NRL's Peter Wilhelm Receives DoD Distinguished Civilian Service Award

11/29/2010 - 147-10r
Contact: Donna McKinney, (202) 767-2541

The Naval Research Laboratory's Peter Wilhelm, was recently honored with his second Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award. Wilhelm was noted for distinguished civilian service as Director, Naval Center for Space Technology at NRL from July 1987 through October 2010. This award is the highest civilian award given by the Department of Defense and is presented with the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal.

Wilhelm was recognized for "demonstrated exceptional technical expertise, outstanding management, and zealous dedication to excellence in support of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, and national space programs. His outstanding leadership, superb engineering accomplishments, and inspiring vision substantially contributed to the Department of Defense's leadership in space. Uncompromising in his pursuit of quality, Mr. Wilhelm insists on the application of continuous improvement of operating principles to every satellite development effort for which he was responsible. His pioneering technological achievements had prompt and valuable impact on national defense and the U.S. space program. His contributions enhanced America's long-term security interests that will have lasting impact on this nation. The distinctive accomplishments of Mr. Wilhelm reflect great credit upon himself and the Department of Defense."

The award ceremony was held at the Pentagon on November 4, 2010. It was hosted by Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn who paid tribute to eight people who distinguished themselves among more than 700,000 others in winning the Defense Department's annual top civilian employee awards.

"They understand that working for the department is a public trust that brings great responsibilities and opportunities," Lynn said during the ceremony where he presented the 55th Annual Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Awards and the 6th Annual David O. Cooke Excellence in Public Administration Award.

Lynn noted the seven Distinguished Civilian Service Award recipients' contributions toward innovations and efficiencies in information technology, foreign languages, developing unmanned aircraft and enhancing the performance of deployed service members, among others. "Each one of you helped the department carry out its mission in various ways," he said.

The Distinguished Civilian Service Award was created 55 years ago to recognize a small number of employees whose careers reflect exceptional devotion to duty and extremely significant contributions in policy, science, technology and administrative fields.

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The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory provides the advanced scientific capabilities required to bolster our country's position of global naval leadership. The Laboratory, with a total complement of approximately 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, D.C., with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Monterey, Calif. NRL has served the Navy and the nation for over 90 years and continues to advance research further than you can imagine. For more information, visit the NRL website or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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