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NDIA to Present 2015 Eisenhower Award to Leon Panetta

ARLINGTON, VA., April 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is pleased to announce they will present the prestigious 2015 Dwight D. Eisenhower Award to the Honorable Leon Panetta for his long-standing and extraordinary career in public service later today, at its annual award dinner.

For nearly fifty years, Leon Panetta's impressive career has included serving as Secretary of Defense, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, White House Chief of Staff, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Chairman of its Committee on the Budget.

"Secretary Panetta is a man of great talent and ability for whom America offered many paths to success. We are fortunate as a nation that he chose public service for his life's work," said NDIA Chairman Arnold Punaro. "His dedication to maintaining American security, freedom and democracy embodies the very essence of the Eisenhower Award."

His service began as a Vietnam-era Army intelligence lieutenant, while his Washington career began as a Senate aide. While serving as Budget Committee Chair in the House, Panetta led efforts to improve education, healthcare, immigration, and the environment. He later became President Clinton's Director of the Office of Management and Budget where he created the foundation for the budget surpluses of the final years of the Administration.

As Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he led the organization to bring justice to the victims of 9/11 by avenging the mastermind of the attacks, Osama bin Laden.

In 2011, when serving as Secretary of Defense for the Obama Administration, one of Secretary Panetta's first acts was to co-sign the certification of the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and to open combat roles to our women in uniform. He broadened the ability to serve, and made our military stronger for it. His tenure at the Department of Defense was also notable for his practiced management of budget cuts in pursuit of the least harmful outcomes. As Secretary, he championed rational budget-making in contrast to requirements of the Budget Control Act, for which he led the fight to repeal.

Secretary Panetta has demonstrated extraordinary devotion to our country and remarkable leadership in military, security, and fiscal service.

About the Dwight D. Eisenhower Award:

The Dwight D. Eisenhower Award is NDIA's most prestigious award and is accompanied by the Eisenhower Medal. The Award is named in honor of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and serves to recognize his support for and contribution to a strong national security and robust defense industrial base both as President and as General of the U.S. Army. The Eisenhower Award and Medal recognize leadership and strategic impact at the highest levels of National Security. The Eisenhower Award is bestowed annually on an individual who best reflects President Eisenhower's beliefs and support for a strong national security and industrial base.

Among the criteria awardees meet are: U.S. citizenship and leadership; support of the military services and other security-related agencies, and active support of the defense industrial base and its programs.

About NDIA:

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading Defense Industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between Industry and Government on National Security issues. NDIA members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations and events.

CONTACT:Erica Utegaard eutegaard@ndia.orgSource:National Defense Industrial Association(NDIA)