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The Legion of Merit

For exceptionally meritorious service as an Infantryman and Special Forces Operator from May 1978 to October 1992 and October 2005 to July 2016. Major BLANK's extraordinary contributions throughout his 25 year career in critical leadership and staff positions directly influenced global political stability across multiple continents. A true patriot, initially retiring in 1992 after supporting strategic counter-insurgency, combat and nation building operations in the Special Operation community, Major BLANK returned to service after a 13 year break in service to support the Global War on Terror. In his second service period he deployed in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM twice. His contagious enthusiasm, sound reasoning and cultural sensitivity proved invaluable to the success of his Command during his latter tours of duty.

In total Major BLANK deployed 40 months overseas for combat duty in Panama, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Additionally he has supported strategic overseas humanitarian (demining) relief in collaboration with the United Nations and Pakistan, supported the training of multiple allied nations Armies, completed the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and the Command and General Staff Officer Course. His previous positions of senior leadership included Special Forces Operations Officer, Special Forces S-4, Special Forces A-team Detachment Commander, Basic Airborne Training Company Commander, Senior Platoon trainer for Infantry Officer Basic Course.

Major BLANK served as the Special Forces Tactical Command Post Operations Officer in support of combat operations to liberate Kuwait and defeat the Iraqi Army during Operation DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. He advised and developed training for the unit on boarder surveillance, special reconnaissance, foreign internal defense, and the conduct of Coalition Warfare with the Pan-Arab forces. His efforts on behalf of the Army Special Operations Task Force contributed directly to the success of the Coalition Force mission and the removal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

As the plans officer (J-5) in support of combat operations during operation JUST CAUSE and nation building activities during operation PROMOTE LIBERTY he supervised the joint-service planning cell consisting of Army Special Operations, Naval Special Warfare Unit 8, and an Air Force Special Operations detachment. As the plans officer for the Joint Special Operations Task Force his comprehensive system for mission analysis was largely responsible for 50 tactical missions with no loss of life and the development of the comprehensive Panama Campaign Plan used by the Unified Command. His involvement in this operation directly impacted rebuilding Panama into a stable democratic country.

As a liaison to the US Embassy in Pakistan, during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Major BLANK was able to achieve an unambiguous unity of purpose between the United Nations, United States and Pakistan in demining/ countermine programs along the Pakistan and Afghan border. These efforts directly supported the safe passage of over 3.5 Million afghan refugees displaced by war and the successful outcome of Operation Salam.

His actions, over his total 25 years of military service, are in keeping with the finest traditions of the military and reflect great credit upon himself, the Special Forces community and the United States Army.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 20, 1942, has awarded the Legion of Merit to


For exceptionally meritorious service as a Combat Engineer from December #### to December ####. Lieutenant Colonel BLANK's extraordinary contributions in multiple critical leadership positions improved the readiness of the United States Army for over a decade. His selfless service and patriotism were evident as he led Soldiers at every rank from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel. Lieutenant Colonel BLANK's ability to build teams, communicate ideas and develop others was most evident as he served as a Military Transition Team Chief in Iraq from February 2007 to June 2009. His efforts greatly improved the ability of 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division to mentor the Iraqi National Police Battalion greatly increasing their effectiveness in protecting the Iraqi people. Lieutenant Colonel BLANK served as the Operations Officer in the 864th Engineer Battalion where he planned and supervised the execution of the pre-deployment training for the Engineer Task Force's initial construction and combat operations in support of Regional Command South, Afghanistan. His understanding of engineer qualification tasks and the complex operational environment in Afghanistan resulted in the 864th Engineer Battalion conducting squad Live Fire Exercises, two Command Post Exercises and a Culminating Training Exercise. Most importantly, his training plan set the conditions for the 864th Engineer Battalion to construct a new Forward Operating Base and establish a security ring in Kandahar City, Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel BLANK transitioned from the Operations Officer to the Executive Officer of the 864th Engineer Battalion where he was responsible for the execution of over 150 construction projects valued at over $300 million to support the surge Coalition Forces in Afghanistan. His leadership and ability to solve intricate problems was essential as the Battalion consisting of over 850 Soldiers redeployed, reintegrated and reset at Joint Base Lewis McCord. Lieutenant Colonel BLANK synchronized the efforts of 8 Companies, ensuring the refit of thousands of pieces of equipment over a three month period. His ability to coach, teach and mentor was further demonstrated as he transitioned from the Operational Force to serving as a Professor of Military Science at the University of Guam. Selected by a centralized board to recruit and train future leaders of the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel BLANK implemented changes which resulted in a program ranked in the bottom 10 percent of the Nation to the top 20 percent of the Nation. His emphasis on developing quality leaders through more rigorous training produced United States Army Officers capable of leading Soldiers in a wartime environment. His understanding of a total Army concept generated positive relationships with the Guam National Guard and the University of Guam gaining valuable support for the Cadet Corps. Lastly, Lieutenant Colonel BLANK followed his tenure as the PMS for Guam by serving as the Battalion Commander for the Cleveland Recruiting Battalion. He served as a role model for Soldiers and Civilians alike. Lieutenant Colonel BLANK had an unbelievable ability to work with community leaders, always reflecting the Army and the Army Values. His leadership in a multitude of critical leadership positions across the entire spectrum of the Army positively impacted hundreds of Soldiers over the course of a very honorable career. The superior effort, outstanding leadership, and personal initiative display by Lieutenant Colonel BLANK reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Army, and his country.

For exceptionally meritorious service from 29 Sep 1985 to 30 Jun 2012 while serving in a variety of positions culminating as an Army Nurse. Her expertise, competence and professionalism is of the highest caliber. It is with great honor that we recognize this soldier's service to her country over the past 27 years. Her Dedication to duty reflects great credit upon herself, the California Army National Guard and the United States Army.

Sergeant First Class WESLEY G. STAPLETON, RA37818647, United States Army, distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service as a member of the Engineer Fire Fighting Company, 8075th Army Unit, in Korea, from 27 January 1953 to 4 May 1954. Serving as Fire Chief of the city of Pusan, Sergeant STAPLETON demonstrated exceptional technical proficency and outstanding initiative in establishing adequate military fire-protection measures in highly strategic and extremely vulnerable areas in the United Nations' logistical chain of supply, succesfully reducing the acute danger of their destruction by fire through possibe enemy action. He skillfully organized, trained and operated the fire-fighting services under his control, proffered sound recommendations and technical guidance to the 3001st. Republic of Korea Army Engineer Firefighting Platoon, trained and utilized indigenous personnel in this inportant field of public safety and conducted a relentless campaign to establish high standards of fire prevention and protection throughout the teeming port city of Pusan. Despite obstacles imposed by extremely congested areas, lack of fire breaks, an inadequate water supply system and numerous routes inassessable to fire fighting equipment, his actions in directing fire-fighting operations during the Great Pusan Fire of 27 November 1953 and the devastating fires of 29 January 1954 and 3 April 1954 reach heroic portions and resulted in the saving of hundreds of lives and millions of dollars worth of military and civilian property. Seargent STAPLETON's forceful leadership, selfless devotion to duty and demonstrated courage were significant contributions to the United Nations' first armed bid for world peace. His exemplary accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.





Over his 31 year career, Lieutenant Colonel Alfred J. Padden has distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious service in a succession of positions of great importance and responsibility to the Army and the Nation, culminating as the Strategy and Policy Branch Chief, Stability Operations Division, Strategy, Plans and Policy Directorate, Operations and Plans (G-3/5/7), Headquarters, Department of the Army for the past eighteen months. His previous positions of significant leadership included Chief of Current Operations J3, United States Forces Iraq, Iraqi Army Brigade Transition Team Chief, Mosul; Inspector General, District of Columbia National Guard and Battalion Commander, 1st Battalion, 312th Regiment.

As the Strategy and Policy Branch Chief, Stability Operations Division, Lieutenant Colonel Padden positively and directly influenced Army and Department of Defense Policy and program recommendations to the Chief of Staff, Army; the Vice Chief of Staff, Army; and the DCS, G3/5/7 on a daily basis. His carefully communicated advice reflected the depth and breadth of his considerable experience and affected future programs and policy that will carry the Army through the end of sustained combat operations and into an Army focused on building the capacity of the partners of the United States.

Lieutenant Colonel Padden played a key role in the transition between Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn by carefully managing over 250 External and Stability Transition Teams as the Chief of Transition Team Operations for the J3 in United States Forces Iraq. His guidance and leadership were instrumental in navigating the complex and critical issues surrounding the Iraqi people's realization of sovereignty and the Iraqi Security Forces being thrust into the lead role for security operations. Lieutenant Colonel Padden performed this task, at a critical time in Iraq's evolving history. His success was built upon his superb efforts in his previous post which saw him mentor, coach, train and lead by example what would become the best brigade in the 2nd Iraqi Army Division, in Mosul, then the most complex and lethal part of all Iraq.

As the Inspector General for the District of Columbia National Guard from 2005 until 2008, Lieutenant Colonel Padden was credited for restoring the positive command climate that had been missing from the command. He achieved this by first clearing the backlog of Inspector General cases that dated back to 2001 and then ensuring timely disposition of the 185 new cases that were presented to him during his tenure. Through integrity, compassion, equality, fairness and outstanding leadership, Lieutenant Colonel Padden earned his exceptional reputation as the go to guy for the entire District of Columbia National Guard force including commanders, staff, retirees and family members.

As a Training Support Battalion Commander in the early years of Operation Enduring Freedom, Lieutenant Colonel Padden employed the diverse characteristics and capabilities of the 1st Battalion, 310th Regiment to fully prepare National Guard and Army Reserve Brigades for deployment to Afghanistan for combat operations. As the vanguard in preparing deploying forces, Lieutenant Colonel Padden created and employed techniques for instruction, sequencing and evaluation that became the baseline for the next ten years of Army efforts to ready and deploy forces from the Reserve Component into combat.

His actions, over 31 years of military service, are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service.

The citation of the Legion of Merit to the DARNG is now in "Active Voice" (This example is for retirement):

Citation to accompany the award of the Legion of Merit

Citation to accompany the award of the Legion of Merit
For exceptional meritorious service from 1 June 2005 to 1 August 2011 culminating as Senior Intelligence Officer, Detachment 1, 2600th Military Intelligence Group, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Throughout her 28 years of service, Major Doe has distinguished herself by exceptional duty performance in positions of escalating importance and responsibility. During her career, Major Doe, by extra ordinary leadership, integrity and technical skills enhanced the readiness of numerous units throughout the United States Army and deployed. Upon retirement, Major Doe is recognized for distinguished performance of duty that reflects great credit upon herself, the 2600th Military Intelligence Group and the United States Army.

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