PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - Each year Public Service Recognition Week is celebrated during the first whole week in May. This is the 21st year the Department of Defense is participating in recognizing its civilian workforce.

The DOD is the second largest federal employer, behind the U.S. Postal Service. Among the branches of the DOD, the Army has the largest civilian workforce, with more than 245,000 employees. Locally, there are more than 800 civilian employees directly supporting the mission of training military personnel here.

This year's theme, "Innovation and Opportunity," gives citizens the chance to see the breadth of the cutting-edge groundbreaking work being done in government, from renewable energy to tsunami warning systems to teaching languages to our warfighters, and to explore the many ways to make a difference by choosing careers in public service.

Locally, this week, garrison leaders will recognize a few of our own outstanding public servants during the Garrison Awards Ceremony at the Weckerling Center 3-4 p.m. Friday. During the event Friday, we will recognize fellow workers for their efforts of going above what is required and for the time they have dedicated working for their country.

For those recognized this week as well as the entire work force, "Thank you," because every person here, civilian and military, provides critical work needed to support our fighting force and their families.