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Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee, was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award by Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James. Congressman Turner released the following statement: 

“I am humbled and honored to receive the Distinguished Public Service Award. As the home to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and a robust defense industrial base, few communities can compare to Dayton’s enduring commitment to national defense. I am proud to represent and advocate for Dayton and the brave men and women of Wright-Patt. I thank the Secretary for this award. I look forward to a continued, successful partnership with the Secretary and the defense community as a whole.” 

The Distinguished Public Service Award (DPSA) is awarded to individuals who have significantly contributed to maintaining the USAF as the pre-eminent Air, Space, and Cyberspace Force in the world. The DPSA is now the highest honorary award the Secrtary of the Air Force or Chief of Staff of the Air Force may grant to a private citizen. Eligible candidates for this award are civilians, excluding Air Force employees and contractors.  

The DPSA was developed to appropriately recognize distinguished Americans who have made significant contributions to the Air Force and its Airmen. Prior to the DPSA, the only award available for this purpose was the Air Force Scroll of Appreciation (AFSOA), which recognizes meritorious achievement or service rendered to any activity of the Department of the Air Force. Although an appropriate award for merit, the AFSOA -- consisting of a certificate with no accompanying medal or device -- was deemed insufficiently distinctive for recognition as compared to similar public service awards presented by the Navy and Army. Congressmen Joel Hefley and Ike Skelton are previous recipients of this esteemed award.