County Executive’s Corner: “Freedom Award”

By County Executive Ed Day

This week we had the honor and privilege of presenting Congers resident Angela Woods with the seventh annual Rockland County Freedom Award for her outstanding service to our nation during her 27 years of service in the United States Army.

The importance of awards like this one cannot be overstated. Acknowledging those who have worked and sacrificed to protect the freedoms we enjoy is so important. Particularly women, whose contributions to building and protecting our country have long been overlooked.

Colonel Angela Woods has served in the United States Army in a wide variety of positions both on active duty and in the reserves. Her assignments have been varied and extensive but her service is best described as a life-long quest to create exceptional teams, coach, teach and improve operational processes. Most notable was her service in Iraq as part of the Multi-National Security Transition command where she was embedded with the Iraqi Army and worked directly with the Iraqi Army Surgeon General.

Colonel Woods started her military career in the UCLA Army ROTC program in 1988 and was commissioned on active duty in June 1991 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps. After completing the Medical Service Corps Officer Basic Course and Combat Casualty Care Course at Fort Sam Houston, TX, she was assigned as the Executive Officer of the 31st Combat Support Hospital in Stuttgart, Germany.

She is currently Chief of the Health Services Support Team for the 7301st Medical Training Support Battalion at Joint Base McGuire-Dix in Lakehurst, NJ. Colonel Woods coaches, teaches and evaluates medical units that are scheduled to respond to catastrophic events including natural disasters and attacks from foreign enemies or terrorists that could potentially occur within the United States.

One of her most recent training events was critical for validating a proof of concept for the joint military support to domestic “911” centers including providing communication support, evacuation resources and operationalizing field hospitals and surgical capabilities in major metropolitan cities that may be compromised by a nuclear weapons attack.

Colonel Woods service goes far beyond her duties in the military, she is committed to improving the lives of others in our community. In her civilian life, she is the Chief Administrative Officer of “Access: Supports for Living” located in Middletown, NY. Access offers more than 30 different programs throughout the Hudson Valley to help people with disabilities and their families. Including: behavioral health counseling, housing for homeless veterans, drug and alcohol rehab programs, and 24/7 residential care for people with disabilities. Access also employs people with disabilities at their manufacturing plant and service sites.

Her dedication to the cause, willingness to make personal sacrifices and her outstanding support to the military both on and off duty prove just how deserving of this award.

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