Dog Tag, Inc. Fellowship Program Alumni
winter Class of 2016
Dog Tag Inc. fellows represent a sample of the talent and drive that exists in the veteran community. Success looks like the faces and stories below now gainfully employed in government, non-profit and corporate enterprises, or entrepreneurs launching their own endeavors!
A graduate of the Winter Class of 2016 Dog Tag Fellowship, Dave Hoopes is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. He received his commission as a second lieutenant upon graduation from the University of Cincinnati through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1991. Throughout his 23-year career, he served in a variety of space, missile, and cyberspace assignments around the world. In 2006, Dave deployed to Baghdad, Iraq where he was assigned to the Multi-National Force-Iraq Headquarters, Strategic Effects Directorate, Economic Division. During this yearlong deployment, he oversaw the development of reconstruction plans for the 9 strategic cities of Iraq (Baghdad, Erbil, Basra, Fallujah, Kirkuk, Mosul, Najaf, Ramadi, and Samarra), assessed the progress of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams, and became the lead US military interface to the Iraqi government to promote agricultural efforts throughout Iraq. In 2015, Dave retired from active duty at the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Dave earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati, a double- major graduate degree in Operations and Management in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University, and a Master of Telecommunications and Network Management degree from Syracuse University.
At the conclusion of the Dog Tag Fellowship Program Dave Hoopes was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America and has begun his culinary training in pursuit of his small business goals.
A graduate of the Winter Class of 2016 Dog Tag Fellowship Program, Darius Johnson served 14 years on Active Duty in the United States Army where he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant (E-6). He continues to serve in the US Army Reserves today, with a military specialty as a Combat Medic. Darius served tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom with 2-3 Infantry Brigade, 3rd Brigade, and the 2nd Infantry Division. Throughout Darius’ career he was stationed at various locations: Ft. Lewis, Ft. Meade, Ft. Gordon, Ft. Sam Houston, Walter Reed Naval Medical Center, USAG Stuttgart, USAG Vicenza and Ft. Hood.
Darius left the Active Component of the Army to pursue personal and educational goals. He is currently a full-time student at Strayer University located in Rockville, Maryland, where his major is Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.
At the conclusion of the Fellowship Program Darius accepted a temporary position with the USO and will soon be receiving the details around his new position with Amazon.
SHAHNAZZ "SHAY" MASON
A graduate of the Winter Class of 2016 Dog Tag Fellowship Program, Shay was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a veteran, a spouse of a veteran, and a caregiver. Shay joined the Army at age 17 and served her country for four years, attaining the rank of Sergeant. As a counterintelligence agent, she served in the 902nd Military Intelligence Group at Fort Meade, Maryland. Aside from her CI duties, she served as editor of the battalion newsletter. Additionally, she earned the skill identifier of Russian Linguist.
After completing her active duty service, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Print Journalism with a Russian minor from Howard University. While a student, she earned the Lucy Moten Fellowship for summer study at Moscow State University in Moscow, Russia. Additionally, she served as a non- governmental observer during the first free elections held in South Africa.
While at Howard she met her husband who later decided to join the U.S. Army. During his service, Shay was a freelance writer for various publications wherever they were stationed. Her favorite topic to write about remains military life. She also taught middle and high school English, History, Bible, Journalism and Criminal Justice as she and her family traveled with each duty assignment.
After combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, her husband entered the Wounded Warrior Program at Walter Reed and was medically retired in 2015. Shay then became a caregiver to her infantryman husband. She and her husband have three sons and one daughter ranging in age from 10 to 22.
Shay, who is also a screenwriter, plans to partner with her husband in business to create media support tools for military families. They will use their varied life experiences in and around the military to help current members of the military, their families, and friends to navigate and thrive in the midst of the unique challenges of military life.
A graduate of the Winter Class of 2016 Dog Tag Fellowship Program, Sargent Richard Pert (RET) grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts where he attended Brockton High School. He played baseball and got very good grades, earning his position on the honor roll throughout his high school career. It was high school where Richard decided to join the US Army. Richard completed basic training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, then moved on to Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood where he attended AIT, advanced training as a military 12N heavy equipment operator. Richard’s first tour in Afghanistan was between 2010 and 2011. While in country he conducted many operations such as convoys, base security and building of bases, route repair, and training of soldiers on different equipment. After returning from that tour, Richard went back overseas as a contractor in Kuwait. There, he conducted base security on Camp Averjon, the largest base in Kuwait. He redeployed with his Army unit back to Afghanistan in 2014 with a different mission. This time they tore down bases, some they had built on their previous tour. Half way through that tour Richard ended up having his appendix out and also falling from his truck and injuring his shoulder. Richard was then sent to Walter Reed in Bethesda, MD. Once at the medical facility Richard was treated for his shoulder injury as well as other injuries. Richard would like to give a special thanks to Walter Reed Medical facility for helping him threw everything and also getting him into this great program at Dog Tag.
At the conclusion of the Dog Tag Fellowship Program Richard started a sales position with Soldier Fit and is also in the process of starting his own contracting business.
A graduate of the Winter Class of 2016 Dog Tag Fellowship Program, Michele is a military spouse of a 20-year plus disabled Army veteran, the daughter of a Korean War veteran and has also been active in the Family Readiness Group at Joint Force Headquarters, Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania for nearly two years. As a military spouse, she worked with many military families and friends, some of whom are currently deployed. As a caretaker of a long time veteran, Michele also knows what things veterans go through and how it affects their families. Michele has much respect for our veterans, their service, and the sacrifices they make for our country.
Michele attended Central Penn Business School from 1984-1985 majoring in Travel & Tourism. She received an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies in 2003 from Harrisburg Area Community College in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has worked for several law firms concentrating on family law, insurance defense and plaintiff work as well as social security disability work. She is a self-employed paralegal.
At the conclusion of the Dog Tag Fellowship Program Michele accepted a position in a law firm just down the street from the bakery! She brings her new colleagues in to contribute to the Dog Tag mission through their regular purchase of cookies.
A graduate of the Winter Class of 2016 Dog Tag Fellowship Program, Peter Scott joined the Army at the age of 19 as a counter-intelligence agent. While in the military, he became an Arabic Linguist and served two tours to Germany as well as deploying to Kosovo, Afghanistan, Qatar and Pakistan. He left the Army in 2010 as a Sergeant First Class.
Since then, Peter has earned an Associates degree in Culinary Arts and worked as a brewer, butcher and cheese maker. His hobbies also include beekeeping and gardening. Peter would like to use the new skills he will learn at Dog Tag, Inc. to give back to the veteran community. He looks forward to establishing a business in the area of food production to provide veterans with healthy food and lifestyle options; options that have helped him improve his own life after service.
Since leaving the military Peter has started building a small family with his wife Christine and their three-year old son Henry. At the conclusion of the Dog Tag Fellowship Program, Pete started his own non-profit Fields 4 Valor.
A graduate of the Winter Class of 2016 Dog Tag Fellowship Program, Dr. Dana Robinson-Street was born in Chicago, IL. After graduating high school, she joined the United States Navy and served her country for almost 26 years as a Radioman, Information System Technician (IT), and Doctorate Prepared Family Nurse Practitioner, Enlisted and Commissioned Officer. She spent more than 24 of her almost 26 years of active duty military service in supervisory, leadership, mentor and staff management positions.
Her education accomplishments include an Associates of Arts Degree from the University of Maryland, Associates of Science Degree from Triton College, Bachelors of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee (Cum Laude), Masters Certification as a Health Professional Educator and Masters of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and a Doctorate Degree from the University of Alabama.
Her medical training includes Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Institutional Medicine, Internal Medicine, Women’s Health, Fast Track, Acute Care Clinic, Pre and Post Operative Surgical Care, Cardiac and Telemetry Care, Mother-Baby, Couplet Care and Orthopedics. Additionally she has made House Calls and served as the only Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) at multiple commands. In addition to her medical experience, Dr. Robinson-Street has volunteered for camps servicing children with special needs and for more than 10 years she educated military and non-military persons of all age ranges in HIV Awareness and Prevention and Community CPR, Safety and First Aid. After retiring, Dr. Robinson-Street indoctrinated herself into the business world as an independent contractor. She is now ready to accomplish her goal of becoming a small business owner.
Despite her multiple military and educational accolades, Dr. Robinson-Street feels that her greatest accomplishment in life is that she is the single mother of three wonderful sons who are all in college earning their degrees in higher education. Dr. Robinson-Street has spent the majority of her life serving and providing service to Veterans and others. Her goal is to continue helping Veterans and Non Veterans as an entrepreneur and small business owner.
A graduate of the Winter Class of 2016 Dog Tag Fellowship Program, Danielle Toman was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the oldest sibling of four brothers and one sister. She grew up with her Father being in the Army and moved about every three years until she was about 16 years of age. Danielle joined the Marine Corps in 2008 and served during the Gulf War Era. She spent her first two years overseas in Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines and was deployed on a MEU. The rest of her two years were spent with the 9th Communications Battalion in Camp Pendleton, California where she was a training NCO for her company and trained civilians/Marines in her MOS. Coming to the terms with her service ending soon because of her disabilities and not being able to do twenty years of service has been hard to imagine, but her hope is that the “Dog Tag Inc” program can help guide her in her transition to a successful career.
Since graduating from the Dog Tag Fellowship Program, Danielle has become a trainer with Cross Fit and continues to pursue her masters degree.