The Defense of Freedom medal was presented to William "Ron" Little, a former civilian police advisor with Department of State contractor DynCorp International who was wounded in Iraq in 2006. The presentation was made in Washington, DC on February 10, 2009 by Robert B. Rosenkranz, (Major-General, ret.), currently DynCorp International Executive Vice President/Chief of Staff, on behalf of Secretary of the Army Peter Geren. The honor marks the first time an international civilian police advisor has received the Defense of Freedom medal for actions and injuries sustained while on an international Civilian Police (CIVPOL) program mission.
Ron Little, a native of Jacksonville, FL, was an international civilian police advisor with DynCorp International in Kosovo and then Iraq. In Iraq he was part of a Police Training Team mentoring Iraqi police officers in professional police techniques, part of the coalition effort to support the establishment of a democratically oriented police force in Iraq. He was injured by an explosive-formed projectile (EFP) which hit his vehicle in an insurgent attack on December 20, 2006. Two U.S. Army members of the Police Training Team were also injured in the attack.
The U.S. Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) manages the CIVPOL program. Ambassador David T. Johnson, Assistant Secretary of State for INL Bureau, spoke at the awards ceremony, praising the courage and sacrifice made by many CIVPOL police advisors and mentors around the world assisting the development and operation of effective criminal justice and police systems.
Other former members of the CIVPOL mission in Iraq were in attendance, including Walter Redman, Senior Police Advisor for the Department of State INL Bureau, and Chesterfield County police officer Brian Rhodenizer, who was in the same convoy with Little when the attack occurred.