Open Board Meeting February 10, 2009 Washington DC
FALLS CHURCH, Va. - February 10, 2009 - The Defense of Freedom medal was presented to William "Ron" Little, a former civilian police advisor who was wounded in
in 2006. The presentation was made in
Washington, D.C., February 10, 2009, during the CivPol Alumni Association. Mike Cox, Alumni President introduced retired Maj. Gen. Robert B. Rosenkranz, to present the medal on behalf of Secretary of the Army Peter Geren.
The honor marks the first time an international civilian police advisor has received the Defense of Freedom medal for actions and injuries sustained while on a CIVPOL mission. Little is also the only former or current International employee to receive such an honor.
Ron Little, 46, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., was an international civilian police advisor in Kosovo and then
. In Iraq, he was part of a Police Training Team mentoring Iraqi police officers in professional police techniques, part of the coalition effort to support the establishment of a democratically-oriented police force in Iraq. He was injured by an explosively-formed projectile (EFP) which hit his vehicle in an insurgent attack on December 20, 2006. Two U.S. Army members of the Police Training Team were also injured in the attack.
Offering thanks for the Defense of Freedom medal, Little said he is truly honored, and accepts the recognition not only for his own service, but also in the name of the many international police advisors who have made greater sacrifices, including their lives, in the same work to extend freedom, peace, and security.
Ambassador David T. Johnson, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), spoke at the ceremony, praising the courage and sacrifice made by many CIVPOL police advisors and mentors around the world assisting the development and operation of effective criminal justice and police systems.
Other former members of the CIVPOL mission in
Iraqwere in attendance, including Walter Redman, Senior Police Advisor for the Department of State INL Bureau, and
Chesterfield Countypolice officer Brian Rhodenizer, who was in the same convoy with Little when the attack occurred.
The Defense of Freedom medal was created by the Secretary of Defense in 2001, to honor civilian employees of the Department of Defense injured or killed in the line of duty. It is the civilian equivalent of the military Purple Heart medal. The first recipients were those Department of Defense civilians injured or killed in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. At the discretion of the Secretary of Defense, the medal may be awarded to non-DoD employees, including contractors, based on their involvement in Department of Defense activities.
The award ceremony was organized as part of the board meeting of the CIVPOL Alumni Association (CAA), a non-profit, international community-based organization founded in 2007 and dedicated to providing international law enforcement officers a community of residents. The association provides continuing education presentations and workshops led by law enforcement professionals at the federal, state, county, and local levels. The U.S. Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) manages the international Civilian Police (CIVPOL) program.