Colonel Robert "Craig" Ham (Retired)-US Army-Ocala, FL

Education and Training:


  • National War College
  • Command and General Staff College
  • Military Police Officer Advanced
  • Course Correctional Administration
  • Course Criminal Investigation
  • Supervision Course
  • Chemical, Biological & Radiological Defense Course
  • Military Police Officer Basic Course


  • Ph.D., University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1986. Urban Studies and Criminology. Dissertation, “Timing and Spacing Crime in the Urban Environment: Lexington-Fayette County, Kentucky – 1985.”
  • M.A., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1976. Forensic Geography. Thesis, “Area-Specific Crime Rates for the Detroit Metropolitan Statistical Area, 1930-1970.”
  • B.A., Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo Michigan, 1968.
  • Education, Leadership and Military Science. Rifle team; ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate; Commissioned in Military Police Corps.

Achievements and Recognitions:

  • 2022 – Recipient, National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award
  • 2005 – Elected Florida State Director, National Education Association Board
  • 1996 – Elected President, Marion Education Association 1993 – Diplomate, National War College
  • 1993 – Inducted into the Western Michigan University ROTC Hall of Fame.
  • 1992 – Selected as U.S. Military Academy Tenured Faculty Fellow to National War College, Washington, DC.
  • 1990 – Elected President, West Point Chapter, Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
  • 1988 – Inducted as a Faculty Member of Phi Kappa Phi, National Honorary Society, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.
  • 1983 – Honor Graduate, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Military Police Association award as top graduate in the class.
  • 1974 – Honor Graduate, Military Police Officer Advanced Course, U.S. Army Military Police School, Fort Gordon, Georgia.
  • 1972 – Distinguished Graduate, Vietnamese Language Course, Defense Language Institute-Southwest Branch, Ft. Bliss, Texas.
  • 1969 – Commandant’s List, Military Police Officer Basic Course, U.S. Army Military Police School, Fort Gordon, Georgia.
  • 1968 – Designated DistinQuished Military Student and Distinguished Military Graduate, Western MicttIgan University.
  • 1967 – Inducted into Scabbard and Blade, National ROTC Honorary Society, Western Michigan University.
  • 1967 – Recipient of Ford Motor Co_mpany Award presented to the outstanding junior m the ROTC Brigade, Western Michigan University.
  • 1965 – Inducted into Phi Eta Sigma, National Freshmen Honorary Society, Western Michigan University.


  • Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Joint Service Commendation Medal
  • Army Commendation Medal National
  • Defense Service Medal 
  • Vietnam Service Medal
  • Army Service Ribbon Overseas Service Ribbon 
  • Vietnam Campaign Medal


  • International Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Retired Military Police Officer Association
  • The American Legion
  • Military Officers Association of America
  • National Eagle Scout Association
  • Phi Kappa Phi

Professional Employment History:


Army Military Police Colonel (Retired 1995) with twenty-six years of increasing responsibility in all facets of law enforcement, safety and security operations, emergency response management, and leadership training.

Earned doctorate in urban studies, with specialization in the use of computer information systems to analyze criminal activity. Experienced in inter-agency cooperation with Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Secret Service, and other Federal, state, and local government entities. Successfully managed military organizations of over 1,400 personnel and led public schools operations function in a public schools system of over 42,000 students.


Law enforcement Career includes successful leadership of programs in public safety, criminal investigation, highway patrol, crime prevention, corrections and confinement, juvenile administration, physical security, K-9 school operations, emergency management, and the full range of combat­ support military police operations. Supervised primary staff officers in personnel, logistics, budget, training, operations, and intelligence collection.


Academic administration experience as Professor and Head of an academic department at the U.S. Military Academy, training cadets for future leadership in the Army. Direct responsibility for faculty selection and training, personnel management, program development and administration of a multi­ million dollar budget. As the senior Military Police officer at West Point, directed the branch orientation program for future Military Police lieutenants. Deputy Superintendent of Operations in a public schools system with over 42,000 students.


Leadership development expertise as second in command of the Army’s largest Military Police Battalion, providing area police services to U.S. Forces in the Republic of Korea through five subordinate organizations with over 1,400 personnel. Commander of a Military Police Company of more than two hundred personnel, providing installation police services and area combat­ support police functions in the Federal Republic of Germany. Directly responsible for personnel, administration, logistics and the administration of military justice. President, Marion County Veterans Council, a 501(c}4 nonprofit, philanthropic organization.



Director, Engineering and Manufacturing Institute of Technology, Marion County School System {Florida). Responsible for faculty coordination, curriculum design and integration, technology acquisition and training, grant budget reconciliation, and all aspects of operational administration. This program was selected as one of only four in the state of Florida to be highlighted in the 1997 Best Practices publication by the Southern Region Education Board.


Staff officer at the Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, serving as the Military Police action officer for force development of the Light Infantry Division, evaluating implied law enforcement and security missions and the structure needed to execute them. Hosted the planning conference and wrote the Anny’s operational concept for Special Operations Forces.


Operations officer, Headquarters, U.S. Army Vietnam, Saigon, planning and coordinating base security functions during the draw-down of U.S. Forces in Vietnam. Conducted physical security inspections of all in-country installations. Also served as the command’s Drug Suppression Officer, planning counter-drug activities, collecting drug intelligence, managing criminal investigations, and briefing the Commanding General on such operations.


Curriculum Development Officer, U.S. Army Military Police School, Fort Gordon, Georgia. Performed systems engineering of qualification-producing courses of instruction: Basic Military Police Officer Course, Polygraph Operator Course, and Correctional Specialist Course.


Deputy Chief, Criminal Investigations Branch, U.S. Army Vietnam, Long Binh, supervising investigative activities throughout the Republic of Vietnam.

Prepared case summaries for the Commanding General, monitored agent expenditures for controlled purchases of drugs and illegal scrap diversions, and reviewed all agent assignments within the command.


Nomination Narrative: 

Colonel Ham retired from the Army after twenty-six years of service in 1995. His last position in the military was as Professor and Deputy Head, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

Within a month he accepted a position to teach Physics, AP Physics and Chemistry at Forest High School, Ocala, Florida. His predecessor in that position had retired unexpectedly over the winter break, and the school was in dire straits. His performance in that role was impressive and the school approached him to join a team of teachers starting a career development academy at the school.

Over the summer of 1995, he was instrumental in developing policies, procedures and curriculum for the Engineering and Manufacturing Institute of Technology (E.M.I.T.}- a magnet program for the district. This program blended honors-level academics, critical thinking skills, leadership training, and technical training, preparing high school students for immediate employment, further technical training or college. After their second year of operation, the program was selected as one of only four in the state of Florida to be highlighted in the 1997 Best Practices publication by the Southern Region Education Board. He would serve as Director and Lead Teacher of E.M.1.T. for nine years, and his leadership earned accolades from the administration, school board, and general public. The student enrollment, that stood at thirteen during its first year, expanded to a steady state of nearly 200 students.

For twelve years during this time, Dr. Ham also served as President of the Marion Education Association, advocating for teachers, negotiating teacher contracts, giving leadership training, and rendering assistance to his peers who might be struggling or in need of professional assistance. He would later serve as Executive Director of the United Service Unit, providing this same support for teachers and support staff in a four-county area. He was also elected as Chair of the NEA Republican Educator Caucus.

Colonel Ham maintained his affiliation with military organizations following his retirement. He would go on to be elected Vice President of the Kingdom of the Sun Chapter, Military Officers Association of America. In this role, he makes all arrangements for the group’s monthly meetings, and brings invited guest speakers to address a myriad of topics of interest and import to his fellow retirees. In 2021, he was presented with the Florida Council of Chapters’ Leadership Award for service to his peers. Th following year, Colonel Ham was presented with the National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award by the North Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America.

ln 2016 Or. Ham was drafted to be the Deputy Superintendent of Operations for the Marion County Public Schools- supervising budget, logistics, maintenance, transportation, and personnel functions in a district serving over 40,000 student and their families. He agreed to do


this during a period of transition and reorganization and served in this role with distinction until 2018. It was during this tenure that he also became involved in the “Stuff the Bus” program.

That program is a charity operated by the Marion County Veterans Council, and it seeks to provide backpacks loaded with school supplies for homeless and needy children.

After retiring again in 2018, Colonel Ham was elected President of the Marion County Veterans Council, and it was in this role that he would greatly expand services provided to homeless and needy veterans and children in the community. Colonel Ham has reached out to the more than fifty veterans organizations in the county in an effort to provide a unified voice for veteran needs locally and regionally. He immediately set about reorganizing the “Stuff the Bus” program, and it grew from providing about 400 backpacks annually, to one that in 2022 delivered over 1,700 backpacks full of school supplies with a value in excess of $72,000. These backpacks are delivered to every elementary and middle school in the county (45), including charter schools, and the backpacks are handed out to qualifying students/families by the school counselors.

This past year he wrote a grant request for a portion of the ARPA Relief Grant monies that were earmarked for nonprofits by the Marion County Board of County Commissioners, securing $50,000 over a three-year period, to expand the “Stuff the Bus” program. He was single-handedly responsible for raising the money to support this program, sending countless letters, and walking the business district soliciting support. He and his family stuffed backpacks in their home until expansion necessitated procurement of storage unit rentals. He delivers virtually every backpack to the schools, logging over 3,000 miles and 900 hours annually purchasing, sorting, storing, organizing, and delivering the materials. He has engaged other veterans groups in the community to assist with the stuffing of the backpacks in a highly efficient assembly line process.

Colonel Ham raised over $11,000 to purchase a bus for the Council – one large enough to transport veterans to various activities. The vehicle serves as a rolling billboard advertising the Council’s engagement in the community. The bus can be seen at various businesses and retirement communities accepting school supply donations and supporting other Council outreach missions.

He also drafted a rewrite of an old Memorandum of Understanding with the school

.district that would expand the “Veterans in the Classroom” program – designed to implement the intent of Florida Statutes 1003.42 to “encourage patriotism, the sacrifices that veterans and Medal of Honor recipients have made in serving our country and protecting democratic values worldwide”. That agreement is scheduled for School Board approval on March 28, 2023.

Another initiative that was developed under his leadership is a landmark agreement with the Board of County Commissioners and various private entities to ensure that veterans, who pass away in the county and are homeless or remain unclaimed by any relatives, are given a full military memorial service. The Council arranges for procurement of an urn with plaque


and a flag, then conducts a full ceremony at the Forest Lawn Cemetery with Honor Guard, flag folding, and rifle salute. Following this service, the remains are returned to the contracted funeral home and transported to the Florida National Cemetery at Bushnell where another brief service is conducted by the Marion County Honor Guard unit. Five such services have been conducted already during the first two months of 2023.

Colonel Ham represents the veteran community on the Marion County Nonprofit Business Council and has cultivated that relationship to increase visibility of veterans and their needs. Since his retirement from active duty in 1995, Colonel Ham has worked tirelessly to serve his fellow veterans and community members.