By Adriane ElliotSeptember 20, 2018
Department of Defense Expeditionary Civilian (DOC-EC) Derek Duncan was awarded the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, NATO Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Wartime Service and Civilian of the Month certificates for his service in Afghanistan during a ceremony Sept. 17.
Area Support Group-Afghanistan (ASG-A) Commander Col. Jacob Peterson presented Duncan the awards at the command headquarters on Bagram Airfield.
Duncan was assigned to ASG-A on a year-long deployment through the DOD-EC Program, which deploys personnel to support military operations. Before redeploying to the United States in September 2018, he served as the site manager of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Dahlke West, located in the Logar province of Eastern Afghanistan.
ASG-A provides standardized services, facilities and infrastructure to the Joint Expeditionary Force at Dwyer and other FOBs throughout Combined Joint Operations Afghanistan. The ASG-A mission is in support of Resolute Support, the NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, who assumed nationwide responsibility for Afghanistan's security following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force mission. Its purpose is to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner.
Duncan said he appreciates the recognition but feels the assignment was his duty.
"I've always felt that every able-bodied DoD civilian employee should try to make the journey to support our military members in the field," he said. "It not only demonstrates our commitment to supporting our service members, but provides a first-person perspective on what it is those service members go through in the field and the sacrifices they undertake by volunteering to serve.
As the site manager, also known as the FOB mayor, Duncan provided ASG-A base life support services that ranged from housing and food service to laundry, infrastructure and facilities for military, contract and civilian personnel.
"My satisfaction comes from being out there with them to establish a new base and to do what I was able to establish services and support to enable them to focus on their mission at the tip of the spear, vice having to worry about how to get day-to-day services they need to accomplish unit and national security objectives," said Duncan.