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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Department of State Awards


U.S. Department of State Group Award for Heroism
September 2013
Herat, Afghanistan

Paul Davies, Anthony "Dylan" Ragan, John Conners, Shawn Stewart, Chris Peterson, Rob Summerfield, Josh Gobin

Armed attackers detonated explosives, charged into the vehicle screening area, and attempted to breach outer defenses at U.S. Consulate Herat. DS Regional Security Office personnel mounted a defense, and no attackers survived. While there were no American casualties, several members of the local guard force gave their lives protecting consulate staff.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
September 2012
Khartoum, Sudan

Cpl. Clyde Ashby, Bruce Baldwin, Jonathan Bray, Wade Chipps, LCpl. Tarence Cordon, Cpl. Casey Edens, Sgt. Gabriet Goecks, Sgt. Corey Hollis, Matthew Schickert, TSgt. Ryan Hutchins, SSgt. Michael Johnson, Thomas Nease, SFC. Casey NelsonThese U.S. Marine Corps Security Guards and other members of U.S. Embassy Khartoum's Regional Security Office received the Award for Heroism in recognition of their heroic acts to defend the embassy and protect the lives of its staff. Approximately 4,000 protesters burned other nearby embassies and attempted to mount an attack on U.S. Embassy Khartoum. The compound sustained extensive damage and lost power during the seven-hour siege. The Marines engaged the protesters climbing and attempting to enter the compound's buildings; they successfully repelled the attacks and aided the host nation security forces in regaining control of the situation.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
July 2012

Brian C. Palmatier 

Special Agent Palmatier assisted an injured U.S. Marine and then immediately rendered first aid. Special Agent Palmatier's actions helped to prevent the critically injured Marine from going into shock and stabilized his condition until other first responders arrived. Attending surgeons credited SA Palmatier with the Marine’s survival.


U.S. Department of State Greening Diplomacy Initiative Awards  
May 2012
 

Bureau of Diplomatic Security
The bureau earned second place in the People's Choice  category for the eco-friendly designs of its Miami Field Office and Denver Resident Office.


U.S. Department of State Group Award for Heroism
September 2011
Kabul, Afghanistan

Regional Security Office
DS personnel were honored for coming to the aid of U.S. Embassy staff and visitors while under heavy fire during a September 13, 2011, insurgent attack on the embassy and two other locations in Kabul.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
May 2011
Peshawar, Pakistan

Christopher Bilodeau, Clifford Jeffery, Matthew Perry, and Philip Rand

These special agents performed courageously and professionally during a car bomb attack on a U.S. government motorcade in Peshawar, Pakistan. They rescued American personnel from a disabled vehicle and returned all passengers safely to the U.S. consulate.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
February 2011 and September 2010
Baghdad, Iraq

Special Agent Jason Crosby
Following an incident in which a U.S. Embassy facility was hit by a rocket, Special Agent Crosby responded and administered critical medical aid to three severely injured staff and set up an evacuation site for employees wounded in the attack. In a separate incident, Agent Crosby led a motorcade out of a sniper ambush and evacuated a wounded colleague to a designated landing zone.


U.S. Department of State Daniel E. O’Connor Award for Excellence in Site Security Management
October 2010
Karachi, Pakistan

Clifford Taliaferro
For his work managing the security of a construction project for a new U.S. consulate compound in the high-threat enviornment of Karachi, Pakistan, the Department's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations honored Special Agent Taliaferro with its first Daniel E. O’Connor Award for Excellence in Site Security Management.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
October 2011
Sarajevo, Bosnia

Zlatko Moratic
An attacker armed with a rifle approached U.S. Embassy Sarajevo during a busy workday and shot a local police officer. Mr. Moratic, a member of the ambassador’s protective detail, was off duty in a nearby café during the attack. When he heard shots, he raced outside, where he observed the attacker and the wounded officer. Moratic approached the attacker, who was shouting anti-American rhetoric, and convinced him to allow Moratic to pull the wounded officer to safety. Seeing another police officer in the line of fire, Moratic signaled to him to lie low and feign injury. Again Moratic convinced the attacker to let him rescue this second “wounded” officer, who escaped uninjured. Moratic remained in contact with embassy security officers, providing critical information about the attacker and the developing situation. Thanks to Moratic's tremendous courage and resourcefulness, the lives of two police officers were saved and no harm came to any U.S. personnel.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
September 2011
Damascus, Syria

Kraig Kanahale, Jerold Kulik
While assigned to the Regional Security Office of U.S. Embassy Damascus, special agents Kanahale and Kulik provided protection for the U.Sa Ambassador and political chief during an attack by a violent mob. Agent Kanahale was providing close body cover for the two protectees when approximately 30 people surrounded the building where they were located. Agent Kanahale barricaded the group inside and Agent Kulik staged a rescue attempt. The mob swelled to 100 people before Syrian security forces arrived to move them back. Agents Kanahale and Kulik successfully moved the protectees to the safety of an armored vehicle and escaped.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
September 2011
Helmand, Afghanistan

Brian Palmatier
Special Agent Palmatier rendered first aid to a U.S. Marine who had just sustained a gunshot wound. Agent Palmatier's actions helped to prevent the critically injured Marine from going into shock and stabilized his condition until medical personnel arrived. Attending surgeons credited Agent Palmatier with the Marine’s survival.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
September 2011
Kabul, Afghanistan

Joseph Bopp, Ronnie Catipon, Michael Conklin, Justin Crewse, Leonard Danquah, Marvin Evans, Lon Fairchild, Ralph Gaspar, Courtney Glass, Kory Hammond, Raymond Hendrix, James Hine, William Hodge, Jeff Jacob, Leonard Lawrence, Anthony McGinley, William Moldenhauer, Margalit Murray, Guido Muys, Tim Nguyen, Justin O’Friel, Dwight Pierce, Michael Porter, William Rial, Lewis Scott, Jason Smith, Daniel Vargas, Benjamin Vazquez, Robert Weitzel, Vance Witmer, Dean Wright, Kevin Wynes
Members of the terrorist Haqqani network armed with rocket-propelled grenades, 82mm recoilless rifles, AK-47s, and belt-fed machine guns attacked U.S. Embassy Kabul. DS personnel in the embassy's Regional Security Office moved several hundred people into secure locations on the compound. They provided protection and coordinated support for employees sheltered inside as the attack went on throughout the night. No embassy personnel were injured in the attack.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
June 2011

Baghdad, Iraq

Scott Reece
Special Agent Reece was in command of a security advance team for the U.S. ambassador to Iraq when his motorcade was hit by an improvised explosive device. The explosion destroyed two of the four vehicles in the motorcade. Agent Reece instructed his team to push the disabled vehicles away from the area using the operational ones, which they did until a third vehicle became disabled. Agent Reece led his team out of the vehicles into a defensible location until reinforcements from U.S. Embassy Baghdad came to recover them. Although two members of the team sustained injuries, Agent Reece's leadership and actions were credited with saving their lives and preventing further injuries or deaths.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
May 2011
Peshawar, Pakistan

Christopher Bilodeau, Clifton Jeffery, Matthew Perry, Phillip Rand
These special agents performed courageously and professionally during a car bomb attack on a U.S. government motorcade. They rescued American personnel from a disabled vehicle and returned all passengers safely to the U.S. consulate.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
September 2010 & February 2011

Baghdad, Iraq

Jason Crosby
Following an incident in which a U.S. embassy facility was hit by a rocket, Special Agent Crosby responded and administered critical medical aid to three severely injured staff and set up an evacuation site for employees wounded in the attack. In a separate incident, Agent Crosby led a motorcade out of a sniper ambush and evacuated a wounded colleague to a designated landing zone.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
May 2010

Kyiv, Ukraine

Eugeny Gorokhovsky, Maksym Lytvynov, Alexander Sologub
When a deranged man wielding a knife attempted to enter U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Local Guard Force members Mr. Gorokhovsky, Mr. Lytvynov, and Mr. Sologub confronted the attacker and prevented him from entering. The attacker cut Gorokhovsky deeply on his hand and fled. Sologub administered first aid to Gorokhovsky and Lytvynov chased the attacker. The attacker hit Lytvynov in the chest with the knife, but Lytvynov's embassy badge deflected the blade. Local police joined the pursuit and eventually took the attacker into custody.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
April 2010
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Lance O’Donnell, Timothy Pittman
Special agents O'Donnell and Pittman were assigned to the Regional Security Office of U.S. Embassy Bishkek when the government of Kyrgyzstan suddenly collapsed. As lawlessness filled the streets, Agents O'Donnell and Pittman came under attack on multiple occasions while risking their lives to rescue embassy personnel and their families from rioters. They received this award for displaying exceptional heroism and courage in keeping embassy personnel and families safe during the revolution.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
April 2010
Peshawar, Pakistan

Justin Geinert, Errick Goodman, Steve Miller, Philip Rand, and Jeffrey Williams
During a terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar, Pakistan on April 5, 2010, these five special agents performed courageously and saved the lives of their fellow employees. After the attack, they surveyed the damage, sealed the perimeter, and assisted in gathering evidence for investigators. The consulate general was back in operation within 72 hours of the attack.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
January 2010
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Peter Kolshorn and Robert Little
On January 12, 2010, a magnitutde 7.0 earthquake struck near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, kililng 230,000 people, injuring 300,000 and leaving one million homeless. In the immediate aftermath of the devastating quake, special agents Kohshorn and Liggle worked nonstop to rescue victims trapped under rubble, carry the wounded to safety, and clear paths to the embassy so that injured personnel could be evacuated.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
2009
Rangoon, Burma

Local Guard Force


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism

September 2008
Sana'a, Yemen

Nicholas Collura
Special Agent Collura was serving as the regional security officer at U.S. Embassy Sana'a when multiple heavily armed attackers disguised as policemen assaulted the embassy. Though the attackers killed and wounded many people with explosives and small-arms fire, Agent Collura entered the area under attack and pulled an injured host-nation soldier to safety. After being knocked to the ground by the blast pressure of one of the attacker's explosives, Agent Collura entered the outlying areas of the embassy and moved staff and visitors to secure areas. Agent Collura's preparation and leadership helped prevent further loss of life and ensured no U.S. personnel were killed or injured.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
June 2008
Belgrade, Serbia

Marine Security Guard Detachment, U.S. Embassy Belgrade 


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
June 2008
Belgrade, Serbia
 

Surveillance Detection Team, Belgrade


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
June 2008
Baghdad, Iraq

Regional Security Office, U.S. Embassy Baghdad


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
May 2008
Brussels, Belgium

Tomas Perez
In the immediate aftermath of the crash of a commercial cargo aircraft in Belgium in 2008, Mr. Perez, a diplomatic courier, quickly guided the aircrew to safety while simultaneously notifying the State Department of the incident -- all the while ensuring the security of sensitive diplomatic cargo destined for U.S. diplomatic missions in Bahrain and Iraq.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
May 2008
Rangoon, Burma

Thomas Eckert
Before, during, and after the arrival of Cyclone Nargis in Burma, Special Agent Eckert demonstrated bravery, initiative, decisive action, and sound judgment that ensured a safe and secure environment for U.S. Embassy Rangoon and its staff. This included his rescue of an American family of five trapped in their flooded home, as well as his sustained efforts to ensure the safety and security of the U.S. Embassy and its staff during Burma’s worst natural disaster in a generation.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
May 2008
Rangoon, Burma

Thann Htay, Saw Freddieson, Saw Moe Thee
Without regard for their personal safety, these Local Guard Force members at Embassy Rangoon rescued an embassy family facing grave danger during Cyclone Nargis. They were cited for their courageous, life-saving efforts.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
April 2008
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Daniel Glick
During a period of unrest, local police and U.N. security forces were unable to assist in securing the U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince and its annex buildings. When a group of more than 100 protesters began smashing windows and attempting to light an annex building on fire, Special Agent Glick entered the premises and rescued a group of approximately 35 employees. He led the employees out of the annex and around burning tires and barricades to the safety of the embassy as a crowd of rioters began closing in on them.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
March 2008
Baghdad, Iraq

Erik Antons, Pasquale Capriglione, Alan Chipman, Sarah Cloeter, Mark Conord, Joshua Delaney, Clay Derryberry, Joseph Dogonniuk, Christopher Dowling, Adam Dulin, David Farrington, Kenneth Fisk, Michael Fitzpatrick, Corey Ford, Richard Fritz, Anson Garlington, Dave Heddleston, Christian Horvath, Christopher Hubert, Matthew Kelley, Michael Kerns, Fred Ketchem, Bill Lanos, Ryan McDonald, Kenneth McGuire, Earl Miller, David Motley, Brett Oestreich, Robert Picco, Dwight Pierce, Timothy Reid, Mario Reta, Angel Roldan, Lee Rowland, John Satanek, Robert Sommerville, Lionel Strong, Philip Valdez 
For their heroism under fire during 56 different rocket attacks on U.S. Embassy Baghdad in March 2008, these 38 Regional Security Office personnel were honored for going to the aid of their colleagues under heavy fire without regard for their own personal safety. Their actions were selfless, valorous, and in keeping with the highest standards of the Diplomatic Security Service and Department of State.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
February 2008
Belgrade, Serbia

Ian Trent
A violent mob of several hundred protesters descended upon U.S. Embassy Belgrade, which initially faced the brunt of the attack without host nation police support. Special Agent Trent conducted emergency document destruction as the embassy was being overrun. Agent Trent and the Marine Security Guards were able to make contact with host nation first responders, who assisted in clearing the embassy and putting out fires. In the face of daunting and dire events, Agent Trent's exemplary performance, cool judgment, and calm demeanor prevented injury and saved lives.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
February 2008
Belgrade, Serbia

Surveillance Detection Team, U.S. Embassy Belgrade
These U.S. Embassy Belgrade personnel were cited for their sustained courage and for maintaining official responsibilities in extraordinarily dangerous circumstances in February 2008, when protesters threw rocks, trash cans, flares, bottles, and other objects at the U.S. Embassy’s façade, breaking windows and doors. Protesters eventually broke into the embassy, setting a fire and causing extensive property damage.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
February 2008
Belgrade, Serbia

Marine Security Guard Detachment: MSgt. Jeffrey Finnegan, Sgt. Daniel Floyd, Sgt. Dustin Hoff, Sgt. Christopher Huffaker, Sgt. Richard Jones, Sgt. Fernando Mederos, Cpl. Michael Paternostro, SSgt. Jayson Vrable
The members of the Marine Security Guard Detachment of U.S. Embassy Belgrade were cited for their courage under fire throughout the events of February 2008, when protesters threw rocks, trash cans, flares, bottles, and other objects at the U.S. Embassy’s façade, breaking windows and doors. Protesters eventually broke into the embassy, setting a fire and causing extensive property damage.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
February 2008
N'Djamena, Chad

David Richeson, Donovan Williams
Special agents Richeson and Williams were assigned to the Regional Security Office of U.S. Embassy N’Djamena when armed rebels attacked the city. Rebel and government forces engaged in a battle for control over an area that included a U.S. embassy residential compound where embassy staff, Chadian Embassy employees, and some private American citizens were taking shelter. During 48 hours of continuous fighting between the two sides, Agents Richeson and Williams maintained the security of the compound and protected those sheltered within. They demonstrated great courage and disregard for their personal safety; their actions saved lives and ensured the safeguarding of U.S. property.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
August 2007
Basrah, Iraq

Bryan Bachmann, John Galvin, Joshua Godbois, William Reiser, Daniel Wilhelm
These agents were assigned to Regional Embassy Office Basrah, which sustained an average of 11 mortar and rocket attacks every day. With a threat of the post being overrun at any time, they worked to keep their colleagues safe and slept in offices, hallways, and mechanical closets in a hardened building. Under fire, the staff relocated to the British Air Station, where they continued to live and work in tight quarters in dangerous conditions. For sustained valor and courage, maintaining official responsibilities in extraordinarily dangerous circumstances, and laying the groundwork for enhanced engagement with Basrah's provincial and local leaders, these agents received the Award for Heroism.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
July 2007

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Matthew Wolsey, Rubayat Rahman 
After an explosion caused a fire in the residence of some U.S. Embassy Dhaka personnel, Special Agent Wolsey and Mr. Rahman, both employed in the embassy’s Regional Security Office, were first responders to the scene. They assisted employees and their pets to escape and quickly moved to contain the fire and coordinate medical care for the victims. Rahman sustained burns in the process. Agent Wolsey and Rahman faced the worst Department of State residential fire in more than 20 years and ensured everyone escaped alive.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
May 2007
Basrah, Iraq

Bryan Bachmann, Daniel Wilhelm
Special agents Bachmann and Wilhelm staffed the Regional Security Office of Regional Embassy Office Basrah during a time when the compound sustained hundreds of mortar and rocket attacks. Surrounded by the constant threat of death, they worked long hours in close quarters to keep their colleagues safe. In recognition of their outstanding dedication to duty, esprit de corps, and tireless efforts amidst dangerous circumstances to support Regional Embassy Office Basrah's role in helping the Iraqi people, these agents received the Award for Heroism.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
March 2007
Baghdad, Iraq

Paul Backstrom, Randall Bennett, Theron Bunnell, Curt Deitering, Matthew Eastman, William Embry, William Ferrari, Riccardo Gilbert, John Hislop, Jose Marquez, Brian Murphy
In response to a direct hit from a rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy Baghdad compound, these agents' selfless actions -- leaving covered positions to render first-responder aid to those wounded and providing leadership and direction to a chaotic scene -- are in keeping with the highest standards and traditions of Diplomatic Security.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
January 2007
Baghdad, Iraq

John Hislop
Five contract security personnel were killed by insurgents while engaged in a protection operation for U.S. Embassy Baghdad. With U.S. Army support, Special Agent Hislop led efforts to recover the bodies of the slain Americans. Agent Hislop and his colleagues were caught in an ambush and engaged in an intense firefight; they successfully recovered the bodies and returned them to their families. Agent Hislop was presented the Award for Heroism for bravery under fire, for dedication to duty and fellow man, and for his courage to perform the hardest of missions under life-threatening conditions.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
December 2006
Rivas, Nicaragua

Michael Poehlitz
Special Agent Poehlitz, the regional security officer at U.S. Embassy Managua, took quick action to save the life of an American citizen who had been arrested and charged with a violent crime by Nicaraguan authorities. Agent Poehlitz protected the citizen, who was later cleared of all charges, from an angry and violent mob.


U.S. Department of State Thomas Jefferson Star for Foreign Service
February 19, 2006
Mosul, Iraq

Stephen Eric Sullivan
Awarded posthumously, the Department’s Thomas Jefferson Star for Foreign Service honored DS Special Agent Stephen Eric Sullivan, who was killed in a September 19, 2005, terrorist attack on a U.S. motorcade in Mosul, Iraq. In his three years with DS, Agent Sullivan served in both Afghanistan and Iraq as an ARSO. The Thomas Jefferson Star recognizes individuals who incur an injury while serving abroad that results in death or permanent disability. It consists of a Foreign Service Star medal, and a certificate signed by the President of the United States and the Secretary of State.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
December 2005
Caracas, Venezuela

Timothy Dalton
While serving as an assistant regional security officer at U.S. Embassy Caracas, Special Agent Dalton spotted a woman caught in a rip-tide being pulled out to sea and struggling to keep her head above water. Agent Dalton swam out and pulled her back to shore while a colleague assisted the victim's friend.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
February 2005
Freetown, Sierra Leone

Jean Richter
U.S. Embassy Freetown Regional Security Officer Jean Richter, without consideration of the risk to his own life or safety, waded unarmed into a mob of angry protesters to rescue the USAID Country Program Manager from her vehicle and return her safely to the embassy. Agent Richter went far beyond the call of duty and displayed uncommon valor in rescuing a mission colleague from a life-threatening mob.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
February 2005
Lom
é
, Togo

Richard Verrier 
While serving in the Regional Security Office of U.S. Embassy Lomé during a period of violence and unrest in 2005, Special Agent Verrier received a distress call from the spouse of a U.S. embassy employee. She was barricaded with her children in their home, that was being attacked by a large group of looters. Agent Verrier and a Togolese aide rushed to the house, driving through impromptu barricades and roadblocks manned by hostile, armed militia groups. Agent Verrier cleared the house of attackers and safely escorted the three Americans to the embassy.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
January 2005
baghdad, Iraq

Matthew McCormack, Claude Poole
Special agents McCormack and Poole responded to a rocket attack at a U.S. Embassy Baghdad annex that killed two U.S. government employees and wounded 10 others. The rocket detonation started a fire in a crowded office space that quickly filled with smoke and created a chaotic and dangerous environment; the agents took control of the disorder and led a rescue effort that prevented further loss of life. Without hesitation or regard for personal safety, Agents McCormack and Poole risked their own lives to protect others, displaying a heroism that exemplifies the very best of Diplomatic Security.


U.S. Department of State Thomas Jefferson Star for Foreign Service
November 2004

Edward Seitz 
The Department’s Thomas Jefferson Star for Foreign Service was awarded posthumously to DS Agent Seitz who was killed in Iraq on October 24, 2004, in a mortar attack at Camp Victory. Edward Seitz joined the DS Bureau in June 1988 and served as both a diplomatic courier and a special agent during his 16-year career, including service as ARSO at U.S. Embassy Sana’a; as the RSO at U.S. Consulate General Shenyang; and as ARSO at U.S. Embassy Baghdad. The Thomas Jefferson Star recognizes individuals who incur an injury while serving abroad that results in death or permanent disability.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
February 2004
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Christopher Belmonti, Ray Kyliavas, Alston Richardson
These three agents received the Department’s Heroism Award for their actions in Port-au-Prince during an intense period of public upheaval and violence. Following a U.S. Government order to evacuate Americans, the three agents placed their lives at risk in several instances and went beyond the call of duty, thinking not of their own peril but of the safety of others.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
2004
Bogota, Colombia

Eric Jagels
Assistant Regional Security Officer Jagels rescued a U.S. Embassy Bogota employee who nearly drowned in a river. In recognition of his courage and decisive action in saving the life of a colleague, Agent Jagels received the Award for Heroism.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
November 2003
Lima, Peru

Adam Kline
While serving as an assistant regional security officer at U.S. Embassy Lima, Special Agent Kline rescued a drowning man at Punta Rocas Beach.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
October 2003
Tel Aviv

Yvon Guillaume
Special Agent Guillaume was leading a DS protective operation in the Gaza Strip when terrorists detonated an explosive device beneath the roadway, killing three security personnel and seriously wounding another. Agent Guillaume's foresight, planning, and decisive actions ensured the protectees survived and were evacuated safely. Agent Guillaume then ably and actively supported the embassy's recovery and investigative efforts for the remainder of the day.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
April 2002
Manama, Bahrain

Kevin Bauer
As regional security officer, Special Agent Bauer led the DS response to a violent mob that firebombed U.S. Embassy Manama and attempted to break in. Agent Bauer engaged members of the mob as they climbed over the walls of the compound, causing the intruders to retreat and preserving the safety and security of the staff inside.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
August 1998
Tirana, Albania

Lon Fairchild, Roy Stillman
Special agents Fairchild and Stillman were assigned to the Regional Security Office of U.S. Embassy Tirana when a gunman dressed as a policeman breached the compound. Several members of the Regional Security Office responded and agents Fairchild and Stillman exchanged fire with the gunman. The gunman was shot and killed.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
August 1998
Nairobi, Kenya

Cassandra Cooke, John Kane, Robert Simons, Paul Peterson
Security Engineering Officer Cooke and special agents Kane, Peterson, and Simons were assigned to the Regional Security Office at U.S. Embassy Nairobi when a massive truck bomb detonated outside the mission on August 7, 1998. In the wake of the attack, they organized the safe evacuation of mission personnel, established a security perimeter, organized search and rescue teams in extremely dangerous conditions, and supported investigators. Surrounded by body parts, toxic fumes, and other environmental hazards, they participated in search efforts and kept continuous watch at the damaged embassy. Their bravery played a vital role in saving lives, protecting sensitive equipment and information, and ensuring the swift resumption of embassy operations.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
August 1998
Nairobi, Kenya

Sgt. John Hess, 1st Sgt. Gaspar Guzman, Cpl. Jonathan Cornell, USMC Thomas Vargas, Sgt. Eric Smith, Lt. Col. Dennis Sabal, Maj. William Pitman
This team of U.S. Marines was stationed at U.S. Embassy Pretoria at the time of the August 7, 1998 terrorist attack on U.S. Embassy Nairobi. Disregarding their own safety, they went to Nairobi and provided a much-needed continuous guard presence at the embassy. They participated in search-and-rescue operations in the highly dangerous bombed-out embassy. Their heroism stands as a shining example to all U.S. Marines and reflects great credit on themselves, MSG Company F, U.S. Embassy Pretoria, and the United States Marine Corps.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
May 1997
Freetown, Siera Leone

Jeffrey Breed
Following a military coup in Sierra Leone, U.S. Embassy Freetown personnel were subjected to intense small arms fire and looting at and near the embassy and residential compounds. At the risk of his life, Special Agent Breed led the embassy's response to the crisis and kept 2,500 American citizens safe during the subsequent closure and evacuation of the embassy.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
July 1993
Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo

Anne Molyneaux
Ms. Molyneaux, an information management specialist at U.S. Embassy Brazzaville, saved the life of a colleague, a Diplomatic Security courier. Molyneaux and the courier were at a local zoo feeding animals when the courier attempted to feed a starving lion. The lion mauled the courier, but Molyneaux and a zookeeper fought off the lion and pulled the courier away. Molyneaux then worked with the embassy's Regional Security Office to pass checkpoints amidst fighting on the streets and medevac the courier. Because of Molyneaux's decisive actions and bravery, the DS courier received medical treatment and survived.


U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism
July 1976
New York City, New York

Bernard Johnson, George Mitchell
Bulent Ecevit, the former Prime Minister of Turkey, was targeted for assassination at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Special Agents Johnson and Mitchell, members of Ecevit's security detail, engaged and disarmed the attacker, who was in possession of a firearm. Agents Johnson and Mitchell demonstrated extraordinary professional competence and great personal courage in acting to prevent the assassination of a visiting foreign Head of Government.



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