Frontline: the visible forefront in any action, activity, or field
Soldier: A person dedicated to a cause
Inspired by the Million Man March in October 1995, in 1996 Gerald Thompson volunteered to become the Director of the Inglewood Division of M.A.D. D.A.D.S, Men Against Destruction, Defending Against Drugs and Social disorder. Their activities are designed to promote and demonstrate positive images of men and fathers engaging and protecting their communities, youth and families.
The plan was to continue to bring men together to discuss strategies on how we should address the issues of gangs and violence in our communities and then work on doing it. One of the movements of MAD MADS was providing gang intervention and community street patrols. Gerald reached out to his community and worked with a host of men willing to go into our low-income communities where there were gang activities found and work with youth to bring about a since of community and peace between the different gang neighborhoods. Thus the first meeting of this effort on October 16, 1996 on the first anniversary of The Million Man March we held our first “A Gathering of Men” Breakfast where over 160 men and youth attended which made the first breakfast a rousing success!
In 2000, after stepping down as the Director of MAD DADS Inglewood division, Gerald co-founded Pathways To Your Future (PTYF). Although PTYF focuses on homeless Transitional Age Youth (TAY) ages 16 to 25, Gerald wanted this community breakfast event to continue but with the focus on men, women and youth that might not know of some of their peers in Los Angeles County diverse communities that some would call the unsung heroes, his peers and thus the “Frontline Soldiers” was created and in 2001 “The Frontline Soldiers Wall of Fame Breakfast Fundraiser” was born.
The Frontline Soldiers is the volunteer arm of Pathways To Your Future. The Frontline Soldiers are holistically designed to build an organized network of men, women and youth strategically designed to foster, unity, solidarity and economic empowerment toward the reduction and elimination of homeless youth, gang killings/violence, alcohol and other drug abuse and the prevention of HIV/AIDS to ensure a better quality of life for all.
The Frontline Soldiers (FS) was holistically designed to build an organized network of men strategically designed to foster unity, solidarity and economic empowerment toward the reduction and elimination of gang killings and violence of any kind, alcohol, tobacco & other drug abuse to insure all people have a better quality of life. In 2002 Gerald wanted to make sure we did not forget the heroic action of the women of our communities, for he believes without the women of our communities holding down our homes and communities the violence would be even more overwhelming.
The FS have established a visual presents in our community through our community street patrol training. Some of our volunteers volunteer to attend and support:
Wall of Fame
Frontline Soldier Recipient and Year Inducted
Kenneth Riley, Edward Turley, Charles Norman, Jim Smith, Rodney Brown, Khalid Shaw, Steve Goldsmith, and Glenn Scott
Linda B. Thompson, Mary Coleman, (fallen soldier) Terrell Turntine, Cecil McLinn, Terdric Johnson, Eric Stephens, Kenneth Jordan, Brenda Bell, Kent Swift, Mayor Roosevelt Dorn, Mayor Larry Guidi, Dr. Perry Crouch, Luther Keith, Jr., William Burgess, George Tejeda, Hector Marroquin, Leon Gullette, London Carter, Lloyd Wilkey, Henry Toscano (fallen soldier), Andre Forte, Richard Overturf, Carl Simmons, Pastor Austin Williams, Pastor James Lobdel, Rev. Eric Jones, Rod White, Christopher Randall and James Jacobs
Mentees of the Year
Darnell Young, Charles Weeks, Rickey Porter, Mike Ruiz, Kendrick Gaines, William Hobbs, Donshay Williams, Hassan Brooks, and Edwin Lee
Ernest Austin, Ben Stephens, Maria Palacios, Rev. Alfonzo Washington, Bishop Edward Turner, Jacquie Stephens, Gerald Burgess, Brad Carson, Sergio Paz, Quentin Drew (fallen soldier), Andrew Henderson, (fallen solider) Jai Rich, Kevin Mustafa Fletcher, Robert Naranjo, Vicky Lindsay, Meschellia Johnson, Rita Norwood, Sheriff Lee Baca, Deputy Chief Earl Paysinger, Inglewood City Councilmember Curren Price, and Los Angeles Councilmember Jan Perry
David Korbin, De. Steven Tucker, Rev. Leonard Jackson, Miguel Gomez (posthumous award), Art Cases (posthumous award), Aquil Baheer, Henry Brown, Dwight Radcliff, Rod Simmons, Kenneth (KB) Bell, Kenneth Mitchell, Jhayne Eddy, Gloria Montana, Inglewood Police Officer Nicole Loudermilk, County of Los Angeles and 2nd Supervisorial District Chief of Staff John Hill
Mentees of the Year
Antwione Simms, Keith Franklin and Andre Christopher
Bill Gay, D’Andre Cole, Samuel Bingham, Pastor Jonathan Lee, James Harris, Rev. Dr. Lewis Logan II, Minister Tony Muhammad, Doris Dillon, Gwen Bolden, Debra Reid, Inglewood Police Officer Robert Cavazos and Los Angeles Councilmember Bernard Parks
Mentees of the Year
Casey Price and Antoinisha Jordan
Congresswoman Maxine Waters; LAPD Deputy Chief Patrick Gannon; West Basin Water District Director Gloria Gray; Marqueece Harris Dawson CEO of the Community Coalition; Percell Keeling & Apryl Sims, owners of Simply Wholesome Health Food Store & Restaurant.
And Posthumous Award inductees: former Recycling Black Dollars CEO Muhammad Nasserdeen, and Soledad Enrichment Action (S.E.A.) CEO Caesar Calderon,;,
2015 Honorary: LAPD, Stinson Brown,
Faith-Base Empowerment Team (FBET): There is but one ultimate authority and that one is God. This team is responsible to keep the Frontline Soldiers mission spiritually focused and to keep faith-based communities, churches and efforts involved in all we do.
Unity and Solidarity Empowerment Team (USET): This team is responsible for developing strategies designed to create a climate that promotes unity and solidarity that empowers the collective.
Economic Empowerment Team (EET): This team develops insightful economic plans and strategies for identifying and securing financial resources thus generating economic power.
Event Planning Empowerment Team (EPET): This team is responsible for developing and planning all events and activities rooted in community spirit. This includes activities such as The Gathering of Men Breakfast, unity marches, community protests, rallies and other empowerment activities. This effort includes contacting necessary parties to secure site, permits, equipment, time frame available, event set up, and logistical arrangements for events.
Fatherhood Initiative and Mentor Empowerment Team: This team is responsible for implementing President Barack Obama Fatherhood Initiative following his Press Conference held in Washington D.C. June 21st 2010. “The question put to the nation was how can we as a nation not just government, but businesses, community groups and concern citizens all come together to help fathers meet their responsibilities to our families and communities”. The Frontline Soldiers have chosen to research and provide manhood/womanhood training model through implementation of training clinic(s) that focuses on enhancing skills that support positive transitions into manhood/womanhood so to become self-sufficient.
Political Action Empowerment Team (PAET): This team serves as a voice for social policy in political arenas that result in building political alliances and updating programs efforts toward policy and service delivery.