Secretary Johnson Honors DHS Employees Across the Country

WASHINGTON –Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson hosted the 2016 DHS Secretary’s Awards Ceremony to honor DHS employees from across the country for their extraordinary work and commitment to the Department’s mission.


“Through our incredibly important mission, we’re at the forefront of so many vitally important national security operations. In so many ways, all of you are leading the effort to safeguard the American people, our homeland and our values,” said Secretary Johnson. “These awards acknowledge the terrific work and the valor of the men and women of this Department, which is reflected in the work you see among thousands and thousands of your colleagues. It has been the highlight of my professional life to lead and work with all of you.”

Joined by Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, hundreds of employees, teams and their families and friends were recognized.

“Every day, our Department takes on the tremendous task of safeguarding our country,” said Deputy Secretary Mayorkas. “Every time you come to work, you are writing the Department’s legacy: Whether you wear a uniform or a suit, whether you respond to disasters or prevent them, whether you work behind the scenes or on the front lines, you are making a difference and we thank you for your service.”

Senior leadership and employees from all DHS components gathered to help honor their colleagues. The event included musical performances by the U.S. Coast Guard Band and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Pipe and Drum Band. The invocation was delivered by U.S. Coast Guard Deputy Chaplain Commander Judy T. Malana and the National Anthem was sung by U.S. Secret Service employee Gerald Edgreen.

For a list of all awardees, please click here.

The award categories included:

Secretary’s Meritorious Service Silver Medal: Secretary Johnson awarded 5 individuals and 8 teams with the Meritorious Service Silver Medal.

Secretary’s Customer Service Award: Secretary Johnson awarded 3 individuals and 3 teams with the Secretary’s Customer Service Award.

Secretary’s Unit Award: Secretary Johnson awarded 11 teams with the Secretary’s Unit Award.

Secretary’s Award for Exemplary Service: Secretary Johnson awarded 10 individuals and 1 team with the Secretary’s Award for Exemplary Service.

Secretary’s Award for Excellence: Secretary Johnson awarded 6 individuals and 16 teams with the Secretary’s Award for Excellence.

Secretary’s Award for Diversity Management: Secretary Johnson awarded 1 individual with the Secretary’s Award for Diversity Management.

Secretary’s Award for Volunteer Service: Secretary Johnson awarded 2 individuals and 1 team with the Secretary’s Award for Volunteer Service.

Secretary’s Unity of Effort Award: Secretary Johnson awarded 13 teams with the Secretary’s Unity of Effort award.

Secretary’s Award for Valor: Secretary Johnson awarded 3 individuals and 4 teams with the Secretary’s Award for Valor.

Secretary’s Exceptional Service Gold Medal: Secretary Johnson awarded 1 individual with the Exceptional Service Gold Medal, the highest award presented during the ceremony.