Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld today awarded Jay Garner the Defense Department Distinguished Medal for Public Service in recognition of his exceptionally distinguished service as the director of the Office Of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in post-war Iraq.
From January to June of 2003, Garner developed, and led into Iraq a team of U.S. and coalition professionals to begin the important task of reconstruction and humanitarian assistance in a country racked from three decades of neglect and conflict. Immediately following the combat phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the defeat of Saddam Hussein's regime, Garner deployed his team throughout the country and began to restore power and water, recall civil servants to work, reestablish the basic functions of the Iraqi government ministries, and municipal services, and restore confidence among the Iraqi people.
The Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service is the highest honorary award presented by DoD to private citizens. Nominations for this award demonstrate distinguished or meritorious service of significance to the Department of Defense; personal sacrifice and inconvenience in the performance or assistance of such service; and motivation by patriotism, good citizenship, and a sense of public responsibility