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Enduring Freedom strategic plans officer to speak at Post 17 Veterans Day program

Posted: November 5, 2010 1:59 p.m.
Updated: November 8, 2010 5:00 a.m.

Col. Robert G. Young, the strategic plans officer, U.S. Army Central Command in Kabul, Afghanistan, will be the keynote speaker for this year’s James Leroy Belk American Legion Post No. 17 Veterans Day program Thursday.

Col. Young was born in Washington, D.C., and enlisted in the infantry in 1979. In 1985, he was designated a distinguished military graduate and awarded a regular Army commission. He earned a B.A. degree from the University of Maryland and holds a Master of Arts degree from the Command and General Staff College.

Young has served as a platoon leader, been part of the 82nd Airborne Division and served as a planner in Operation Just Cause and Desert Shield/Storm, logistics officer, division transportation officer, battalion executive officer, logistics operations center chief.

He began serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in April 2004, as battalion commander in the 25th Infantry Division in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province. In Aug. 2005, he became the active duty advisor to the U.S. Army Reserves in Garden Grove, Calif. Two years later, he became the integration branch chief for the 3rd Army at Ft. McPherson, Ga., which is in the process of consolidating to Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter. During the transition he became U.S. Army Central Command’s plans, exercises, programs and policy chief, a position he held until Oct. 2009 when he became strategic plans officer in Afghanistan.

Young’s speech is titled “Third Army on the Move.”

Among Young’s awards are the Bronze Star, five Meritorious Service medals, five Army Commendation Awards, six Army Achievement medals, two Armed Forced Expeditionary medals (Panama and Haiti), Kuwait Liberation Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (with two bronze stars), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism and Expeditionary medals, NATO Medal and the National Defense Service Medal (with bronze star).

Young is married to the former Sally Kennedy of Columbus, Ga. They have five children.

Post 17’s Veterans Day program, co-sponsored Sanders Stoney American Legion Post No. 203 and Roberts Dixon Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 5928, will also feature music performed by the North Central High School band. Participating cadet battalions will include Camden Military Academy, the Department of Juvenile Justice’s Birchwood High School, Camden High School, Continuous Learning Center and North Central High School.

Post 17’s most recent oratorical contest winner, John David Woolington, will recite “No, Freedom Isn’t Free.”

Holding with tradition, Post 17’s Veterans Day program will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, which is Nov. 11, the time and date in Paris, France, when the armistice ending World War I was signed.

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