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Retired S.C. State Guard commander receives Exceptional Service Medal

By Alex Junes-Ward

COLUMBIA, S.C. – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Van McCarty – the newly sworn adjutant general of South Carolina – presented the EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE MEDAL to Maj. Gen. Tom Mullikin, retired commander of the S.C. State Guard (SCSG) and a former U.S. Army officer, during ceremonies at the Adjutant General’s headquarters building, Mon., Mar. 11.

S.C. Adjutant General Maj. Gen. McCarty (left) and Maj. Gen. Mullikin.

The award, approved Jan. 28 by the previous adjutant general, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Livingston, recognized Mullikin’s “extraordinary leadership” to the state of S.C. as an officer serving in the S.C. Military Dept. (SCMD), beginning with his service in the SCMD’s Joint Services Detachment (JSD) and culminating in his command of the SCSG.

“Tom Mullikin is a dynamic, effective, and principled leader; and a man of great character who publicly professes his faith in his service,” said McCarty. “As commander of the SCSG, he had a bold vision for the organization and a tireless work ethic to accomplish it.”

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International Christian missionary pens business leadership book

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Henry Clay, a Christian missionary and missions-leadership project director for the Navigators, has written his first book. He has many in the pipeline, he says. But his first book, “DRESSCODES: Developing others through evaluated experience,” is a means – he hopes – of developing leaders through “the incidental moments that are often missed.”

Leadership development is not a new venture for Clay, who currently mentors 10 Navigator leaders, nine of whom are serving overseas. He’s also developing a leadership coaching curriculum for the near-90-year-old global Christian-missions ministry based in Colorado. He’s working with college students interested in serving in missions overseas. He and wife Wendy, also a missionary, are very involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren. He preaches on occasion, regularly teaches Sunday School, and he is an active member of Columbia’s Northeast Presbyterian Church (PCA) where Sunday, Mar. 17, he will sign copies of DRESSCODES from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the church atrium.

We caught up with Clay between travels; he’s only days back from Japan.

W. THOMAS SMITH Jr.: Why this book? You’re a professional missionary. So why a book about a formula for business leadership development?


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Mullikin honored by ARMY NORTH representative

By Alex Junes-Ward

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Tom Mullikin, recently appointed chairman of the South Carolina Floodwater Commission (SCFC), was honored by Col. Bill Connor, senior representative of U.S. ARMY NORTH for the Palmetto State, who recognized Mullikin’s service to the state of South Carolina while in command of the S.C. State Guard from which he retired Dec. 1, 2018.

Connor, the emergency preparedness liaison officer (EPLO) for South Carolina, presented Mullikin with a plaque following a series of meetings at the State Emergency Operations Center, Feb. 8.

Connor and Mullikin

A portion of the plaque reads, “For exemplary leadership while in command of the South Carolina State Guard, 2014-2018.”

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Floodwater Commission’s NATIONAL SECURITY TASK FORCE is forging ahead

By Bill Connor


The South Carolina Floodwater Commission may well prove to be one of the more important legacy-defining efforts of Gov. Henry McMaster’s administration. After all, what’s more important than developing and putting into action plans aimed at alleviating and mitigating disastrous flood impacts to South Carolina: A state which has experienced not one, but four catastrophic and frankly unprecedented flooding events from hurricanes and other tropical storms in less than four years. That four-year span began in late 2015 with the 1,000-year flood event from Hurricane Joaquin which killed 19 people. Property losses to the state from Joaquin were estimated at $1.5-billion. Hurricane Matthew followed in 2016. Irma in 2017. Florence in 2018.

The Governor’s commission, established last Oct. and chaired by global energy and environmental expert Tom Mullikin, was not only necessary, but brilliant. The S.C. Floodwater Commission is easily the most unique gubernatorially created body of its kind, nationwide. As Gov. McMaster said in his State of the State address, “There’s not another one.”

Ten task forces (aka subcommittees) comprise the Commission, everything from a Grid Security Task Force – chaired by Maj. Gen. Bob Livingston, the soon-retiring adjutant general of S.C. – to Smart River and Dam Security, Artificial Reef Systems, Economic Development, Federal Funding, Stakeholder Engagement, Landscape Beautification and Protection, Living Shoreline, and Infrastructure and Shoreline Armoring Task Forces.

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Mullikin selected for inclusion in elite “fight club”

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Tom Mullikin has been nominated and unanimously selected for induction into the SOUTH CAROLINA BLACK BELT HALL OF FAME (SCBBHOF), the premier group of the most accomplished martial arts fighters either from or with strong connections to the Palmetto State.

“Tom Mullikin was an easy choice for us,” said Col. Steve Vitali, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), a 2017 inductee whose older brother Keith – also an SCBBHOF member – was ranked one of the ‘10 best fighters of all time,’ according to BLACK BELT magazine. “There are a lot of truly great fighters in South Carolina, but only a select few have thus far met the exacting standards of the Hall of Fame. Tom is one of those select few.”

According to Vitali, “Being a great fighter is not enough. Any fighter considered for the Hall of Fame must possess the requisite martial arts skills, and those skills must also be accompanied by extraordinary recognizable service to the state of South Carolina or the nation. That service may or may not be related to martial arts.”

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Gamecock Basketball stars featured in RCSD PROUD

COLUMBIA, S.C. – “RCSD PROUD,” a brand-new hip hop video produced for the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD) and featuring former University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball standout Tina Roy and NCAA-championship winning head coach Dawn Staley was released Fri., Feb. 1.

“A tour de force of the department’s resources and community connections,” according to The State newspaper, the video’s vocals are rapped by Roy – today an RCSD deputy – who wrote the lyrics and otherwise led the two-minute, 45-second music track, as other RCSD deputies, units, Community Action Team cars and K-9s are shown in static displays, during training, and otherwise performing and having fun as tape rolls.

Roy’s former head coach, basketball hall-of-famer, WNBA star, and three-time Olympic gold medalist Staley also appears in the video as does Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott, who makes two cameos in the track.

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S.C. Governor touts state’s new Floodwater Commission

COLUMBIA, S.C. – In his State of the State address delivered, Wed. Jan. 23, 2019, S.C. Governor Henry McMaster highlighted the criticality, purpose of, and path forward for his newly established South Carolina Floodwater Commission.

The S.C. Floodwater Commission “is unique in the United States: There’s not another one,” said McMaster. “This Commission’s purpose is to provide guidance, solutions and opportunities presented by inland and coastal flooding and all that entails.”

McMaster added, “Its scope will be global, to be applied here in South Carolina.”

The Governor also recognized Floodwater Commission Chairman Tom Mullikin [View the State of the State address –, specifically beginning at the 39:34 mark].

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Korean church presents check to Richland County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Foundation

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Members of the Korean Community Presbyterian Church in downtown Columbia presented Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott with a check in the amount of $4,500 for the Richland County Sheriff’s Foundation, earlier this week. The check, according to Sheriff Lott, speaks to the close, ongoing relationship between the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD), the church, and the broader Korean community in Richland County, S.C.

“I feel as if we’re part of the extended family of the Korean community in the Midlands of South Carolina; and they with us,” said Lott. “This relationship and their gift to us today speaks volumes as to the familial bond and kinship we share.”

If there are any barriers between the Korean community and RCSD, it exists only within the language gaps experienced occasionally, which is why RCSD’s Korean-American deputies who speak the language and fully understand the cultural nuances are key to RCSD’s service to all of its citizens.

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