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Robert Nichols - a Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Secretary of Defense Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Medal recipient -is congratulated by NSWCDD Technical Director Carl Siel at a July 27 Dahlgren, Va., ceremony. Nichols was instrumental in the successful operation of a counter-IED system while serving as a senior in-theater technical lead in support of Operation New Dawn under the Commander of United States Forces - Iraq.
DAHLGREN, Va. -- Naval Sea Systems Command Executive Director Brian Persons joined Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Commander Capt. Michael Smith and NSWCDD Technical Director Carl Siel to honor 21 recipients of the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) at a ceremony held at Dahlgren July 27.
The Secretary of Defense GWOT Medal was presented to the awardees - all NSWC Dahlgren employees - to recognize and honor their contributions and accomplishments in direct support of the armed forces engaged in operations to combat terrorism.
"Today's GWOT awardees witnessed the daunting tasks facing our men and women in theater," said Persons. "The work you are doing is very important and very, very honorable. You are protecting our military force."
The medal is the civilian equivalent of the GWOT Expeditionary Medal awarded to our military members. The award of this medal acknowledges the essential service of the Department's civilian workforce supporting and maintaining the security of our nation.
Andrew Watkins - a Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Secretary of Defense Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Medal recipient -is congratulated by Naval Sea Systems Command Executive Director Brian Persons (right) and NSWCDD Commander Capt. Michael Smith at a July 27 Dahlgren, Va., ceremony. Watkins was instrumental to the successful operations of a counter-IED system while serving as in-theater technical lead in support of Operation New Dawn under the Commander of United States Forces - Iraq.
"Our Navy military can expect an assignment in theater, but our Navy civilians probably did not realize that their jobs might take them to Iraq and Afghanistan," said Smith. " Today's honorees, however, recognized the importance of involving warfighters and obtaining their operational perspective - and were willing to step out of the safe labs into harm's way."
Persons, Smith and Siel presented the Secretary of Defense GWOT Medal to 11 Dahlgren employees for their individual deployments and achievements in theater. They also recognized 10 members of the Joint Program Office-Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle Program team who received their GWOT medals while deployed.
"These dedicated members of our workforce directly supported our warfighters in theater," said Smith in a letter published in the ceremony's brochure. "In several cases, they deployed to dangerous locations where they joined troops to field weapons, solved security challenges, and performed troubleshooting in real time scenarios."
Six members of the Joint Program Office-Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (JPO-MRAP) Vehicle Program team are pictured at the Secretary of Defense Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Medal ceremony held at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) July 27. NSWCDD Technical Director Carl Siel (far left), NSWCDD Commander Capt. Michael Smith, and Naval Sea Systems Command Executive Director Brian Persons (far right) honored 10 JPO-MRAP Vehicle Program team members in addition to 11 individuals at the event.
Individual employees receiving the Secretary of Defense GWOT Medal were David Richardson, Laura Maple, Matthew Ketner, Brian Kinsey, Aaron Wallo, Steve McCoy, Eric Lindal, Mark Bailey, Andrew Watkins, Michael Rose and Robert Nichols.
The Joint Program Office-MRAP Vehicle Program team members honored were Bill Turner, Gordon Shaw, John Schultz, Delmar Lester, Lesley Painchaud, Scott Wise, Crystal Brown, Evan Fiery, Sheila Conyers and Timothy Niemczyk.
"Our award recipients are an inspiration and example for all," Capt. Smith continued in his letter. "Their work makes a difference on a daily basis to the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States military. The people we honor today exemplify a workforce that is the very best. Also, the role of their families in their success must not be understated. Their patience and understanding of the long hours and extended travel are greatly appreciated."