Lt. Col. Jill Wagner, U.S. Army Ret., was awarded the Legion of Merit before an audience of senior Navy technical leaders and managers here April 14.
Martin Westphal - Vice Director for Director Command, Control, Communications and Computers/Cyber, Joint Staff, Pentagon - pinned the Legion of Merit Medal on Wagner at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) weekly leadership team meeting, commending Wagner for her many achievements in service to the nation.
The award honored Wagner for exceptionally meritorious service over a distinguished career while serving in various positions of increasing responsibility, culminating as the Action Officer, Directorate for Command, Control, Communications and Computers / Cyber (C4), Joint Staff (J-6).
“Lieutenant Colonel Wagner’s career accomplishment’s resulted in lasting improvements to intelligence support for warfighters worldwide,” according to the award’s citation. “Her exemplary service and commitment to the nation through times of war and peace has been steadfast, unwavering and in keeping with the Army core values.”
The J-6 represents the joint warfighter in support of C4 requirements in validation and capability development processes while ensuring joint interoperability.
Currently, Wagner supports the NSWCDD Asymmetric Defense Systems Department as a civilian.
“The Asymmetric Systems Department congratulates Jill Wagner on her recent service recognition with the Legion of Merit Award, and is pleased to have her recently join our Mission Assurance Division team,” said Ted Ruane, NSWCDD Infrastructure, Networks, Analysis and Assessment Branch Head. “Her 21 years of dedicated and honorable service, combined with her past C4/Cyber experience, has prepared her extremely well for her new role as a Senior Systems Analyst. In this capacity, she will be identifying operational requirements for the Mission Assurance Decision Support System, which supports U.S. Navy and joint warfighting communications missions across the world. Bravo Zulu to Jill and welcome aboard.”
The Legion of Merit, the first United States decoration created specifically for award to citizens of other nations, was established by an Act of Congress of July 20, 1942, amended by an executive order of March 15, 1955. The reverse of the medal has the motto taken from the Great Seal of the United States “ANNUIT COEPTIS” (He [God] Has Favored Our Undertakings) and the date “MDCCLXXXII” (1782) which is the date of America’s first decoration, the Badge of Military Merit, now known as the Purple Heart.
The ribbon design also follows the pattern of the Purple Heart ribbon. Taking into account all service medals soldiers are authorized to wear, per AR 670-1, the Legion of Merit ranks as the ninth highest award, worn after the Defense Superior Service Medal and before the Distinguished Flying Cross.