GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany -- The U.S. State Department presented a Polish admiral and graduate of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies with an American military medal March 22.
Polish Ambassador Lee Feinstein awarded Rear Adm. Ryszard Demczuk of the Polish Navy with the Meritorious Service Medal for his service as deputy commander, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force-Shafafiyat, International Security Assistance Force.
At the ceremony, attended by senior Polish and American military officials including Chief of Defense General Mieczysław Cieniuch, Ambassador Lee Feinstein said, “Rear Admiral Demczuk’s service in Afghanistan directly contributed to an increase in anti-corruption efforts and is a great example of how the United States and its NATO partners work together to ensure the Afghan government and security forces are ready to assume responsibility for their country when NATO transitions into a supporting role in 2014.”
The award, signed by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Secretary of the Army John McHugh, reads:
“Rear Admiral Demczuk’s outstanding contributions to the campaign, leadership, and dedication to duty contributed significantly to the anti-corruption efforts and facilitated unity of efforts within the command, the Government of Afghanistan, and the international community to reduce corruption. He helped to refine intelligence requirements and drove adaptations in intelligence efforts and capabilities, which resulted in better visibility of the corruption problem and its effect on the viability of the Afghan state. Rear Admiral Demczuk’s exceptionally dedicated service reflects great credit upon himself, the Polish Navy, and his country.”
The admiral attended the Marshall Center in 1998 as a lieutenant commander. According to Chris O' Conner, center alumni relations specialist, the admiral said attending the Marshall Center was "a real career cahnger for him, providing the academic and linguistic opportunities he needed for further career advancement and for leading several major operational and training reforms in the Polish Navy."
(Portions of this article were taken from this post by the U.S. Embassy in Poland)