By George MarkfelderMay 24, 2012
More than a thousand visitors and residents of the nation's capital watched their host, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, chief of staff of the U.S. Army, present five Outstanding Civilian Service Awards, as Soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) performed to the sounds of The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" during a Twilight Tattoo on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall May 23.
"I extend a warm welcome to everyone who came out tonight, and more importantly, for your incredible support to our Soldiers and Army Families," said Odierno during remarks made to the audience and Soldiers performing. "We are honored to have with us tonight five individuals who have gone above and beyond in their selfless support of our troops."
The Outstanding Civilian Service award is the third highest honor the U.S. Army may bestow upon a private citizen. It is awarded to civilians not employed by the Army, federal government officials at the policy development level or technical personnel who assist the Army as a consultant or advisor.
"These individuals have dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort to support, enable and empower our Soldiers and Army Families," said Odierno. "I am proud to not only acknowledge all the support they have given to our Army, but to tell them how grateful we are for what they do as role models and selfless leaders."
Odierno presented awards to Tom Coughlin, head coach of the New York Giants, Lynn Chwatsky, vice president of outreach for the Sesame Workshop's Military Families Project, Linda Patterson, president and founder of America Supporting Americans, John Harbaugh, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens and Bob Delaney, former police officer and referee in the National Basketball Association.
"It's a meaningful award; it's important to me to be a small part of what the military does," said Harbaugh during an interview prior to the ceremony. "I just want to say thanks to all of the military, and I am so grateful for everything they do."
"General Odierno offered education to be a part of the USO tour, and I wanted to get involved," said Coughlin. "I went to Mosul, Iraq, and was able to meet the Soldiers, and the thing that really stood out to me was they all had such high morale, and I was happy to be a part of that experience."
The Twilight Tattoo is a production of the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and is free and open to the public. It is scheduled every Wednesday night, rain or shine at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall (Fort Myer) during the summer through the end of August.
Check the U.S. Army Military District of Washington's Twilight Tattoo website for schedule details and history of the "Twilight Tattoo" at http://twilight.mdw.army.mil/.