October 23, 2023

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East Central Community College in Decatur will honor current and retired military veterans at its annual Military Appreciation Breakfast on Friday, November 10.  

Brigadier General Billy L. Pierce (Ret.) of Decatur will be the keynote speaker. The event begins with a complimentary breakfast at 7 a.m. in the Gold Room of Mabry Cafeteria. All community veterans and military personnel are invited to attend.  
In addition to Pierce’s address, an invocation will be given by Sergent Jasmine Bolden, Senior Production Controller at Field Maintenance Shop #7 in Decatur, ECCC vocal students under the direction of Chandler Smith will perform the National Anthem, colors will be presented by BSA Troop 46 of Decatur under the direction of Scoutmaster Rick Berryhill, and Tiffany Elkins, ECCC’s director of bands, will play Taps.  
Pierce, is a lifelong resident of Decatur, is a graduate of Decatur High School and East Central Junior College. He received a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master's degree in school administration from Mississippi State University. He also holds a master's degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.  
He began his military career when he enlisted in the Mississippi Army National Guard in 1968. He served as an enlisted soldier as a track vehicle mechanic until 1974 when he was commissioned as a second lieutenant after completing Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. He has served in command and staff positions at every level, including battery, battalion, brigade, and major subordinate command elements.  
Leadership posts include Commander of C-Battery, 4-114th FA, Morton, MS; Commander of Service Battery, 4-114th FA, Decatur, MS; Battalion Commander, 4-114th, FA, Newton, MS; Battalion Commander, 1-204th ADA, Newton, MS; Brigade Commander, 631 st FA, Grenada, MS; Chief of Staff, 66th Troop Command, Jackson, MS; and Deputy Commander, 184th Transportation Command Element, Laurel, MS.  
After 36 years of service in the Mississippi National Guard, he retired as a Brigadier General in 2004. In 2005, he was inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame at Fort Benning in Georgia. He has received numerous awards and decorations throughout his military career. He is a member of the State Veterans Affairs Board representing the Third Congressional District. 
For more information on the ECCC Military Appreciation Breakfast, contact Dr. Marie Roberts, Vice President for Enrollment, at 601-635-6375 or mroberts@eccc.edu