At Fort Belvoir, George Dickson is best known as the business operations director for the Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation. While that work has garnered much appreciation from colleagues around post, it was his recent deployment to Iraq that has both the community and Army buzzing.

In a ceremony earlier this month, Staff Sgt. Dickson was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal for his work as a military police liaison from February to September. While in Baghdad, Dickson was the NCO in charge of two secured, controlled access sites where
classified detention operations were being conducted.

Among his responsibilities was the coordination of security efforts, force protection and supervision of operations for Company C, 1-279th Infantry personnel. Dickson also routinely worked with adjacent units, agencies and civilian contractors for further support at both sites, in addition to allowing Soldiers time off for MWR needs.

A veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Dickson is a member of the Maryland National Guard's 290th Military Police Company. He was officially called to active-duty in October 2007 and found no problem accepting an assignment overseas.

"I'm dedicated to the basic principles of the military and consider myself a patriot. Being able to serve my country is an honor and I'm grateful for the opportunity," Dickson said. "It's an extremely rewarding experience. While in Iraq, I learned many of the customs and ways of the people living there. I also saw how much they appreciated what we were doing for them. I'm happy to have experienced that firsthand."

According to Dickson, he always wanted to be a police officer and was drawn to working as an MP while in basic training at Fort McClellan, Ala. in 1988. After four-years of active-duty service, Dickson enjoyed a 12-year break from military life before joining the Maryland National Guard in 2004.

Since then, he has been distinguished with a Humanitarian Service Award for his work during Hurricane Katrina, as well as other