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Rumsfeld Awards Multinational Corps Leaders

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Dec. 10, 2006 – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld decorated two senior members of the Multinational Corps Iraq during a ceremony here yesterday.

Rumsfeld presented the Bronze Star to Army Command Sgt. Maj. Ralph Beam, the corps sergeant major, and the Distinguished Service Medal to Corps Commander Army Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli.

Chiarelli and Beam are a team at the top of the multinational corps. “When we first put this together, we agreed he would take care of the politics and I would take care of the soldiers,” Beam said following the presentation. Beam put thousands of miles on his vehicles traveling throughout the country to assess morale and ensure everything that could be done for servicemembers’ safety was being done.

Rumsfeld said the corps has done exceptional work in the past year. The corps helped provide security for the long process of forming the Iraqi government, he said.

The corps has also provided impetus to the training and equipping effort for the Iraq army and Iraqi police, Rumsfeld said. Chiarelli put in place more trainers and devoted more manpower and equipment to making Iraqi security forces potent.

Both men received the award in a corps conference room set up so their wives could watch the proceedings. Chiarelli and Beam return to their home base in Heidelberg, Germany, this week.

Rumsfeld arrived in Iraq yesterday to thank the troops for their service. The secretary visited personnel in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, in and around Baghdad and in Mosul.

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Donald H. Rumsfeld

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