ARLINGTON, Va. - John Nerger, executive director of the Installation Management Command, and former Executive Director Philip Sakowitz, were recognized for their exceptional contributions with 2008 Presidential Rank Awards announced Oct. 6.

Each year, the president recognizes and celebrates an elite group of career senior executives who consistently demonstrate strength, integrity and commitment to excellence in public services through results-oriented leadership. Executives from across government are nominated by their agency heads, evaluated by citizen panels, and designated by the president.

Sakowitz, now the director and chief executive officer of the Defense Commissary Agency, was recognized as a Distinguished Executive. Nerger received a Meritorious Senior Executive Award.

"They are both extraordinary leaders and consummate professionals. We are extremely fortunate to have them in our ranks serving Soldiers and Families," said Lt. Gen. Robert Wilson, assistant chief of staff for installation management and commanding general of U.S. Army Installation Management Command.

The executive director of the Installation Management Command directs the multi-disciplinary management of facilities, programs, services and infrastructure for 110 Army installations worldwide. This includes oversight of a $13 billion annual budget, 116,000 employees, 15,000 million acres and 934 million square feet of facilities worth $212 billion.

Distinguished Rank recipients receive a lump-sum payment of 35 percent of their rate of annual basic pay, and Meritorious Rank recipients receive 20 percent of their rate of annual basic pay. All recipients receive framed certificates signed by the president.

The Senior Executive Service awards were established in 1978. Each year, the president has conferred the ranks of Distinguished Executive and Meritorious Executive on a select group of career members of the SES who have provided exceptional service to the American people over an extended period of time.