Brunssum, The Netherlands – At a ceremony held at Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS) on Tuesday 13 September, three JFCBS staff were presented NATO's highest awards: the NATO Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) and the SACEUR Recognition Award (SRA).
The award goes to the soldier, but the merit belongs to both the families and the soldiers
Prior to handing out the awards, General Guglielmo Luigi Miglietta, Commander JFCBS paid a special tribute to military personnel and their families: “Our extraordinary and demanding job requires from us great dedication, and very often from our families an equivalent deal of sacrifices. Therefore, today the award goes to the soldier, but the merit belongs to both the families and the soldiers.”
General Miglietta presented the NATO Meritorious Service Medal to Lieutenant Colonel Guntars Strazditis, Latvian Army, for his outstanding performance within the NATO planning process. The NATO MSM was established by the North Atlantic Council in 2003. It is awarded for meritorious service in the interest of the Alliance. Each and every MSM is personally approved by the Secretary General.
General Miglietta also presented the SACEUR Recognition Award (SRA) to Lieutenant Colonel Andrea Mele, Italian Army, in recognition of his performance as an enabling and unifying force across wide-ranging divisional responsibilities, surpassing the widest remit of his role, and to Lieutenant Colonel Isabelle Benestan, French Army, who enhanced the headquarter’s capabilities via her superior leadership, initiative and professional competency. The SRA was established in order to recognize exceptional service and outstanding individual achievement in a way that may be career-enhancing for the recipient; it sits below the NATO MSM but above awards and commendations by the individual Allied Command Operations (ACO) Commands, making it the senior ACO-awarded honour.
General Miglietta congratulated the recipients, thanked them for their performances, and wished them continued success.