Feature// 9th February 2022 | By David Vergun DOD News
|A Marine poses|
for a photo
He then served 18 months in Guam as a cryptologic officer for naval intelligence. His next assignment was as a cryptologic officer with the Naval Security Fleet Support Division at Fort Meade, Maryland.
After 22 years of military service, he retired from the Navy with the rank of lieutenant commander.
On the last episode of "The Montel Williams Show," Navy Capt. Kenneth J. Braithwaite II, director of Joint Public Affairs Support Element Reserve, presented Williams with the Navy's Superior Public Service Award.
"It was an honor to be able to award a true patriot like Mr. Williams," Braithwaite said. "This award signifies his genuine gratitude for military service. He has a definite understanding and appreciation of what sailors and Marines sacrifice, something he knows well from his own military experience."
During annual holiday shows in his television program's long run, Williams reunited deployed sailors with their families. In 2006, he and a production crew flew to the U.S. Central Command 5th Fleet area of responsibility to tour Iraqi oil platforms and meet with deployed sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
|A group poses for a photo|
"During the entire run of my shows," Williams recalled, "I would do two or three shows dedicated to the military every single year. I went back and forth to the Persian Gulf multiple times while my show was on the air, taking messages to family members."
|Men talk during a ship tour|
"My responsibility is to my fellow man," he said. "We are not here for self alone ... what I can do for mankind is much greater than what I can do for myself, and that's why I try my best. That sounds lofty and all that, but that's my purpose."
Besides doing "The Montel Williams Show," he was an actor in several military-themed shows. He portrayed a Navy SEAL, Lt. Curtis Rivers, in three episodes of the TV series "JAG."
He also produced and starred in a short-lived TV series called "Matt Waters," which appeared on CBS in 1996. In it, he played an ex-Navy SEAL turned inner-city high school teacher.
|Two men bond during a gathering|