The 2019 Secretary’s Awards honor the work, sacrifice, and professional excellence of 723 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 DHS employees who share their commitment to the Department and to the American people.
The Secretary grants the Exceptional Service Gold Medal in recognition of exceptionally outstanding leadership or service that is distinguished by achievements of national or international significance, reflecting great credit on the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Government by markedly improving the security of our homeland.
The 2019 Secretary’s Meritorious Service Medal recognizes exceptional individual leadership or service that is distinguished by achievements of marked significance over time to the Department of Homeland Security. This award will recognize a body of work characterized by superior performance related to significant accomplishments, business improvements or notable resourcefulness and diligence that significantly improved the effectiveness of the Department of Homeland Security in one or more program areas.
This award recognizes an individual and team who exemplify the Department of Homeland Security's leadership philosophy, principles, and core values of integrity, vigilance, and respect; demonstrated implementing practices, policies, products, opportunities and resources in an effort to put DHS "Employees First"; achieved results, inspired and motivated others by example to work collaboratively and creatively, and mentors personnel toward their highest potential.
The 2019 Secretary’s Award for Valor is the highest departmental recognition for extraordinary acts of valor by an employee, occurring while on or off duty. The award is only to be given in extraordinary 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 2019 Secretary’s Unity of Effort Award recognizes outstanding efforts in coordination, and unity of effort across the Department of Homeland Security by significantly improving efficiency and effectiveness. The award acknowledges group efforts within the Department or with external partners who assist in meeting our commitment of unity of effort.
The 2019 Secretary’s Award for Exemplary Service recognizes exemplary individual service by Department of Homeland Security employees serving in administrative, technical, clerical and general support positions.
The 2019 Secretary’s Award for Excellence recognizes outstanding individual achievement or innovation by an employee engaged in work to advance the mission of the Department of Homeland Security. This work may have resulted in superior performance, significant operational improvements or notable innovation in support of Department of Homeland Security missions.
The 2019 Secretary’s Award for Diversity Management recognizes an employee who has excelled in efforts to promote diversity at the Department of Homeland Security through exceptional leadership, innovation and perseverance. The award may acknowledge individual efforts exclusively within the Department or with external partners who assist the Department of Homeland Security in meeting our commitment to diversity.
The 2019 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 the larger public good.
The 2019 Secretary's Unit Award recognizes any unit within the Department with outstanding team achievements in operational areas such as law enforcement, aviation, cybersecurity, border patrol, and hiring, acquisition and information technology. The work will have resulted in measurable improvements in employee morale and engagement within and among members of the unit, superior performance, significant operational improvements, or notable innovation in support of DHS missions.