The 2014 Secretary’s Awards honor the work, sacrifice and professional excellence of employees from components all across the Department of Homeland Security. These colleagues highlighted below have performed above and beyond the call of duty, responding in extraordinary ways to the challenges of protecting the homeland. These individuals have displayed a special dedication to the mission of homeland security, setting a sterling example for all 240,000 DHS employees who share their commitment to the Department and to the American people.
On October 23, 2014, Secretary Jeh Johnson honored 312 employees from across the country.
The Secretary’s Exceptional Service Award is the highest award for service granted by the Secretary of Homeland Security. The award honors exceptional leadership or service that is distinguished by achievements of unique national or international significance, reflecting great credit on the Department by markedly improving the security of our homeland.
The Secretary’s Meritorious Service Award is the second highest award presented by the Secretary and recognizes outstanding leadership, superior public service or unusually significant contributions to strengthening homeland security. It may recognize a body of work regarding remarkable innovation or notable resourcefulness and diligence that improved the effectiveness of one or more DHS missions.
The Secretary’s Award for Valor is the highest recognition for extraordinary acts of valor occurring either on or off duty. The employee will have demonstrated selfless response by performing courageously in a highly dangerous or life-threatening situation to protect another’s life or to save significant assets or infrastructure from harm.
The Secretary’s Award for Exemplary Service recognizes exemplary individual service by DHS employees serving in administrative, technical, clerical and general support positions.
The Secretary’s Award for Excellence recognizes achievement or innovation by an individual or team engaged in work to advance the mission of the Department of Homeland Security. The work of the nominee(s) may have resulted in superior performance, significant operational improvements or notable innovation in support of DHS missions.
The Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Diversity Management recognizes an employee who has excelled in efforts to promote diversity at DHS, through outstanding leadership and innovation. It may acknowledge individual efforts exclusively within DHS with external partners who assist DHS in meeting our commitment to diversity.
The Secretary’s Award for Volunteer Service recognizes significant contributions by DHS employees who serve as volunteers with non-profit or community service programs or activities. The employee’s contributions should be direct, sustained and have meaningful results for individuals or larger public good.
Many of our employees put themselves into harm’s way each day to ensure the safety of our nation and its people. 43 DHS employees have lost their lives in the line of duty since November of 2008, and we honor these individuals and their sacrifice.