Edna W. Cummings, Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired) – Army Reserve Ambassador-Maryland, Six Triple Eight Congressional Gold Medal Champion, and Documentary Producer
A native of Fayetteville, NC, Col. Cummings operates a Washington DC area consultancy specializing in management and proposal services for federal and commercial clients. She was the first African American woman to earn her commission as an Army officer through the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Appalachian State University (ASU), Boone, NC. Afterwards, she embarked on a distinguished 25-year military career in a variety of progressive assignments culminating with senior-level positions at Georgetown University, the Pentagon, and NORAD/USNORTHCOM in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After retiring from the Army, she held management positions for federal contracting companies wherein she led homeland security and information technology initiatives for federal agencies including the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice.
Since January 2018, retired Army Col. Edna W. Cummings has worked to bring recognition to the all-black WWII Women’s Army Corps unit the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion also known as the Six Triple Eight. As a citizen advocate, she raised funds for the 6888th monument and co-produced an award winning documentary about the unit. She championed the effort with Congress to enact passage of the Six Triple Eight Congressional Gold Medal Act. On March 14, 2022, President Biden signed the legislation into law awarding the 6888th the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Col. Cummings is a former member of ASU’s Foundation Board of Directors, wherein she established the Warrior Fund for veterans their children. She is current member of the Military Advisory Board of the History Makers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive, and an Army Reserve Ambassador for the state of Maryland, a volunteer special government employee equivalent to a Major General (two-star) in the Armed Forces. In this capacity she advances Army ROTC scholarships for reserve duty opportunities and promotes awareness of the Army Reserve, its goals and objectives.
Col. Cummings holds a Master of Strategic Studies, Army War College, Carlisle, PA, and a Master of Science Degree in Foundations of Education, Troy State University, Troy, AL. She is also a graduate of the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS, Quartermaster Officers’ Basic and Advanced Courses, Fort Lee, VA, and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, Patrick Air Force Base, FL. She has certifications in Information Technology Information Library (Foundations), Maryland Circuit Court Training for Mediators, and as an Equal Employment Opportunity Investigator. As an Army officer, she received the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medals (three awards), Army Commendation Awards (four awards), Joint Service Commendation Award, Army Superior Unit, Reserve Forces Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.
Among other the many other military and civic recognitions, in March 2020, Col. Cummings was inducted into the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame and the Military Officers Association of America selected her as one its national Changemakers MOAA – Edna Cummings – MOAA Changemaker. In July 2022, she received the NAACP’s Jesse Brown Leadership Award.