Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, celebrated the induction of 12 distinguished women into its Alpha Omega Chapter as Honorary Members during a momentous ceremony held at Howard University on September 19, 2023. Among the notable individuals who joined this esteemed group is Edna Cummings, a retired U.S. Army Colonel and Army Reserve Ambassador, whose remarkable achievements and dedication to service have left an indelible mark on the nation.
Edna Cummings’ distinguished career includes leading the charge to get the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, an all African-American female battalion, a Congressional Gold Medal in 2021 for their contributions during World War II. Ms. Cummings’ unwavering commitment to recognizing the battalion’s accomplishments has not only honored their legacy but has also shed light on the often-overlooked role of African-American women in military history.
In addition to her military service, Edna Cummings holds an impressive educational background, including a Master of Strategic Studies from the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, and a Master of Science Degree in Foundations of Education from Troy State University in Troy, AL. Her commitment to lifelong learning is further demonstrated through her graduation from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS, the Quartermaster Officers’ Basic and Advanced Courses at Fort Lee, VA, and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute at Patrick Air Force Base, FL. She also holds certifications in Information Technology Information Library (Foundations) and Maryland Circuit Court Training for Mediators, and she is recognized as an Equal Employment Opportunity Investigator.
As an Army officer, Edna Cummings earned a distinguished list of accolades, including 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 her numerous military and civic recognitions, in March 2020, Col. Cummings was inducted into the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame, a testament to her trailblazing career and her impact on future generations of servicewomen. The Military Officers Association of America selected her as one of its national Changemakers, recognizing her outstanding contributions and leadership. In July 2022, she received the NAACP’s Jesse Brown Leadership Award, further solidifying her legacy as a champion of civil rights and equality.
In addition to her military service, Edna Cummings has earned accolades for her exceptional business and marketing acumen. Her dedication to excellence extends beyond the uniform and into the business world, where she continues to excel and inspire.
As an Honorary Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Ms. Cummings will work closely with several of the organization’s programs that align with her passion and expertise. She is set to play an integral role in Zeta Phi Beta’s Military Appreciation Program, which recognizes and supports the service of military personnel and veterans. Furthermore, she will contribute her insights and leadership to the International Women of Color Initiative, promoting diversity, inclusion, and empowerment. Ms. Cummings’ expertise in business and entrepreneurship will also be channeled into programs focused on supporting women entrepreneurs, a vital endeavor for fostering economic empowerment and success.
Gina Merritt-Epps, Esq., International First Vice President for Membership of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, expressed the significance of Edna Cummings’ induction, recognizing her as a trailblazer and a symbol of resilience. The organization’s commitment to honoring remarkable women who have made substantial contributions to society is embodied in the induction of individuals like Ms. Cummings.
The inclusion of Edna Cummings into the Alpha Omega Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, serves as a testament to her extraordinary achievements and her dedication to uplifting communities. Her involvement in Zeta Phi Beta’s programs will undoubtedly strengthen the organization’s mission and impact, as it continues to empower women and recognize their invaluable contributions to society.
We at Watch The Yard would like to warmly welcome retired U.S. Army Colonel Edna Cummings to Black greekdom.
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