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Bell executive vice president Robert T. Hastings Jr. has been named 2019 recipient of the America’s Future Series Megellas Award, presented annually to a distinguished military leader who has gone on to demonstrate continued service to the country.
Hastings, a military leader and business executive with an impressive multifaceted career in military, corporate leadership and public service, was honored Sept. 14 at two events: the Salute to Maggie Luncheon hosted by Congressman Pete Sessions, and the 2nd Annual Tribute to Valor Gala. Both events took place at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel.
Hastings has more than 30 years of federal and state military experience in the Department of Defense, U.S. Army and state military agencies. His U.S. Army assignments included command tours in aviation and cavalry with operational assignments in Germany, Eastern Europe, Central America, Iraq, and Bosnia. In the Texas State Guard, BGen Hastings commands a group comprised of seven civil engineer and civil affairs regiments.
Prior to joining Bell as executive vice president of strategic communications, Hastings served in the Bush Administration, appointed by President George W. Bush as assistant secretary of defense for public affairs. As chief communications officer, senior public affairs official and spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense, he was the principal adviser to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense and senior administration officials for strategic communication, public information, and internal information, leading a worldwide public affairs community of 4,000 military and civilian personnel.
Hastings is a former chairman of the North Texas Commission, and serves on the board of directors of the Public Relations Society of America, USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, and the World Affairs Council of Dallas. He has previously served on the boards of the National Defense Industrial Association, the Army Aviation Association of America, the Armed Services YMCA, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, D.C. He has served as an adviser to the NATO Strategic Communications Office, the Center for New American Security Future Force Initiative, and Roger Staubach’s Allies in Service veteran’s initiative.
The Megellas Award is named after LCol James “Maggie” Megellas (born March 11, 1917), a retired U.S. Army officer who is the most-decorated officer in the history of the 82nd Airborne Division. Megellas has received, among other awards, a Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and a nomination for the Medal of Honor.
The Tribute to Valor Foundation, which sponsors the Megellas Award, was founded in 2018 as an all-volunteer organization focused on influencing, impacting and inspiring students involved in STEM curricula. Its goal is to help these students understand and engage the values of the Medal of Honor: courage, sacrifice, patriotism, citizenship, integrity and commitment. At least 16 Medal of Honor recipients are expected to attend the Sept. 14 luncheon.