Two Air Force civilians win highest honor

  • Published
  • By Jim Garamone
  • American Forces Press Service
Two Air Force civilians received the Department of Defense's highest civilian service award here Oct. 22, also notable because both are below grade GS-15.

While the Distinguished Civilian Service Award could be given to a DOD civilian of any grade, this was the first time anyone below GS-15 has received one. In the past, only members of the Senior Executive Service or GS-15s, the top of the civil service pyramid, have received it.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz presented awards to Sarah Tackett, GS-14, chief of professional staff management at the Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; and Isaiah Ravenel, GS-11, chief of Detachment 2, Air Postal Squadron, at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Tackett was cited for her leadership, foresight, initiative and technical expertise in making the Air Force Materiel Command the service's first to collect data on clinical near-misses that served as a model to improve patient safety throughout federal health care facilities.

Ravenel received the award for his efforts in expediting the transport of more than 48 million pounds of mail for more than 300,000 U.S. government personnel and family members in the Pacific Theater. He also was recognized for diplomacy and postal expertise in negotiations with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Wolfowitz used the occasion to laud government service.

"Your efforts, and those of all the civilians who serve throughout the department, ensure that our warriors in Afghanistan, those here in America and around the world, have the weapons and support they need today," he said. "Your vision and dedication will help us fulfill the department's responsibility to ensure our military men and women have the tools they will need in the decades to come."