Sergeant First Class (Retired) Yolonda Michele Williams entered the United States Army in October 1989. She attended Basic Combat Training at Ft Dix, NJ and Advanced Individual Training at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado. She retired in October 2014 after 25 years of distinguished service.
Yolonda M. Williams was born May 31, 1970 in Warren Arkansas, after graduating high school 1988 she attended University of Missouri, Columbia and realized school was not her thing at that time. She entered the Army in October 1989, graduated Basic Combat went on to attend and graduated Advanced Individual Training in Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 25P converted to Combat Photographer 25V. She later reclassed to Military Intelligence Analysist Military Occupation Specialty (MOS)35F.
During her military career she served in a variety of assignments to include: News Team Member Southern European Broadcasting, Psychological Operations Group Airborne, Selected as personal photographer for Secretary of state Warren Christopher, U.S. Army Drill Sergeant, 1SG 101st Division Headquarters Company.
Yolonda served during multiple conflicts and deployments: Operation Uphold Democracy Haiti (1996): Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan (2009-2010). Her assignment locations include: Ft. Irwin CA, Vicenza Italy, Ft Bragg NC, Ft Jackson SC, Ft Meade MD, Yongsan and Camp Casey Korea, Ft Hood TX, Ft Campbell KY.
While serving in the military, she also took advantage of the education benefits. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Phoenix in Business Management, an Associate in Arts degree from University of Phoenix and most recent 2020 graduate from Austin Peay State University with a Culinary Arts Degree.
Many of her military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star; the Meritorious Service Medal (6th OLC); Army Accommodation Medal (7th OLC); Army Achievement Medal (4th OLC); and the Good Conduct Award (7th).
Upon retirement she opened her own restaurant Yolo’s “Food for the Soul” a local favorite and ran it successfully for 2 years. 2015-2017.
Yolonda is the National Commander of the Women Veterans of America (WVA). WVA is the Voice for Women who have and are currently serving in the Armed Forces. Their mission is to advocate for Women Veteran’s rights, issues and benefits. The organization under her leadership has grown significantly. WVA has helped to establish a Women Veterans Day in the State of Texas and Tennessee. Tennessee Women Veterans have now been elected to serve as the Chair for Tennessee Veterans (TVET) an organization set to challenge Tennessee Legislators to continue to enact laws necessary and beneficial for ALL Veterans.
Yolonda became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. April 2017. Since becoming a Delta, she was appointed to the State Social Action Coordinator. She helped organize the First Anti-Bully rally in Clarksville, TN. Yolonda has fostered a positive relationship with local high schools to allow members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc to come register high school students to vote and have been invited back to speak with students about the legislation processes.
Yolonda serves as a Veteran Mentor for Veterans Treatment Court and is also an active member of the NAACP, Order of the Eastern Stars, Tennessee Promise Mentors, and Daughters of Isis in each of the organizations that she is a member; she seeks the opportunity to assist in the local community to advocate on behalf of the less fortunate and those in need.
Yolonda’s ultimate goal in life, is finding ways to help others have a better life while keeping them headed in their God ordained destinies. Her signature approach remains, “How Can I Help?”
Yolonda’s hobbies are dancing, traveling and cooking. However, she is most fulfilled when helping other