By Sgt. 1st Class Denis B. Ricou, LANG State Public Affairs Office
NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana National Guard’s Environmental Program recognized two state employees yesterday by awarding them each with the Louisiana Distinguished Civilian Service Medal during an official ceremony at Camp Beauregard, July 29.
Kevin Chapman and Ben Thomas, both civilians with the Louisiana Military Department’s Construction and Facilities Maintenance Office, were presented the awards by Brig. Gen. Keith Waddell, the adjutant general of the LANG.
“There’s no other place I’d rather be today than honoring these two gentlemen for their service to the Guard as they provide focus for action on our environment and help us protect what matters,” said Waddell.
Thomas, the compliance branch manager, is responsible for coordination with state and federal agencies to ensure the LANG falls within all regulatory requirements, environmental laws and permits at the local, state, and federal levels. His efforts are now utilized as best practices by the National Guard Bureau in regards to compliance initiatives.
Chapman, the conservation branch manager, focuses on environmental laws and regulations and their impact on LANG policies or practices. He also manages numerous subprograms, such as forestry, natural resources and cultural resources. His efforts are now utilized as best practices by NGB in regards to conservation initiatives, as well as implementation.
Both Chapman’s and Thomas’ awards read, “… [Their] steadfast dedication, selfless service, and endless support was instrumental in the overall success and sustainment of the environmental program and a prime contributor to the overall growth of the environmental program. He is an essential team member, focused on promoting and enhancing training sites, ensuring environmental quality without interruption to the training of the force.”
The Louisiana Distinguished Civilian Service Medal is awarded by the adjutant general, upon recommendation, to a civilian who has rendered exceptionally meritorious service in furthering the security and welfare of the State of Louisiana. The performance must be such as to merit recognition for service which is clearly exceptional.