Allen is an inspiration

Published 10:46 am Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Madisonville native Maj. Gen. Dr. Roosevelt Allen’s story of being raised on his family’s farm in Charlotte County to being named director of medical operations and research at the Air Force headquarters in Falls Church and chief of dental corps is very inspirational.

If you read the front page feature last week by The Gazette’s Anna Bultrowicz, you quickly learned that hard work was at the foundation of Allen’s upbringing and continues to be a paramount trait he possesses.

Allen has won several awards for his hard work, including a Bronze Star Medal, the Maj. Gen. Harold Mashburn Excellence in Leadership award and a Legion of Merit with an oak leaf cluster.

Another trait instilled in Allen and his siblings was the importance of education.

His parents, who didn’t complete high school, believed that education was important to becoming a productive member of society.

Four of their children, including Roosevelt, went to college, and all of his siblings graduated from high school.

After graduating from Randolph-Henry High School in 1978, he received a bachelor of arts from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He went on to receive his doctorate in dental surgery from Howard University’s College of Dentistry.

Allen is a great role model for young people in Charlotte County and across the Heart of Virginia. Combined with his background of agriculture and hard work, he understood that educational determination was a must to become successful.

Another trait he promotes with young people is working with others.

“I told (the students) that … whatever they do in life they should try to live their life like a pencil,” Allen told The Gazette. “The first thing about a pencil is that it cannot work by itself. It must be held by another, which demonstrates teamwork.”

A proud product of Charlotte County, he demonstrates the importance of education in being successful in life, and I hope young people, especially students, take note of his determination.

Jordan Miles is managing editor of The Charlotte Gazette. His email address is