Gates Accepts Patriot Award on Behalf of Troops

WASHINGTON — Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates was award­ed the 2010 Amer­i­can Patri­ot Award last night for out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to the intel­li­gence, nation­al secu­ri­ty, and defense com­mu­ni­ties.
In accept­ing the pres­ti­gious award, Gates said he was doing so on behalf of all the young men and women in uni­form who serve their coun­try in time of war.

Gates received the Nation­al Defense Uni­ver­si­ty Foundation’s award at a cer­e­mo­ny here for his con­tri­bu­tions dur­ing four decades of gov­ern­ment service. 

“Tonight we sit and enjoy this won­der­ful occa­sion and each other’s com­pa­ny, but we must nev­er for­get that our com­fort and safe­ty are borne on the brave and broad shoul­ders of those young men and women in uni­form,” he said. 

In hon­or­ing ser­vice­mem­bers, Gates quot­ed Gen. George C. Mar­shall, the Army chief of staff dur­ing World War II and Nobel Peace Prize win­ner for whom The Mar­shall Plan to rebuild Europe after the war is named. 

“More sac­ri­fices will be required of them to defend the secu­ri­ty and free­dom of our coun­try in this dan­ger­ous new cen­tu­ry,” he said. “And it is our duty — it is, indeed, our sacred oblig­a­tion — in Marshall’s words, to make things well for them.” 

Their well-being, Gates added, is his con­tin­u­ing high­est priority. 

Among more than 600 guests were senior defense and mil­i­tary offi­cials, includ­ing Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary William J. Lynn III, senior admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials, mem­bers of Con­gress and cor­po­rate and com­mu­ni­ty leaders. 

In his com­ments, Gates rec­og­nized retired Repub­lic of Korea Army Gen. Paik Sun-yup, who trav­eled from South Korea to attend the gala. 

“For those of you who don’t know,” Gates said, “Gen­er­al Paik was the ROK army’s youngest and fiercest divi­sion com­man­der dur­ing the Kore­an War and for near­ly six decades has been one of America’s most stead­fast friends. 

“Sir,” Gates told him, “I’m pleased that you came so far to be here, and thank you.” 

Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Vice Adm. Ann Ron­deau and oth­ers spoke on Gates’ behalf. 

“The Amer­i­can Patri­ot Award is pre­sent­ed each year to a cit­i­zen whose sac­ri­fice and ded­i­ca­tion stand out as remark­able,” Ron­deau, pres­i­dent of Nation­al Defense Uni­ver­si­ty, said. 

“To some­one who answers the call to pub­lic ser­vice, patri­o­tism is not a con­cept. It is a com­mit­ment, it is a duty upon which we act,” she added. “This lev­el of com­mit­ment is what Nation­al Defense Uni­ver­si­ty Foun­da­tion prizes above all else. It is what we rec­og­nize and acknowl­edge every year and again this year.” 

Cartwright thanked the uni­ver­si­ty staff, pro­fes­sors, exec­u­tives and the Nation­al Defense Uni­ver­si­ty Foun­da­tion for “mak­ing a dif­fer­ence” to all the field-grade offi­cers and gen­er­al offi­cers who attend the insti­tu­tion, edu­cat­ing them­selves and enrich­ing their spirits. 

One of sev­er­al stand­ing ova­tions of the evening acknowl­edged the gala’s spe­cial guests — more than 40 mem­bers from each mil­i­tary ser­vice who were part of the 2010 Spon­sor a Patri­ot pro­gram. Their com­man­ders chose them based on char­ac­ter and ded­i­ca­tion to coun­try, and some came from around the world. 

In a video mes­sage played dur­ing the cel­e­bra­tion, for­mer Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush high­light­ed Gates’ “mon­u­men­tal” con­tri­bu­tions to his country. 

“For eight pres­i­dents, hav­ing gone from raw recruit to CIA direc­tor and now sec­re­tary of defense, Robert Gates has been wise­ly and relent­less­ly fight­ing and win­ning America’s wars,” Bush said. 

The Amer­i­can Patri­ot Award rec­og­nizes excep­tion­al Amer­i­cans who demon­strate a love of coun­try and whose lead­er­ship and ded­i­ca­tion sym­bol­ize U.S. ideals, val­ues and demo­c­ra­t­ic principles. 

Past award recip­i­ents include for­mer Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush; for­mer Sec­re­taries of State retired Army Gen. Col­in Pow­ell and Hen­ry Kissinger; Army Gen. David Petraeus and the men and women of Cen­tral Com­mand; astro­naut and retired U.S. Sen­a­tor John Glenn; and for­mer Defense Sec­re­tary Cas­par Weinberger. 

Beyond hon­or­ing the recip­i­ents, the gala sup­ports the uni­ver­si­ty and its mis­sion of prepar­ing mil­i­tary and civil­ian lead­ers from the Unit­ed States and oth­er coun­tries to exam­ine nation­al and inter­na­tion­al secu­ri­ty chal­lenges through edu­ca­tion­al and research pro­grams, pro­fes­sion­al exchanges and outreach. 

The main cam­pus is at Fort Les­ley McNair in Washington. 

The Nation­al Defense Uni­ver­si­ty Foun­da­tion is a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that has pro­vid­ed pri­vate-sec­tor sup­port for the Nation­al Defense Uni­ver­si­ty for more than 28 years. 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twitter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →