Urbana High School Alumni honor Williams


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The Urbana High School Distinguished Alumni honoree for 2023 has been announced.

Lieutenant Colonel Nathan Williams of the United States Air Force is this year’s Distinguished Alumni. He is a 1997 graduate of Urbana High School, where he was an honors student and played both football and baseball. After graduation, he attended Wittenberg University, where he continued to play baseball and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.

Lt. Col. Williams joined the Air Force in January of 2003, earning his commission as a Second Lieutenant from Officer Training School in April of 2003. Over his 20 years of service, he has served in the United States and around the world, including Aviano Air Base in Italy and Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. In the states, he served two tours at the Pentagon and as Commander of the 60th Force Squadron at Travis Air Force Base in California. He was also stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base from 2008-2012 in two different positions. Prior to his current assignment, Lt. Col. Williams was the Operations Branch Chief, Manpower and Personnel Directorate, Joint Staff /J1, at the Pentagon.

In addition to his Bachelor of Arts in History from Wittenberg University, he has the following educational background: Air and Space Basic Course (2005), Squadron Officer School (2007), Air Command and Staff College (2009), all at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama; Master of Arts, Education and Leadership Administration (2013), Trident University International, Chandler, Arizona; Master of Arts in Defense and Studies (2015), College of Naval Command and Staff, Naval War College, Naval Station, Newport, Rhode Island. Since July 0f 2022, Lt. Col. Williams has been a student at The National War College, Ft. McNair, Washington D.C.

Lt. Col. Williams has achieved many awards and decorations, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Joint Achievement Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Force Achievement Medal.

His effective dates of promotion are as follows: Second Lieutenant, April 4, 2003; First Lieutenant, April 4, 2005; Captain, April 4, 2007, Major, March 1, 2013, and Lieutenant Colonel, Jan. 1, 2018.

With completion of his most recent Master of Arts in Defensive and Strategic Studies at the National War College, he is projected to Join the Office of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Personnel Policy and with the rank of Colonel.

Because he was unable to attend this year’s graduation, Nathan’s parents accepted the award on his behalf at the UHS Awards Assembly on the evening of May 15. His oldest daughter is graduating from high school in Virginia the first weekend of June, and Lt. Colonel Williams will be graduating from the National War College two days later.

Info from Hayla Parker

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