American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2010 - Deputy Defense Secretary today paid tribute to eight people who distinguished themselves among more than 700,000 others in winning the Defense Department's annual top civilian employee awards.
"They understand that working for the department is a public trust that brings great responsibilities and opportunities," Lynn said during a ceremony in the Pentagon auditorium where he presented the 6th Annual David O. Cooke Excellence in Public Administration Award and the 55th Annual Distinguished Civilian Service Awards.
Lynn presented the first award -- named for the late "mayor" of the Pentagon, 55-year employee "Doc" Cooke – to Manuel A. Fajin, a special agent with Force Protection Detachment Colombia, . Fajin was cited for his dedication, resourcefulness and leadership in helping to protect 4,500 government personnel in Latin America, which led to his unit being recognized as the department's model force-protection detachment.
The award was established in Cooke's name to recognize great leaders with less than 10 years of service. "As someone who knew him well, this achievement personifies his legacy," Lynn said of Cooke in presenting the award to Fajin. "He was an icon because he was a quintessential public servant."
Lynn noted the seven distinguished service award recipients' contributions toward innovations and efficiencies in information technology, foreign languages, developing unmanned aircraft and enhancing the performance of deployed servicemembers, among others.
"Each one of you helped the department carry out its mission in various ways," he said.
The Distinguished Award was created 55 years ago to recognize a small number of employees whose careers reflect exceptional devotion to duty and extremely significant contributions in policy, science, technology and administrative fields.
This year's winners are:
-- Lisa S. Disbrow, the National Security Council's senior director for policy implementation, who serves as the principal deputy director for force management and the Joint Staff's vice director of force structure.
-- Bruce S. Lemkin, the Air Force's principal deputy assistant secretary for financial management and deputy undersecretary for international affairs.
-- Glenn H. Nordin, foreign language and foreign area advisor in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence.
-- Timothy R. Owings, deputy project manager in the Army's unmanned aircraft systems project office.
-- Barbara A. Sission, director of U.S. Central Command's resources and analysis directorate.
-- David M. Wennergren, deputy assistant secretary for information management and deputy .
-- Peter Wilhelm, director of the Naval Research Laboratory's Naval Center for Space Technology.
William J. Lynn III