IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Department of Defense Hosts Annual Disability Awards Ceremony


The 34th Annual Department of Defense Disability Awards Ceremony was hosted by Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica L. Wright today in the Pentagon Auditorium.  

 
This annual event honors Department of Defense components for outstanding achievements in the hiring, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities.  It also highlights the accomplishments and abilities of employees and Service members with disabilities who have made significant contributions and best demonstrate the core values of their respective organizations.
 

“Today we honor the accomplishments of DoD civilian employees and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the department,” said Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica Wright.  “While we face significant challenges from global threats, it is within our capacity to manage them by capitalizing on the talents, abilities and perspectives of our workforce.  This ceremony is a tangible way of celebrating those important contributions.”  
 

This year twenty civilian employees with disabilities and Service members with disabilities were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments and four DoD organizations were recognized for their achievements in the employment of individuals with disabilities.  
 

“The Department of works to advance diversity in many ways,” said Mr. Randy Cooper, Director of Department of Defense Disability Programs. “Employing the talents and skills of people with disabilities supports the Department’s mission and enhances our national security.” 
 

The following DoD employees and service members with disabilities received secretary of defense awards for their outstanding contributions to national security:
 

Department of the Army:
DeLisa L. Kviz, Department of the Army
Martin R. Wagner, Department of the Army
First Sergeant Paul J. Cottrell, United States Army
 

Department of the Navy:
David DeMauro, Department of the Navy
Sergeant Ivan E. Sears, United States Marine Corps

 
Department of the Air Force:
Kathi J. Duncan, Department of the Air Force
Chris J. Gitto, Department of the Air Force
Technical Sergeant Chad A. Molenhour, United States Air Force
 

National Guard Bureau:
Vance E. Fulkerson, Jr., National Guard Bureau
Sergeant Kyle Snyder, National Guard Bureau
 

Defense Agencies and Department of Defense Field Activities:
Polly W. Adams, Department of Defense Office of Inspector General
John M. Perry, Army and Air Force Exchange Service
Jenobia T. Pitts, Defense Commissary Agency
Paul Stephen Doyle Jr., Defense Contract Audit Agency
Hilary N. Bishop, Defense Contract Management Agency
Cielito Valencia, Defense Finance and Accounting Service
Christopher J. Frost, Defense Intelligence Agency
Melanie Sue Schmechel, Defense Logistics Agency
Jennifer Weber, Department of Defense Education Activity
Fadi M. Abu-Shaaban, National Security Agency
 

The following four DoD Components received secretary of defense awards for their outstanding achievements in the employment of individuals with disabilities:
Best Military Department: Department of the Air Force
Best Mid-Sized Component: Defense Finance and Accounting Service
Best Small-Sized Component: Department of Defense Office of Inspector General
Best Intelligence Component: National Security Agency