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Rumsfeld Presents Awards to DoD Leaders

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2006 – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld thanked men and women of the Defense Department during a ceremony at the Pentagon today.

Rumsfeld, who steps down as secretary Dec. 18, wanted to recognize all that servicemembers and civilians in the department have done in the past six years.

“I begin with the men and women of our armed forces,” he said. “They risk their lives, thousands of miles from home. They bring relief and safety to victims of tsunamis and earthquakes and hurricanes, and they go for months at a time without seeing their loved ones.”

Rumsfeld recalled his trip last weekend to thank the troops in Iraq for their sacrifices. “I told them how much we appreciate their service, and how important their sacrifice is to their fellow Americans,” he said. “I have never ceased to be inspired by their courage, their professionalism and their determination.”

The secretary then presented the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service to 32 military and civilian employees of the Pentagon during the ceremony.

Those honored included Meg Falk for 9/11 Family Supprt, Lisa Disbrow and Air Force Col. Robert Nolan for combating stress on the force, Army Col. Michael Stout for the provincial reconstruction team concept, retired Army Lt. Gen. Mick Kicklighter and his team for Iraqi and Enduring Freedom assessments, retired Army Gen. Montgomery Meigs for the Improvised Explosive Device Task Force and Navy Rear Adm. Michael Lefever for leading Pakistan earthquake relief.

Also honored were: Retired Army Lt. Gen. Gus Pagonis of the Defense Business Board, Allison Barber for public and community outreach -- most notably, for the department's "America Supports You" program, Theresa Whelan for her work in Africa policy, James MacDougall for his work with Central Asia policy and Army Lt. Gen. Steve Blum for Katrina relief.

Honorees also included Air Force Lt. Gen. Trey Obering for restructuring the missile defense program, Navy Vice Adm. Stanley Szemborski for budget and analysis support, Richard Lawless for East Asia policy and Philip Grone and his team for base realignment and closure.

The secretary honored Andrew Marshall for defense transportation policy, William Haynes and Daniel Dell’Orto and their team for legal initiatives, Paul McHale and Peter Verga and their team for homeland defense capabilities, Thomas Hall for negotiating Iceland transformation and Dr. William Winkenwerder for military medicine enhancements.

Rumsfeld also presented awards to Ryan Henry and his team for the Quadrennial Defense Review effort, Peter Geren for all-around DoD excellence, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen and Air Force Gen. Mike Moseley for transitional support for nontraditional missions, Gen. Peter Schoomaker for Army transformation and Steven Cambone for intelligence transformation.

Finally, the secretary presented awards to David Chu for the department’s language and regional training initiative, Ken Krieg for business process transformation and Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England and his team for the National Security Personnel System.

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