Catonsville native William Roberts III was recently promoted to the rank of colonel in a ceremony at Fort George Meade Army Base. He has served for more than 27 years in both active and reserve capacities.
In 1975, Roberts graduated from Catonsville High School, where he was the first black male to win the school's Scholar Athlete Award.
After earning a degree in sociology at Towson State University, he worked for the Anne Arundel County Department of Corrections for more than 25 years. Roberts retired as an assistant corrections facility administrator.
Roberts completed basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., and in 1987 was commissioned as a second lieutenant.
Roberts later completed a Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College.
His assignments have included platoon leader and company commander in the 29th Light Infantry Division; Officer Candidate School instructor; Joint Task Force-435, Afghanistan; case research officer and production chief with Operation Enduring Freedom and chief of the Office for Administrative Review of the Detention of Enemy Combatants in Arlington, Va.
Among Roberts' honors are the Joint Service Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary and Service medals, Air Assault Badge and Order of Saint Maurice-Centurion Infantry Medal.
The son of the late William Jr. and Gladys Roberts, he is married to Ersella Roberts and the father of twin daughters, Adrienne and Jessica Roberts. The family lives in Owings Mills.
His father was a decorated Navy veteran of the Korean War. His brother, Eric, served as a Marine, and brothers Kenneth and Kirk retired from the Army.