Joseph W. Westphal, under secretary of the Army, presented the awards.
"I have visited commands all over the world, and wherever I run into our military and civilians serving this great Army and this great nation, and performing government service, I'm always inspired by their dedication, their enthusiasm, their skill, and their integrity in all of our public servants. So today we are honoring some of our best," Westphal said.
A large contingent from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers showed up to celebrate with two of their own; Gwendolyn Taylor, USACE Equal Employment Opportunity officer from Vicksburg, Miss., and Lloyd C. Caldwell, USACE director of programs for the North Atlantic Division in Brooklyn, N.Y.
After leaving Public Affairs, Taylor began work in EEO where she's been for 25 years. She received the Secretary of the Army Award for Diversity and Leadership in Equal Employment Opportunity (Professional).
"I love working with people. You have to be a people person working in EEO. The main thing is you have to treat people with dignity and respect.
"In Vicksburg, we don't have special days for certain ethnic groups. We have what we call everybody days. We want everybody to be included," Taylor said.
Her "outstanding leadership of the Equal Employment Opportunity Program has caused it to excel tremendously," according to her citation. It went on to say her "vision and dedication have fostered a fair and level playing field where all employees have the opportunity to achieve their full potential based on merit principles."
Caldwell, who has been with USACE for about 40 years and still going strong, received the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service
"I was with our North Atlantic Division as our programs director, and in the course of that job, responsible for the Corps of Engineers execution in the northeastern part of the U.S. and in Europe and a little bit of things we do in Africa, and also spent the better part of a year in Iraq, serving with our Gulf Region Division," Caldwell said.
One of the best things in working for the Corps of Engineers, he said, is the wide diversity of projects.
"Working in the northeastern U.S., where the North Atlantic Division is responsible, we not only work at Army installations, but also things that we're doing for superfund EPA, for example, and we've gotten involved with things that are real surprising," Caldwell said.
After World War II, he said, munitions that were disposed off the coast in the ocean waters found their way onshore, so USACE got involved in helping clear those things off of beaches.
"But over the last few years, we have an unprecedented workload with new construction under the Base Realignment and Closure, so a lot of work in the National Capital Region," Caldwell said.
USACE has also assisted the Boy Scouts when they held their National Jamboree at Fort AP Hill, Va.
"Also, the Civil Works mission of the Corps provides support of our harbors, navigation on our inland waterways, and coastal restoration," Caldwell said.
His "superb leadership and keen strategic vision were instrumental in the development and execution of all military, civil works, environmental, inter-agency and international programs throughout the North Atlantic Division. His outstanding technical expertise and supervision ensured the resounding success of a joint staff of Army, Navy and Air Force personnel responsible for engineering and construction across the entire spectrum of national infrastructure development and support to coalition forces throughout Iraq," according to the award.
Other Secretary of the Army Award winners included:
Diversity and Leadership in Equal Employment Opportunity (Leader): Col. Anthony D. Reyes, garrison commander, U.S. Army Installation Management Command Headquarters, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Monroe, Va.; and Ronald E. Chronister, deputy to the commander, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Award: Kresten Cook, deputy commander for Maintenance Operations, Corpus Christi Army Depot, Corpus Christi, Texas
Editor of the Year Award (Command): Miriam Benz, writer-editor, Document Management Branch, Host Nation Liaison Field Operating Activity, U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Europe Region, Schwetzingen, Germany
Editor of the Year (Departmental): Kathleen A. Anshant, writer-editor, Office of the Administrative Assistant to the Secretary of the Army, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Publications Improvements (Command Group): Tamara Pasquale, web designer, Document Management Branch, Host Nation Liaison Field Operating Activity, IMCOM, Schwetzingen, Germany
Publications Improvements (Command Group): Natascha J. Syre, Army in Europe publications control officer, Document Management Branch, Host Nation Liaison Field Operating Activity, IMCOM, Europe Region, Schwetzingen, Germany; and Robert L. Mohler, information technology specialist, Document Management Branch, Host Nation Liaison Field Operating Activity, IMCOM, Europe Region, Schwetzingen, Germany
Suggester of the Year (Civilian): Jordan T. Dant, explosives handler, Industrial Operations Division, Manufacturing and Engineering Directorate, Crane Army Ammunition Activity, Crane, Ind.
Suggester of the Year (Military Group): Chief Warrant Officer 4 Merle D. Goodall, battalion standardization instructor pilot, IMCOM, Fort Campbell, Ky.; and Chief Warrant Officer 4 James E. Lemons, instructor pilot/maintenance test pilot evaluator, F Company, 1-212 Aviation Regiment, 110th Aviation Brigade, Fort Rucker, Ala.
Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service: Larry A. Kappel, chief, facilities management, Bassett Army Community Hospital, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Alaska, Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Michelle P. Shanks, data quality manager, Resource Management Division, Reynolds Army Community Hospital, Fort Sill, Okla.; and Michael D. Starry, deputy director and, for varying periods of time, the acting director, Concept Development and Learning Directorate, Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Va.