Walter B. Slocombe, the under secretary of Defense for Policy, received the Joseph J. Kruzel Award today for distinguished service in the pursuit of peace.
In announcing the award, Defense Secretary William S. Cohen said, "Over the past eight years, Walt Slocombe has been the indispensable agent on behalf of our nation's defense."
Cohen called Slocombe "the steady hand in every crisis" and specifically praised his work to bring peace to the Balkans and to the Korean peninsula (the text of Cohen's complete remarks can be found at http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/2000/s20001103-secdef.html ).
As the under secretary of Defense for Policy since 1994, Slocombe has worked extensively with the Joint Staff, the State Department and the National Security Council to formulate and carry out the nation's security policy (Slocombe's biography is available at http://www.defenselink.mil/bios/usdp_bio.html ).
Joseph J. Kruzel, who directed European policy in the Department of Defense as the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for European and NATO affairs, died on a peace mission to Bosnia in August of 1995. He, along with Robert Frasure of the State Department and Col. Nelson Drew, were riding in an armored personal carrier that slid off the Mt. Igman road to Sarajevo, Bosnia. All three were killed. They were accompanying Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Gen. Wesley Clark at the start of talks that ultimately produced the Dayton Peace Accords.
In addition to his work for peace in Bosnia, Kruzel was instrumental in establishing the Partnership for Peace.
"It is particularly fitting, therefore, that this year's recipient of the Kruzel Award is not only a friend and colleague of Joe's, but the man who 'pressed ahead' with the noble work that Joe had begun," Cohen said.