Native honored for Army service

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jemison welcomed a native son back home Saturday, while honoring his 20 years of service in the United States Army.

More than 130 people attended a ceremony Aug. 15 at Jemison High School recognizing Lt. Col. Earl Robinson’s time in the military.

Mayor Eddie Reed proclaimed Saturday “Lt. Col Robinson Day.” District Judge Rhonda Hardesty also spoke about having Robinson in her eighth-grade science class.

Robinson said he was humbled by the ceremony and glad to see his family, friends and old classmates.

“It was definitely worth my while,” said Robinson.

Robinson now lives in Washington, D.C., but was born in Clanton and graduated from Jemison High School in 1983. He hopes to return to Chilton County soon.

“I plan to come home and give back to the community,” he said.

Once back at home, Robinson, who is also a minister, wants to continue his prison outreach and start ROTC programs in local high schools.

“ROTC teaches discipline, leadership, teamwork and loyalty. All those characteristics and traits are important to our nation and our souls,” he said.

Robinson played football at Jemison and was named defensive most valuable player his senior year, when the Panthers went 10-0. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Alabama A&M in 1988 and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army’s Air Defense Artillery Branch that May.

From 1988 to 1997, he served as platoon leader for infantry divisions in South Korea and Germany. He then worked as a battery commander at Fort Bliss in Texas.

In 2005, Robinson started as assistant program manager in the Global Combat Support System Program Management Office, which is based in Falls Church, Va.

Two years later, he was reassigned program manager for the Joint IP Modem Program.

He is the son of Geraldine Tyes, a resident of Jemison.

During his retirement ceremony, Robinson was also awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Award and a certification of appreciation signed by President Barack Obama.

During his remarks, Robinson said four elements contributed to his success in the Army: church, family, community and school.

“These four elements provide the foundation for anyone to obtain their goals in life,” he said.