AFGSC communications director wins Black Engineer of the Year award

  • Published
  • By Carla Pampe
  • Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
Arthur "A.G." Hatcher Jr., the Air Force Global Strike Command director of communications, was recently named the Department of Defense winner of the Stars & Stripes Black Engineer of the Year Award in the Senior Executive Service category.

The award will officially be presented to Hatcher at the Stars & Stripes BEYA Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) conference Feb. 6, in Washington, D.C.

The purpose of the award is to recognize individuals who have served with distinction supporting their service's efforts in membership, diversity and value based service to the nation. Nominees also have served in a command or agency with a mission to procure, develop or employ new technologies and systems.

"It is an honor to be recognized among the many outstanding SES members who everyday do great things for our country," he said. "To be chosen as the Air Force nominee and then to be the DOD winner is really awesome."

A native of Selma, Alabama, a pivotal location of the civil rights movement in America, Hatcher said he has always felt it very important to mentor others, especially minorities. He serves as an advisor to the Barksdale African American Heritage Committee, and has served as a guest speaker for Black History Month.

"This is a big deal, because as I said I'm from Selma, which is a small town, and coming from a small town you become a role model whether you accept it or not," he said. "That is why whenever I mentor, whether here or back home, I encourage young people to work hard and go to school. I hope that they see me and what I've achieved in my career, and think 'I can do this too!'"

Moreover, as a life member of the Armed Force Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), his special focus has been on promoting the area of STEM.

"I've been involved in the STEM area for years," he said. "Through AFCEA, I've been personally involved in awarding more than $150,000 in scholarships to high school graduates pursuing STEM degrees in college.”

Hatcher hopes that his achievement will inspire others to pursue a career in STEM, and credits his parents with giving him the values which led him to the Air Force where he served a 30 year active duty career.

"Industry is always looking to hire STEM graduates, and the Air Force is trying to recruit them because it is important to retain a technological edge," he added. "The opportunities are phenomenal in career potential, career growth and advancement, and education is the key, so I would tell students interested in STEM programs to go for it!"

In addition to mentoring young people, Hatcher is constantly focused on incorporating new technologies at AFGSC.

"We're really looking to modernize the nuclear command, control and communication systems and infrastructure; and leverage industry and academia to see how they can help us in AFGSC," he said. "We recently held an Industry Day in partnership with the Louisiana Cyber Innovation Center, and we had 14 industry partners demonstrate their innovative ideas. We are always looking at how we can take new technologies, which are STEM based, be innovative and use them to do things better, smarter, more efficiently and more effectively."

"I appreciate the outstanding support from my current and former bosses, the staff I work with, and especially my wife for her support. She's a great wingman and supporter, and I couldn't have done this without her,” he said.