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Covington native awarded Army medal
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In a recent ceremony in Warner Robins, U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, Eighth District of Georgia, presented the Meritorious Service Medal to retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. William Ike Robertson of Covington.

This award, Robertson’s fourth MSM for his 25-year Army career, was awarded for distinguished service during his second and last assignment, from December 1983 to January 1988, as an Operations and Force Development Staff Officer, HQ Forces Command, Ft. McPherson. His additional military awards include the Bronze Star Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Achievement Medal.

Col. Robertson was commissioned a second lieutenant after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physics from North Georgia College in 1962. He later received an MBA degree from Alabama A&M University in 1974 and a bachelor’s degree in the German language from the University of Maryland in 1979.

During his Army service, his primary military academic achievements included graduation from the air defense officer basic and career courses, the chemical, biological and radiological course, the guided missile systems officer course, the Command and General Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces National Management Course.

Robertson served in a variety of assignments and locations while on active duty. These included two with the Republic of South Korea, one with the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and again with the HQ as an operations officer, Eighth U.S. Army in Vietnam, with the XXIV Corps Artillery as an Intelligence Staff Officer in Germany with the 10th ADA Group as a Hawk missile operations officer and with HQ V Corps as an Air Defense coordinator.

During two of his four assignments at Fort Bliss, Texas, daughters Monica and Michelle, both also North Georgia College alumni, were born in El Paso, Texas, while he served as company commander of Basic Combat Training and with the U.S. Army Air Defense Board as a Test and Evaluation Officer. Also at Fort Bliss, he served as a Combat Development Staff Officer with the U.S. Army Air Defense School. There were also two tours of duty in Huntsville, Ala., with the Safeguard System Command as a Guided Missile Systems Officer in the Site Defense of Minuteman Project Office, R&D Coordinator for International and as a missile operations officer with the Patriot Project Office.

Col. Robertson is married to the former Bettye Jeanne Johnson of Porterdale. The two graduated from Newton County High School together in the Class of 1958. His parents were the late William Pitts Robertson and Rebecca Wright Robertson of Covington. Bettye is the daughter of Clarence Tom Johnson and Louise Mask Johnson of Porterdale.

After retirement from active duty, the Robertsons remained at their home of 27 years in Lithonia. While there, Bettye was employed as a dry-goods merchandiser with Sysco Food Services of Atlanta until she retired in December 2007. Ike was employed with Dynamex of Atlanta for 22 years. Bettye and Ike have resided, since June 2007, in Newton County near Starrsville.