By Roscoe Nance
It has been said that we know where we’ve been, but we don’t know where we’re going.
And so it was with Col. Derek Streeter, a 1987 Bullock County High graduate who retired from the United States Army after a distinguished 27-year military career in a ceremony at the National Security Agency Building in Fort Meade, Md., on Feb. 23.
When he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1991 through the Tuskegee University ROTC program, Col. Streeter’s thinking was he would only serve the four-year active duty commitment that came with the ROTC scholarship he used to finance his undergraduate degree.
“I was going to do four years and get out,’’ he says, adding that beyond that he had no clue about what he would do. “I thought about teaching because I had a degree in math. I figured I would figure it out.’’
But somewhere along the way, life happened – something he hadn’t figured on. He met and married LTC (U.S. Army Retired) Katrina Margie Jefferson and became the father of two children, daughter Kayla, and son Derek Jr.
“I was having a real good time,’’ he says, “and four years turned into 10 and 10 turned into 20 real quick. At 20, I said ‘as long as I’m having a good time, why not stay in.’’’
In addition to having fun, Col. Streeter, the son of Bobby and Shirley Taylor Streeter of Union Springs, was also distinguishing himself as a leader. He developed a reputation for being someone who could be counted on to get the job done as he moved up through the officer ranks, earning plaudits along the way. Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, Chief of Staff for U. S. Cyber Command, described Col. Streeter as being the “complete package’’ in his remarks during Col. Streeter’s retirement ceremony.
Col. Streeter had a variety of duty assignments that included tours at the Pentagon and the National Security Agency, where he was entrusted with highly sensitive cyber security material.
His first assignment was Platoon Leader, A Company, 6th Infantry Battalion at Fort Polk, La. He was also Support Platoon Leader, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-7th Cavalry, Fort Hood, Texas.
Other assignments included Company Executive Officer, Operations Officer, 7th Signal Brigade and Commander, 58th Signal Company,7th Signal Brigade, Manheim, Germany; Captains’ Career Course Small Group Leader, 442nd Signal Battalion, Fort Gordon, Ga.; Operations Office, 11th Signal Brigade and 53/Operrations Officer, 40th Signal Battalion, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Program Manager in the Information Assurance Directorate of the U. S. Army of the National Security Agency, Fort Meade, Md.; Joint Staff J6 Action officer with primary duties as the C4 Systems representative to the Department of Defense Enterprise wide 1A and CND Solutions Steering Group; N11/J6 representative to the Vice Chairman to the Joint Chiefs of Staff working the Joint Staff Efficiencies Cell; Executive Assistant to the Vice Director for Force Structure for USCYBERCOM, Resources and Assessment, Washington, D.C.; J3 Battle Captain for USCYBERCOM’s Joint Operations Center, Fort Meade, Md.; Deputy Joint Operations Center Director for USCYBERCOM, Fort Meade, Md., and Deputy Chief of Staff for USCYBERCO, Fort Meade, Md.
Col. Streeter’s deployments consisted to Operation Joint Guard, Taszar, Hungary, in 1998, and Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom in 2002 and 2004.
His military education the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Airborne School, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle Course, the Signal Officer Qualification Course, the Information Systems Engineering Course, the Signal Officer Advanced Course, the Network Nodal Managers Course, the Combined Armed Services Staff School, the Space Operations Course, resident Command and General Staff College, and completion of the Joint Military Education Course.
Col. Streeter also holds a master’s degree in Information Resource Management from Central Michigan University.
Col. Streeter received numerous awards during his career. They include: the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Award (3 awards), the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star Device, the Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Parachute Badge and the coveted Expert Infantryman’s Badge.
Col. Streeter, during remark at his retirement ceremony, thanked retired Bullock County High band director James Cooks and former Bullock High JROTC instructor MSG Jimmy Hill with encouraging him to apply for an ROTC scholarship, which paved the way for his military career.
Col. Streeter’s professional and social organizations and affiliations include the Signal Corps Regimental Association (Bronze Order of Mercury Recipient), Association of the United States Army (Lifetime Member), The ROCKS, Incorporated and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. He was also involved with the Cub Scouts.