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A security officer for the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Field Activity, the Dahlgren-based arm of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), was recognized for superior performance of duties in the workplace, dependability and community service. For Pam Hall, COGAR Security Group Officer of the Year, customer service just comes naturally.

For the last four years, employees at Aegis BMD have come to recognize Hall's smiling face and happy personality. The Missouri-born, Virginia-raised security officer has worked in a variety of positions onboard Naval Support facility (NSF) since she took her first job on base 28 years ago.

"I started out in food service in 1984," said Hall, explaining the importance of customer service throughout her career. "I've done customer service my entire life. I'm a fast learner and I can pick up anything."

Like many military contractors, Hall has grown attached to her clientele, whose observations were an important part of the award calculus. "It feels great to be recognized by the people I serve," she said. "It's an honor."

Hall recently moved up in her job to a camera-monitoring position and spoke about her day-today experience. "Staying focused isn't always easy," she said. "I have to make sure that if, for instance, someone falls in the parking lot, I'm watching."

Hall's concern for the welfare of others is not confined to the workplace, however. When a massive tornado devastated the town of Joplin, Mo. in May of last year, Hall used her vacation to help tornado victims.

"I have an 86-year old aunt who lives in Joplin," she said. "Every street around her house was wiped out; her house and a few others were the only ones in the area that were still standing."

Working with some "very nice" missionaries, Hall worked to ensure victims received clothes. "I volunteered with my niece and her three little boys," she said. "We sorted through thousands of boxes of clothes and separated them by sizes. As [tornado victims] came to pick them up, we made sure they were on the list."

Because the three boys relished the work so much, Hall declined an opportunity to rotate to another volunteer task, one which would have kept her out of the elements. "We spent three days sorting out clothes in 100-degree weather," said Hall, who grinned at the memory.

Hall's volunteer effort came as no surprise to COGAR's senior supervisor at Aegis BMD. "That's just the way she is," said Terry Lanham.

Lanham had high praise for Hall's qualities on-the-job, too.

"Pam sets the standard," she said. "Her customer service skills set her apart from the rest. Customers and visitors love her. She's always got that smile. It's what she brings to work with her every day. It's the first thing our customers see when they come in morning and the last thing they see when they leave in the evening."

Lanham was very happy Hall was recognized for all she contributes. "Pam definitely deserves to be the Officer of the Year," said Lanham. "She goes above and beyond and is 100-percent dedicated to [COGAR] and [MDA]. You can't turn her off."