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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 1123-10
December 08, 2010

Department of Defense Holds Annual Disability Awards Ceremony and Forum

            The 30th Annual Department of Defense Disability Awards Ceremony was hosted yesterday by Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Clifford L. Stanley, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda, Md.  This annual event provides an overview of DoD disability policy and initiatives, recognizes DoD organizations for their efforts in the employment of individuals with disabilities, and highlights the accomplishments of DoD employees and service members with disabilities.

            “Diversity encompasses more than race and gender; it’s a source of the strength for the Department of Defense and is key to maintaining our highest state of readiness,” said Stanley.  “These exceptional individuals bring valuable skills and insight to the mission, and we truly appreciate their contributions.”

            Army Capt. Ivan Castro, the only blind officer serving in the Army’s Special Forces, was the keynote speaker.  He discussed how he overcame the challenges he faced after sustaining a near fatal injury in Iraq in 2006, and congratulated the award winners for their hard work. 

            “We are here today to recognize your efforts as you continue to provide your talent, insight, intellect that will assist in breaking down the walls of stereotypes and preconceived notions of what persons with disabilities are capable of accomplishing,” said Castro to the awardees.  “It is because of your efforts, employers are recognizing that talent has no boundaries and there is a vibrant talented pool for hire.  Today is about celebrating our successes.” 

            The following 19 DoD employees and service members with disabilities received Secretary of Defense awards for their outstanding contributions to national security:

            Sherry W. Kidd, Department of the Army
            Army Maj. Bruce P. Gannaway
            Anthony F. Battisti, Department of the Navy
            Ryan D. Long, Department of the Navy
            Marine Corps Capt. Raymond G. Baronie
            Marine Corps Capt. Brent F. Filson
            Skip Sanders, Department of the Air Force
            Henry T. Zerbe III, Army & Air Force Exchange Service
            R. Diane Pope, Defense Commissary Agency
            Zachary S. Smith, Defense Contract Audit Agency
            Tonya Guy-Green, Defense Contract Management Agency 
            Kenneth W. Kramer, Defense Finance and Accounting Service
            Subhash Kumar Roy, Defense Information Systems Agency
            Jamie L. Berke, Defense Intelligence Agency
            Wendy L. Gray, Defense Logistics Agency
            Michael R. Scherr, Defense Threat Reduction Agency
            Ken W. Brewer, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
            Army National Guard Master Sgt. Robert T. Walker
            Allen L. Meadows, National Security Agency

            The following four DoD components received secretary of defense awards for their outstanding achievements in the employment of individuals with disabilities:

            Department of the Navy, best military department
            Defense Logistics Agency, best mid-sized component
            DoD Office of Inspector General, best small component
            National Security Agency, best intelligence component