Awards ceremonies usually honor current employees who have performed exceptionally and contributed to the mission of a command. A U.S. Army Public Health Command award ceremony at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., South chapel Sept. 18 honored current employees, but also recognized the service of a former employee.

Evelyn "Bell" Riley was the first public affairs officer to serve at the U.S. Army Environmental Hygiene Agency, one of the predecessor organizations of the USAPHC. Riley retired in 2003 with 52 years of government service, more than 40 of them at the USAEHA and its successor organizations.

To honor her, the command initiated an award to recognize general and special staff employees who reflect her "excellence in innovation and collaboration in support of the USAPHC mission."

David Davis, USAPHC chief information officer, received the first annual Evelyn "Bell" Riley Award from Maj. Gen. Dean G. Sienko, USAPHC commander, for consistently demonstrating the best qualities of leadership in support of the command mission.

According to the award citation, Riley fostered administrative excellence and was a model of organizational dedication, selfless service and professional excellence who served as a mentor and role model and exhibited outstanding leadership.

"This is a good day. We get to recognize two long-term employees--one, Bell Riley, and the other, Dave Davis," said John Resta, USAPHC's Army Institute of Public Health director and deputy to the commander, who assisted in the presentation.

"Bell was the first public affairs officer at the Army Environmental Hygiene Agency, but that was one of her last jobs," Resta said. "Prior to that, she was responsible for all of the technical documents the organization produced.

"During her career she was both a role model and a mentor who touched many of us who had the privilege of knowing her. She had a steel determination to make this place better, and Dave Davis has many of the same characteristics," explained Resta.

"We would not be where we are today (at the USAPHC) without his support--our phones wouldn't work, we wouldn't have computers, and we wouldn't be able to communicate. He has a relentless passion to make things happen."

Both Sienko and Resta commended Davis for outstanding achievements and dedication to duty.