Milton Charles Peterson, Jr. has been named the 2020 Distinguished Person of the Year by the DeQuincy Chamber of Commerce. He will be honored at the Annual Banquet on Thursday, Mar. 5, at the T. D. Cardwell Center.
Peterson is a 1981 graduate of DeQuincy High School. In 1986, he graduated from McNeese State University with a B.S. in Business Management.
He was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. through the Army ROTC program at McNeese. He received an MBA from Touro University in 2004.
His military training includes: US Army Air Defense Officer Course; US Army Infantry Advanced Course; US Army Command and General Staff Course; NATO Integrated Air Defense Course; Joint Aerospace Command and Control Course.
Peterson’s military career took him to many places across the United States and abroad. He was Chief Development Officer for the US Army Reserve Combat Support in a nine state area. In Panama, he coordinated training resources between 32 nations and 23 Security Assistance Offices. At Ft. Bliss, Texas, he was Chief of Operations, planning and training for Air DeFense Artillery Regiment, the only short range training unit in the Department of Defense. At Ramstein Air Base in Germany, he worked with NATO in the execution of all Air and Missile Defense Plans; he coordinated joint land, maritime, and air component liaisons. In Hawaii, he was responsible for the development of a newly established headquarters for Integrated Missile Defense with the US-Pacific command.
After retirement from the Army, he worked with private contractors of the Missile Defense Agency in Huntsville, Ala. as the lead analyst for Ballistic Missile Defense Systems. After several requests from a group of Generals in Stuttgart, he returned to Germany in 2013 and worked for three years with the US European Commande in Germany to develop a Missile Defense Policy in Europe. Returning to Huntsville, Ala., he served as Senior Foreign Military Sales Analyst for Patriot Weapons Systems, primarily responsible for Poland and emerging European customers.
At the present time, he is the Director of Army Programs which is responsible for Business Development with the US, focusing in Air and Missile Defense, Space and Aviation, and for exploring non-tradional opportunities in the Tennessee Valley Region.
Peterson retired from the Army in 2007 with the rank of Lt. Colonel and has 21 years of military experience. He has over 21 years of military experience. In his over 30 years of service to the United States, both military and civilian, he has been deployed four times: three in combat regions of Afghanistan and Iraq and one in humanitarian support to Honduras in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch.
He is the son of Ranita Peterson and the late Milton Peterson. He is married to Susan Smith Peterson, a McNeese graduate. They have three children – Abigail Peterson, graduate of the University of South Alabama, Mobile; SP4 Blake Peterson, US Army; and Cadet Cortland Charles Peterson, sophomore at the University of Alabama