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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 613-02
December 03, 2002

DOD RECOGNIZES OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES

The Defense Department today recognized the outstanding contributions of sixteen employees with disabilities in a ceremony at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency Hotel, Bethesda, Md. Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Charles S. Abell hosted the department's 22nd Annual Disability Awards, which also recognized defense organizations with outstanding affirmative action programs for people with disabilities.

The sixteen employees with disabilities who received awards for outstanding performance in 2002 were:

Ms. Kathleen S. Baumgartner, Department of the Air Force

Mr. David J. Cruzan, Defense Intelligence Agency

Mr. Joseph P. Doyle, Office of the Inspector General

Mr. Samuel T. Garcia, National Security Agency

Mr. George H. Gonzalez, Army and Air Force Exchange Service

Mr. James R. Johnson, Defense Logistics Agency

Mr. Felix F. Kalendek III, Defense Security Service

Mr. Jay D. Nobles, Department of the Army

Ms. Margaret E. Mehaffie, Defense Information Systems Agency

Ms. Debra L. Moose, National Imagery and Mapping Agency

Ms. Deborah A. Mundt, Defense Commissary Agency

Ms. Ruthann D. Pest, Defense Contract Management Agency

Mr. Daniel J. Philbin, Office of the Secretary of the Defense

Mr. Solomon V. Rakhman, Department of the Navy

Ms. Nashana M. Riley, Defense Threat Reduction Agency

Mr. Bobby F. Vercher, Defense Contract Audit Agency

Three defense organizations received 2002 Secretary of Defense Trophies for Employing People with Disabilities:

Department of the Air Force, for Best Military Department

Defense Logistics Agency, for Best Mid-Size Component (more than 30,000 civilians)

Defense Security Service, for Best Small Component (less than 30,000 civilians)

Award winners were chosen during the department's Disability Employment Awareness Month in October 2002.

Currently, more than 47,000 people with disabilities work for the Defense Department. Six thousand of these have severe disabilities targeted by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for emphasis in providing job opportunies.