Mary Baldwin to Welcome Military Leaders, Honor Lt. Small ‘02

March 14, 2006

A pivture of Sarah Small in uniformFormer Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership cadet and 2002 Mary Baldwin University graduate Sarah K. Small’s name will soon join those of Reuben Moody, Manly Hubbs ’34, and dozens of others. Hers will be memorialized on a wall outside the SMA-VWIL Museum on Mary Baldwin’s campus with former staff and students of Staunton Military Academy who were killed during U.S. military action. The addition of a plaque honoring 1st Lt. Small will follow the corps’ Inaugural Parade at 2 p.m. March 25. It will mark the first death of a VWIL graduate in the organization’s 10-year history.

Lt. Small, a public affairs officer, was killed in the line of duty September 19, 2005 in Egypt. She was stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, and she had been in the Middle East for about two weeks supporting Exercise Bright Star, a training exercise. She was traveling in the northern part of the country with two other servicemen and an Egyptian driver. Lt. Small was ejected from the vehicle when it swerved off the road, reports indicate.

Two high-ranking officials in the United States military will help the college celebrate will also celebrate the work of the VWIL cadet corps and of the U.S. armed forces. Robert J. Goodwin, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force will speak at Small’s plaque dedication. Anita Blair, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy and deputy assistant secretary for Total Force Transformation (TFT), will give the keynote address at the annual military ball that evening at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center in Staunton.

Anita Blair
Anita Blair, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy and deputy assistant secretary for Total Force Transformation (TFT)


Blair works closely with the other national deputy assistant secretaries and with the military services. Blair is also responsible for policy and oversight related to personnel matters affecting Navy and Marine Corps active duty service members and their families. Issues under her direction include recruiting and retention; training and education; active duty strength and compensation; character, leadership development, and equal opportunity; health affairs; counterdrug programs; family support; and morale, welfare and recreation. Previously she chaired the Congressional Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues, and served on the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Board of Visitors. She chaired the VMI board’s initial Assimilation Review Task Force, providing continuing oversight of issues related to the admission of women to VMI. She was a lawyer in private practice in Virginia and the District of Columbia for several decades. Blair earned a bachelor’s degree in classical Greek from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and a graduate degree from University of Virginia School of Law.

Robert J. GoodwinRobert J. Goodwin, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Air Force


Goodwin provides guidance and oversight in the formulation of strategic plans, policies and legislative initiatives impacting Air Force military and civilian human resource functions and activities. He grew up in Fort Myers, Florida, and entered the Air Force after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1994, where he earned a degree in economics. Goodwin retired from military service in 1999 to work in the private sector. He returned in 2001 to help plan and execute the humanitarian response in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, coordinating and executing 20 commercial and military airlifts into Central Asia carrying two million pounds of relief supplies and 200 tons of high-energy food items. He also served as chief of staff and deputy senior adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Health, the first ministry to transition sovereignty back to the Iraqis. Goodwin is the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, among other awards.