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2015 Secretary’s Awards

The 2015 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 225,000 DHS employees who share their commitment to the Department and to the American people.


  • Exceptional Service

    The Secretary’s Exceptional Service Gold Medal recognizes exceptionally outstanding leadership or service that is distinguished by achievements of national or international significance that reflects great credit on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the federal government by markedly improving the security of our homeland.

  • Meritorious Service

    The Secretary’s Meritorious Service Silver Medal recognizes exceptional leadership or service distinguished by achievements over time to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This award recognizes superior performance through remarkable accomplishments, business improvements, or notable resourcefulness and diligence that significantly improved the effectiveness of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in one or more program areas.

  • Valor

    The Secretary’s Award for Valor is the highest departmental recognition for extraordinary acts of valor by an employee or group, occurring while on or off duty. The award is given in exceptional circumstances to those who have demonstrated extraordinary courage in a highly dangerous, life-threatening situation or emergency under extreme stress and involving a specific act of valor, such as saving another person’s life or property. Both civilian and military employees of the Department are eligible for this award.

  • Unity of Effort

    The Secretary’s Unity of Effort Award recognizes outstanding efforts to significantly improve efficiency and effectiveness across the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This award acknowledges efforts within the Department and with our interagency partners to further the Secretary’s Unity of Effort initiative. 

  • Exemplary Service

    The Secretary’s Award for Exemplary Service recognizes exemplary individual service by U.S. Department of Homeland Security employees serving in administrative, technical, clerical, and general support positions.

  • Excellence

    The Secretary’s Award for Excellence recognizes outstanding achievement or innovation by an employee or team engaged in work to advance the mission of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This work may have resulted in superior performance, significant operational improvements, or notable innovation in support of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s missions.  

  • Diversity Management

    The Secretary’s Award for Diversity Management recognizes employees who have excelled in efforts to promote diversity at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through exceptional leadership, innovation,  and perseverance. The award may acknowledge individual or group efforts exclusively within the Department or with our partners who assist in meeting our commitment to diversity.

  • Volunteer Service

    The Secretary’s Award for Volunteer Service recognizes significant contributions by U.S. Department of Homeland Security 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 the larger public good.

Last Updated: 01/13/2022
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