Perry Awards "M" Device to Reserve Components
By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 6, 1996 Secretary of Defense William J. Perry recently presented a new award called the "M" device to more than 220,000 members of the reserve components in recognition of their active duty service in crisis operations during the last six years.
Recipients wear the bronze "M" mobilization device on the Armed Forces Reserve Medal. President Clinton established Aug. 1, 1990, as the effective date for qualifying for the award. Perry pinned the device on the first 14 representatives of the Army National Guard, Air National Guard, and the Army, Naval, Marine, Air Force and Coast Guard reserves during a recent Pentagon ceremony.
"I wonder how many of the American public knows that more than 220,000 guardsmen and reservists have served in contingency operations the last six years," Perry said. "Well, one of the things this 'M' award does will be not only to thank and recognize the individuals, but also to let the public know what their Guard and Reserve forces are doing for them."
He said the device stands not only for the guardsmen and reservists' service, but also for the unique sacrifices that mobilization means. "For you," he said, "mobilization means totally uprooting your lives, leaving not only your families, but also your jobs and your everyday communities."
The Department of Defense and the nation count on the Guard and Reserves as part of the team that's "on the first string whenever and wherever America's military is needed," Perry said.
"We can't conduct any significant contingency operation without calling on the Guards, without calling on the Reserves," he said. "We don't even think about conducting an operation without them."
DoD needs the unique perspective guardsmen and reservists bring to the job, Perry said. "The professional skills that you apply in your civilian jobs are increasingly important to many of the unique military missions we must perform today," he said.
The 14 device recipients at the Pentagon ceremony were:
- Maryland Army National Guard Capt. Drew Sullins, a public affairs officer with the 29th Public Affairs Detachment, for participation in Operation Joint Endeavor in Bosnia.
- Arkansas Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Susan E. Hurley, for Desert Storm. Hurley serves as personnel specialist for the National Guard Bureau in Washington.
- Army Reserve Lt. Col. Harry Dobson and Staff Sgt. Gary May, for Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti. Dobson and May are assigned to the 352nd Civil Affairs Command, Riverdale, Md.
- Naval Reserve Lt. Cmdr. Ashley Laing and Petty Officer 3rd Class Edward Brackney, for Joint Endeavor. Laing is a crisis action center watch officer and contingency planner with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Alexandria, Va. Brackney, assigned to the Navy Marine Construction Battalion 21, Lakehurst, N.J., supported Joint Endeavor as a construction mechanic in Rota, Spain, preparing vehicles and heavy construction equipment transiting through Spain on its return from Bosnia to the states.
- Marine Corps Reserve 1st Lt. David Sandvold and Cpl. Jonathan Gonzales, for Desert Storm. Sandvold, then a sergeant, was mobilized in November 1990; he earned a commission in 1992 and is now a reserve affairs accessions plans officer at Marine Corps headquarters in Washington. Gonzales had been in the service only eight months and assigned to Anacostia Naval Station in Washington for 18 days when his unit was mobilized and sent to the Persian Gulf.
- Maryland Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Christine M. Lang, a flight engineer with the 135th Airlift Squadron, Martin State Airport, Baltimore, for Desert Shield.
- District of Columbia Air National Guard Senior Airman Sekou O. Richardson, for Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
- Air Force Reserve 1st Lt. Roger Bott, for Operation Restore Hope in Somalia in 1994. He is an assistant training officer with the 756th Airlift Squadron, 459th Airlift Wing, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
- Air Force Reserve Staff Sgt. Jasper J. Barrett, for Desert Storm and Restore Hope. A self-employed photographer in civilian life, Barrett is a cargo processor in the 69th Aerial Port Squadron, 459th Airlift Wing, Andrews Air Force Base, Md.
- Coast Guard Reserve Chief Warrant Officer John J. Brown and Petty Officer 1st Class Eugene Beach, for Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Brown and Beach, who work together in civilian life as firefighters in Fairfax County, Va., served together in Marine Security Offices in Wilmington, Del., and Charleston, S.C., during the military operations.