Philip Rand—a Special Agent with the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) and a former police officer from Bridgewater and resident of Plymouth, Massachusetts —has received the Award for Heroism from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for his courageous actions during a terrorist attack on a motorcade in Peshawar, Pakistan—one of the most dangerous high-threat cities in the world.
The U.S. Department of State Heroism Award recognizes acts of courage or outstanding performance under unusually difficult or dangerous circumstances by employees of the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Marine Security Guards who are assigned to diplomatic and consular facilities.
Special Agent Rand received the award for his actions while serving in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Peshawar sits on the edge of Pakistan’s tribal areas, which, in recent years, has been the site of numerous terrorist attacks. In May 2011, Rand was driving in a motorcade traveling through Peshawar when a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) exploded a few feet from the vehicle directly in front of him—severely damaging it. Rand and three other Diplomatic Security Special Agents immediately exited the safety of their armored car and went to the aid of two other Special Agents who were trapped inside the heavily damaged and burning vehicle. After gaining access and moving the injured agents to his vehicle, leaving the bombed out car behind, he helped all agents return to a secure location. For those actions Special Agent Rand and the other three DSS Special Agents were recognized by the Secretary of State with the U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism.
“All four of the DS Special Agents performed masterfully in one of the most significant terrorist attacks against Foreign Service personnel in recent years,” said Bill Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary for High Threat Posts, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. “They were instrumental in coordinating the movements of the security team during the crisis as well as executing the proper response. The agents’ actions reflect not only their laudable physical courage, but also the highest traditions of the Diplomatic Security Service.”
“I’m extremely honored and humbled to receive the award,” said Special Agent Rand. “We all performed our duties as we had been trained to do in such a serious situation, and I’m fortunate to have had an excellent team that enabled us to do what we needed to do to remain safe.”
Special Agent Rand is the son of Philip and Jane Rand from Plymouth and the son-in-law of Dr. Albert and Sharon Dunn of East Bridgewater. He attended Brockton High School, Bridgewater State College, and Western New England College where he received a BS degree in Criminal Justice. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years after graduating from high school, then reenlisted with the Massachusetts Army National Guard in 2002 and deployed to Iraq in 2004 and 2005 as a sergeant.
A police officer in the Town of Bridgewater for 10 years, Special Agent Rand joined the U.S. Department of State in 2008 as a Special Agent with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Diplomatic Security Service. DSS Special Agents are assigned a variety of duties in the United States and overseas—including criminal investigations, dignitary and VIP protection, and security of U.S. Diplomatic Missions. In addition to Peshawar, Pakistan, Rand served in the DS Boston Field Office and is currently an Assistant Regional Security Officer in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the U.S. Department of State's law enforcement and security arm. The special agents, engineers, and security professionals of the Bureau are responsible for the security of more than 280 diplomatic missions around the world. In the United States, Diplomatic Security personnel protect the U.S. Secretary of State and high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States, investigate passport and visa fraud, and conduct personnel security investigations. For additional information about the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, visit www.state.gov/m/ds.
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