My Coast Guard
Commentary | April 28, 2022

DHS Secretary’s Awards presented in Seattle

Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security John K. Tien hosted an awards ceremony at Coast Guard Base Seattle, to present the DHS Secretary’s Awards to employees for their outstanding contributions.

This annual program recognizes the extraordinary individual and collective achievements of the DHS
workforce.

Exceptional Service Gold Medal
The Secretary’s Exceptional Service Gold Medal Award is the highest award for service granted by the Secretary. The award honors exceptional leadership or service distinguished by achievements of unique national or international significance, reflecting great credit on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by markedly improving the security of our homeland. 

  • Coast Guard Myrtle Hazard Boarding Team: Lt. Victor L. Broskey, Lt. George G. Glock, Senior Chief Petty Officer John T. Elsbree, Chief Petty Officer Jacob R. Schlereth, Petty Officer 1st Class Ernest L. Bidwell, Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin R. Shepard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Morgan G. Dicicc

Meritorious Service Silver Medal
The Secretary’s Meritorious Service Silver Medal Award is the second highest award presented by the Secretary and recognizes outstanding leadership, superior public service, or unusually significant contributions to strengthening homeland security. New to this category are GS-11 and WG-8 employees serving in administrative, technical, clerical, and general support positions. It may recognize a body of work regarding remarkable innovation or notable resourcefulness and diligence that improved the effectiveness of one or more DHS missions. 

  • Steven W. Maynard 
  • Tammy K. Kao

Secretary’s Award for Valor
The Secretary’s Award for Valor is the highest recognition for extraordinary acts of valor occurring either on or off duty. The employee will have demonstrated selfless response by performing courageously in a highly dangerous or life-threatening situation to protect another’s life or to save significant assets or infrastructure from harm.  

  • Petty Officer 1st Class Wallace C. Qual
  • Fishing Vessel Irony rescue flight crew: Lt. Justin Neal, Lt. Jonathan Orthman, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jimmy Schwader and Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant Roberts. (Read about the mission that led to their Valor Award!) 

Secretary’s Award for Innovation: 
The Secretary’s Award for Innovation recognizes individuals or teams that employ a strategic and enterprise-wide approach to strengthening the DHS mission and its operations. The nominees should exhibit an ongoing record of high standards of achievement and innovation. The work of the nominee(s) may have resulted in superior performance and/or significant operational improvements in the manner in which capabilities are developed and deployed. The nominee’s achievement/contributions should include maximizing the effectiveness of people, processes, and technologies; providing wise stewardship of resources; and enhancing the capabilities of Component/DHS employees. 

  • Flood Response Capability Team: Cmdr. Carlos M. Crespo, Lt. Cmdr. Bradford E. Clark, Lt. Eduardo J. Oropeza, Senior Chief Petty Officer Daniel H. Stoner, Chief Petty Officer Scott C. Slingland, Willard A. Holbrook IV, Michael A. Keane, Daniel J. Murray, Thomas K. Owens, David M. Shepard, Scott A. Wildrick, and Jeffrey L. Wheeler.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Common Operating Picture Team: Capt. Paul T. Michaud, Cmdr. Sharon E. Russell, Cmdr. Edward S. Aponte, Cmdr. Gregory A. McLamb, Lt. Cmdr. Christopher D. Capule, Lt. Cmdr. Benito Gonzalez, Lt. Cmdr. Swati Singh, Lt. Cmdr. Josiah A. Toepfer, Lt. Joseph W. Kidwell, Lt. jg. Evan J. Twarog, Senior Chief Petty Officer Kristin M. Gray, Chief Petty Officer Gregory Loreck, Chief Petty Officer Terry L. Hasenauer, Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph C. Ross-Corbett, and Kathleen L. Claffie.

Secretary’s Award for Team Excellence
The Secretary’s Award for Team Excellence recognizes any unit within the Department (such as a Component, directorate, office, division, or section) with outstanding team achievements in operational areas such as law enforcement, aviation, cybersecurity, border patrol, hiring, acquisition, and information technology. The work will have resulted in measurable improvements in training and development and will have demonstrated an investment in the workforce to make it more capable. The work of the unit will include superior performance and significant operational improvements and/or notable innovation in support of DHS missions. The results will include an overall improvement in workforce morale. 

  • Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint Team: Shelly M. Campbell, Diane Beatrez, William Friday, Jason Gillis, William Wheatley
  • DHS Office of the General Counsel Crisis Cell Team: Jeffrey R. Bray
  • Fast Response Cutter Acquisition Warranty Team: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Scott F. DeJoseph, Master Chief Petty Officer James E. Sanford Allen K. Harker, Tyrome O. Tillett, John C. Williams
  • Sector North Bend Rescue Team: Cmdr. Michael W. Baird, Lt. Cmdr. Zachary W. McCune, Lt. Cmdr. Nathaniel E. Champlin, Lt. Marguerite G. Champlin, Chief Petty Officer Roderick M. Ansley, Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher J. Belisle, Petty Officer 1st Class Trevor J. Salt, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher M. Cordobes, 
  • Test and Evaluation Team: Cmdr. James R. Miller