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Defense Department Civilians Receive Global War on Terror Medal

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2008 – Fourteen Defense Department civilians became the first to receive the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism during a ceremony at the Pentagon today.

The medal, approved Aug. 7, 2007, recognizes the contribution of DoD civilians operating in direct support of military forces engaged in the war on terror.

According to Pentagon statistics, seven DoD civilians have been killed in the line of duty in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Since Sept. 11, 2001, more than 16,000 DoD civilians have qualified for the award, according to Patricia Bradshaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for civilian personnel policy.

One of the awardees today, Natalie Sudman, was wounded by an improvised explosive device while performing her mission for the Army Corps of Engineers in Iraq.

“We are asking more of our civilian employees in this war than in the past,” said David S. C. Chu, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. “We are asking them to be part of an expeditionary force.”

Chu said civilian specialists not only are helping maintain combat forces, but also are helping the Iraqi and Afghan governments set up and maintain democratic institutions.

DoD civilians are on the front lines of the war on terror, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England said. “This is truly a counterinsurgency operation,” he said before presenting the awards.

Operations against terrorism require the special skills civilians bring, England said. DoD civilians are working in provincial reconstruction teams, rebuilding Afghan and Iraqi infrastructure, building institutions, and helping run whole cities, he noted.

The criteria for the award mirror those for the military’s Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal. The medal is authorized to civilian employees who provide direct support to military operations in locations designated a combat zone. “Employees must be engaged in direct support for 30 consecutive days, 60 non-consecutive days or -- regardless of time -- be killed or medically evacuated from the area of eligibility,” according to a DoD news release.

DoD has delegated the authority to make the award to component heads.

The U.S. Army Institute of Heraldry designed the award, and it should be available through the Defense Supply System in March.

In addition to Sudman, the inaugural awardees are Carol King, Army Materiel Command; Scott R. Adams, Marine Corps Systems Command; Gilbert R. Reed III, Navy financial management and comptroller; Beverly Hall, Defense Language Institute; Marion Andrews Jr., Defense Threat Reduction Agency; John A. Carper III, DoD Inspector General Office; Aleck K. Holcomb, Defense Information Systems Agency; Ronald C. Meldonian, Defense Contract Audit Agency; David J. Munger, DISA; James Rogner, Defense Security Service; Fred A. Runnels, Defense Finance and Accounting Service; Larry Spalding, Defense Logistics Agency; and Celeste L. Ward, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.

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Biographies:
Gordon England
David S. C. Chu


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