Carter Pays Tribute to 9 DOD Honorees
By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2013 Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter honored nine employees today with the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, which recognizes exceptional devotion to duty that leads to significant contributions in policy, science, technology and administration.
At a Pentagon ceremony, Carter, in referring to the budget situation that triggered the recent government shutdown and furloughs, said it’s times like these that make it important to honor DOD’s outstanding employees “who have made significant contributions for our country, and to get a chance to see the incredible impact that dedicated employees can make."
Carter noted that despite the challenges faced by DOD, the military and the country, the honorees exemplify the qualities and determination that allow the department to meet the challenges “head on.”
Citing great variation in the awardees’ contributions, Carter said one recipient increased the defensibility of DOD’s information network and transformed the way information is collected and shared; another mitigated national security risks of foreign investments; and still another investigated health risks for servicemen and servicewomen deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I’m particularly proud of the many initiatives made by our honorees that focused on leading the urgent needs of our warfighters on the battlefield,” Carter said. “Many of their efforts have also saved the department billions of dollars, which is also appreciated during these times of shrinking budgets and fiscal uncertainty.”
A single individual was selected for the ninth-annual DOD David O. Cooke Excellence in Public Administration Award, named for the late “mayor” of the Pentagon, 55-year “Doc” Cooke, which was established in Cooke’s name to recognize one person each year who demonstrates top leadership potential as a future federal executive.
Expressing gratitude for DOD’s civilian workforce in a time of budget uncertainty, Carter said civilians continue to care about national defense. “You get to wake up every morning and take part of something that’s bigger than yourself. And for that, [Defense] Secretary [Chuck] Hagel and I and the entire department … are incredibly grateful,” he added.
The award honorees are:
--DOD David O. Cooke Excellence in Public Administration Awardee: Josiah A. B. S. Dykstra, technical lead, computer network operations advanced research team, National Security Agency, Fort Meade, Md.
Recipients of the DOD Distinguished Civilian Service Award are:
--Lonny A. Anderson, director, technology directorate, NSA, office of the undersecretary of defense for intelligence
--Dr. Steven F. Butler, executive director, Air Force materiel command
--Jo Ann Decker, acting principal deputy, assistant secretary of the Navy for financial management and comptroller
--Carl Gotzmer, research physicist, naval surface warfare center, Indian Head [Md.] explosive ordnance disposal technology division
--Robert S. Jack III, director, communications and information, Air Force global strike command
--Dr. R. Craig Postlewaite, director, force readiness and health assurance, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness
--Dr. Leonard A. Smith, senior research scientist, Army medical research institute of infectious diseases
--Frank W. Zardecki, deputy commander, Tobyhanna Army depot.
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkAFPS)