After a lifetime of service to his country, Maj. Gen. John R. Hawkins, III passed away suddenly on Feb. 3 at his home in Silver Spring, Md. The cause of death was undisclosed.

His most recent position was as president and CEO of Hawkins Solutions International—a consultancy providing human capital support and a columnist on military affairs for the AFRO-American Newspaper.

Maj. Gen. John R. Hawkins, III was an accomplished military man in addition to being a columnist for the AFRO. (Courtesy photo)
Maj. Gen. John R. Hawkins, III was an accomplished military man in addition to being a columnist for the AFRO. (Courtesy photo)

Following retirement from the U.S. Army in 2009, after more than 30 years of commissioned service with more than 17 years active duty, Hawkins served as a senior associate legislative counsel for the PMA Group, a government relations and legislative council firm in Washington, D.C. and with the executive vice president of Cohn and Wolfe, an international public relations firm.

In 2008 through 2009 Hawkins served as director of Human Resources Policy Directorate, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff where he was responsible for the development of all soldiers, civilians, and family well-being policies.

From 2004 to 2008, the general was assistant deputy chief of staff personnel for the U.S. Army and was responsible for the management and leadership of human capital.  He performed leadership responsibilities for more than 1.5 million soldiers, civilians, and contractors, and was senior advisor to the Army Diversity Office.

Hawkins served as the deputy chief of public affairs for the Army from 2000 to 2004 with deployment under “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  He was responsible for all public affairs and media relations for the Army under direction of the chief of public affairs, leading and managing over 800 individuals and a budget of over $10 million.

Hawkins military assignments also included commander, 407th Personnel Service Company; assistant professor of Military Science, Command and Staff in Counter Intelligence; director of personnel and public and congressional affairs.

His military decorations and awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Service Medal, Reserve Commendation Medal, Desert Storm Joint Service Unit Commendation Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, and Armed Forces Reserve Medal.

The D.C. native, born at the then Freedmen’s Hospital of Howard University in 1949, graduated from Tularosa High School in Tularosa, N.M. in 1967.  He then graduated from the Howard University College of Liberal Arts in 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Marketing. Hawkins went on to earn a Masters of Public Administration in American Public Policy and Government Management from The American University in 1976 and a Juris Doctor degree from The American University Law School. He studied International Law at the University of London Law faculty in England in 1979.  He was also a graduate of the National Security Fellowship Program at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College National Security Fellowship Program.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Michelle R. Hawkins, who resides in Silver Spring, Md. and two children, Dr. John L. Hawkins IV and his spouse, Cindylynn; and Mercedes Nicole Hawkins and her spouse, Doug.  He is also survived by five grandchildren—Amandalynn, Arianna, Amari, Christian, and John R. Hawkins V.