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JCC’s Donald R. Johnson Receives Fort Drum’s Man of the Mountain Award

Fort Drum recently honored soldiers, family members and volunteers from across the installation received recognition for exemplifying the Army value of selfless service during Fort Drum's Annual Volunteer of the Year and Man/Woman of the Mountain Appreciation ceremony held Thursday, April 14 at the Commons on post. The Man of the Mountain Award was established to recognize an individual in the community who goes “above and beyond” to improve the lives of our 10th Mountain Division Soldiers and their families; over 55 people were recognized for their efforts.

This year's Man of the Mountain awardee is Donald R. Johnson, Jefferson Community College’s Director of Military Programs. Mr. Johnson has dedicated many years to the Army Education System and has been working on Fort Drum since 1996.   He has enhanced the lives of soldiers and family members with guidance and mentorship in their completion of all levels of higher education degrees.  

Mr. Johnson is the face of Jefferson Community College on Fort Drum and a tireless advocate for our community’s soldiers, their family members and veterans. His outstanding student service, program coordination and attention to detail ensure a positive educational experience for military students, and he has shared his expertise as a panelist and presenter at several national military education conferences. Additionally, he teaches in the areas of developmental mathematics and music and provides leadership to many committees and special College projects on campus.  Mr. Johnson started at Jefferson in 1996 as Extension Site Coordinator - Fort Drum and in 2002 he was promoted to Director of Military Programs.

The nomination letter for Johnson describes him as “an unmatched advocate, source of encouragement, and guide on the path to a brighter future. While Don does all of this exceptionally well in the course of his official duties, he also invests an incredible amount of personal time and energy to ensure Soldier and Family success.” 

In 2014, Johnson received the State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor’s Award for Excellence.  Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Florida State University and his master’s in science in adult education from Elmira College.

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 (left to right) Col. Michael C. McCurry, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade commander, Donald R. Johnson, Jefferson Community College Director of Military Programs and Tracy Bannister, wife of Maj. Gen. Jeffrey L. Bannister, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander.