Pentagon Officials Recognize Spirit of Public Service
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 9, 2012 Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter today recognized 31 civil service employees in a Pentagon courtyard ceremony for their service to the nation as part of the Defense Department’s observance of Public Service Recognition Week.
“We’re here for [these awardees], but also celebrate the spirit of public service which really defines this department,” Carter said, noting that public service defines what the people in DOD do every day.
Carter was joined by Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley, Navy Secretary Raymond Mabus, Thomas R. Lamont, assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, and Vice Adm. Harry B. Glass Jr., assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during the "Spirit of Service" ceremony.
Carter said the country is in a “very auspicious and consequential time.”
“Last week, the nation observed an important anniversary,” he explained. “One year ago, a team of Navy SEALs embarked on a successful mission to bring Osama bin Laden to justice. The moment moved the nation and transfixed the world. It helped heal the still-open wound from Sept. 11, 2001, including at this very location, and once again put the bravery, selflessness and the heroism of our men and women on display.
“When the news broke, I’m told it froze Twitter for a while because the technology couldn’t process the outpouring of thoughts and feelings,” he added.
“It was … another decisive moment for this wonderful department and the military,” he said. “And it was an achievement for all who work to defend and protect this nation, and really, this world.”
The deputy defense secretary said 9/11 led to the United States developing new doctrine in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, and new skills in protecting the nation from nonstate groups.
“We learned to work effectively with other departments and agencies of government, with our international allies and partners,” Carter said. “We built a strong bond between intelligence and military operations.”
The country was only able to adapt on such a large scale and with such speed because of the people within the Defense Department, Carter said.
“So on behalf of [Defense] Secretary [Leon E.] Panetta, I thank each and every one of you, and each and every one of you in the courtyard today for your service,” he said.
The deputy secretary offered his congratulations to the honorees at the ceremony, telling them they embody the spirit of public service. He praised them for their work in a variety of jobs, such as analyzing intelligence, facilitating logistics, managing human resources, overseeing information systems, engaging Congress, and developing critical strategies and plans.
“Through all of this and more, you enable our warfighter and you help the senior leadership make important decisions,” he said. “Your hard work, and that of so many others, is what keeps us strong. It’s not an abstract thing.”
The Defense Department has a critical mission, Carter said, and everyone involved should know their work matters. “Every day, each of us should, and can, wake up and know, that we’re making a real tangible difference for the United States and global security,” he said.
Carter told the audience that in an address to Congress, President Harry S. Truman said, “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”
“Over 60 years later,” Carter said, “that same spirit permeates this country: determination, imagination, courage. Those qualities define this department. I see it every day in each and every one of you.”