NATO Meritorious Service Medal awarded to Major Stijn Polus of JFC Brunssum
Brunssum, The Netherlands - Today, Major Stijn Polus from the Belgian Army was awarded the NATO Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) in the name of the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. The award ceremony was conducted by the Commander of JFC Brunssum, General Jörg Vollmer, at the Headquarters' premises.
Major Polus usually works in the Operations Branch of Headquarters JFC Brunssum as a Duty Officer in the Joint Operations Centre. From January to July 2019, he served with the Resolute Support Mission (RS) in Afghanistan in the Train, Advise and Assist Command-North (TAAC-N) in Mazar-e-Sharif, as a branch staff officer. In this capacity, he was in charge of coordinating and planning travel and logistics for all operational flights and ground movements within TAAC-N. In doing so, he accomplished a very demanding and complex task in an exemplary manner, not hesitating to take on additional duties such as providing his command with timely analyses and optimizing flight schedules, resulting in a significant reduction of operational costs and leading several Operational Planning Teams in the theatre. In order to reflect his outstanding performance, he was nominated by the Commander RS, General Scott Miller, for this award.
The NATO MSM is awarded to commend NATO staff whose personal initiative and dedication went beyond the limits of their assigned duty to make a difference both to their colleagues and to NATO as an organisation. When assessing nominations for the award, the following criteria are taken into consideration: the performance of acts of courage in difficult or dangerous circumstances; showing exceptional leadership or personal example; making an outstanding individual contribution to a NATO sponsored programme or activity, or enduring particular hardship or deprivation in the interest of NATO.
In his speech during the presentation ceremony, General Vollmer expressed his honour to present this award to Major Polus in recognition of his achievements at TAAC-N, since he twice served in Northern Afghanistan himself. He then described Major Polus as an exceptional soldier with a dedicated sense of duty.
Major Polus is known for his willingness and unbreakable desire to overcome any challenges and hurdles, and displayed true dedication to his mission. He inspired everyone around him. His outstanding contribution to the RS mission in Afghanistan is most deserving of the NATO Meritorious Service Medal
Due to the Corona pandemic restrictions, the Commander could not pin the medal to Major Polus' chest, as would be the usual procedure. For the same reason, only very few staff were allowed to participate in the award ceremony.
Story by Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum Public Affairs Office