Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
The public is invited to attend Naval Air Station Meridian's annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service on Friday, Jan. 18, beginning at 10 a.m. in Rudders.
The keynote speaker will be NAS Meridian Administrative Officer Lt. Leon Leflore. A native of Crystal Springs, Miss., and a graduate of Strayer University, Lt. Leflore enlisted in the U.S. Navy in November 1986.
Following recruit training and his first duty assignment on the USS Independence (CV 62), he transferred in July 1990 to Naval Technical Training Center Meridian where he served as Administrative Department leading petty officer. After three years, he reported to Bahrain, where he advanced to yeoman first class and volunteered to serve as the administrative officer for Destroyer Squadron 50, Bahrain, in support of Operations Southern Watch and Desert Fox.
Leflore advanced to chief petty officer in September 1997, and transferred to the Pentagon to serve as head secretariat, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. After 13 months he was selected to serve as the deputy executive officer to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense. Next he served as the flag writer to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Following that tour he was selected for a commission via the in-service procurement program (Limited Duty Officer Program).
Leflore was commissioned as an administrative LDO on April 1, 2002. He has since had tours with Carrier Air Wing 5; Naval Nuclear Power Training Command; Vice Chief of Naval Operations protocol officer, speechwriter, and aide; staff of the Director Joint Staff; in the Horn of Africa Region as the administrative and manpower officer; and as officer in charge, Personnel Support Detachment Bahrain.
Leflore's decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three Gold Stars, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with three Gold Stars, Good Conduct Medal with four Bronze Stars, and various other campaign medals and unit citations.
The program will also include special music, poetry, scripture readings, and more, all provided by a diverse group of individuals from NAS and its tenant commands. Additionally, the NJROTC Unit from Northeast Lauderdale High School will present Colors during the program.
Civilian guests can begin entering the main gate after 9 a.m. The driver should have a driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of vehicle insurance and all others should have photo ID's ready to present upon arrival.