1947, SC State University’s Army ROTC has developed 15 general officers. Following in the footsteps of these 15 gentlemen, Col. Bruce Crawford was recently nominated for the leading position of brigadier general. Crawford was truly humbled when he received the great news.
“Being selected to join the general officer ranks has truly been a humbling experience, especially when you take into account the groundwork and efforts of so many people over the past 25 years that have made this all possible,” says Crawford. “My initial reaction was the recognition that my family and I have truly been blessed, based on the realization that there are many qualified officers who could have been selected,” declares Crawford.
It was Crawford’s family principles that he kept throughout his life which positioned him for leadership. Raised by an encouraging single-parent mother in Columbia, S.C. who taught him and his other three siblings the importance of a sense of self-worth, Crawford had a desire to strive for more. His father, a veteran, taught him the importance of education and the value of self-discipline and character. His grandparents, who could barely read or write, placed in Crawford values and morals to live by. “I was always taught to treat people with dignity and respect, regardless of their station in life or class,” says Crawford. As the oldest of four siblings, Crawford has always led by example.
Crawford first heard of SC State University through his high school instructor, Clarence W. Hill, who now serves as an assistant professor of electrical engineering at SC State. Hill became a friend and mentor to Crawford. “Clarence W. Hill, an army veteran, was the first to mention the Army ROTC program and electrical engineering as an option at the University. He instilled in me that by enrolling in the Army ROTC program I was a part of something much greater than myself,” declares Crawford. “It gave me and many others a sense of immense pride in the Army ROTC program and our history.”
Armed with knowledge and equipped for leadership, SC State’s Army ROTC Bulldog Battalion prepared Crawford for what was to come. “My time at SC State University as a member of the Army ROTC program shaped my thinking and laid the foundation for my overall outlook on leadership as a commissioned officer in the US Armed Forces,” says Crawford.
Based on the incomparable leadership and the foundation that was implemented from three Bulldog Battalion alumni, including Lt. Col. Chris Jenkins (Ret), Maj. Gen. Abraham Turner (Ret) and Col. Ted Bowden (Ret), Crawford learned that you have to strive for excellence and that you have to earn respect; nothing would be given to you in the Bulldog Battalion. “The professional example that they set permeated throughout the entire Army ROTC Bulldog Battalion. There was a feeling that regardless of where you started, or your commissioning source, you are as good as any other Army ROTC program throughout the country,” says Crawford.
Thanks to the diligent efforts of Crawford and the motivation from those around him, after graduating from Lower Richland High School located in Hopkins, S.C., Crawford received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and was commissioned as a Distinguished Military Army ROTC graduate at SC State University in 1986. Upon completion of the Signal Officers Basic Course and the U.S. Army Ranger School, Crawford was assigned to the 440th Signal Battalion, 22nd Signal Brigade and V Corps in Darmstadt, Germany where he served as a platoon leader and company executive officer from 1987 to 1990.
Upon graduation from the Signal Officers Advanced Course at Fort Gordon, Ga., he was assigned to the 35th Signal Brigade and XVIII Airborne Corps located in Fort Bragg, N.C. where he served as an operations officer. He also served in the XVIII Airborne Corps G6 and acted as commander, Bravo Company, 51st Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade (Corps, Airborne) from 1990 to 1993. He was then assigned to the Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE), MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., where he served as chief of plans and network engineering from 1993 to 1996.
Subsequent to the completion of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., in 1997, he was assigned to Headquarters for the 82nd Airborne Division, located in Fort Bragg, N.C., serving as the assistant division signal officer/deputy G6 and later as the executive officer, 82nd Signal Battalion. In 1999, Crawford was assigned to U.S. Army Personnel Command located in Alexandria, Va. where he served as both the lieutenant colonel and colonel assignments officer until 2002.
While Crawford has many other numerous positions that make him worthy of the nomination, his most recent assignment was chief at the Landwarnet Space and Networks Division, Office of the Chief Information Officer/Army G6. He is currently director for the Chief of Staff’s Planning Group in the Office of the Army Chief of Staff.
Crawford’s civilian and military education also includes a Master of Arts degree in administration from Central Michigan University in 1997 and a Master of Science degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed forces (ICAF) in 2007. He is a graduate of the Signal Officers Basic and Advanced Courses, the U.S. Army Airborne School, the U.S. Army Advanced Airborne School, the U.S. Army Ranger School, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He is currently director for the Chief of Staff’s Planning Group in the Office of the Army Chief of Staff.
Spanning over 25 years, Crawford’s many developmental positions have prepared him for the nomination as brigadier general. “I approached every position with the mind-set that I would work hard, have fun and leave the organization in better condition than it was when I found it. I have been extremely fortunate to have worked for and with some very talented, and more importantly, some very patient peers, subordinates and leaders who were influential in every developmental position I’ve held in my career,” says Crawford.
Crawford’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (one oak leaf cluster), the Meritorious Service Medal (three oak leaf clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (one oak leaf cluster), the Army Achievement Medal (three oak leaf clusters), the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Combat Action Badge, the Master Parachutists Badge and the Ranger Tab.
Crawford is married to the former Dianne Lynn Reed, a 1986 alumna of SC State University, and a special education teacher in Prince William County, Va. According to Crawford, she has contributed significantly to his success in every major assignment. “Dianne has a passion for caring for soldiers and their families; I would not be in this position without her efforts”. They have two sons, Bruce II, 21, an ROTC scholarship cadet at Christopher Newport University located in Newport News, Va. and Corey, 14.