NEWPORT, R.I. (NNS) -- Assistant Secretary of State Christopher R. Hill was formally presented with the Naval War College's Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award at a ceremonial dinner Oct. 19 at the Washington Navy Yard.
Hill, a 1994 graduate of the College of Naval Warfare in Newport, Rhode Island, is the first Foreign Service officer to be so recognized in the College's 120 year history.
In making the award presentation, Vice Adm. Ronald A Route, the Naval Inspector General, said that Chris Hill's "demonstrated leadership skills and his professional and personal accomplishments will serve as an inspiration to all Naval War College students."
Route was standing in for College President Rear Adm. Jacob L. Shuford, who was engaged in discussions with the President of the Kuznetsov Naval Academy in St Petersburg, Russia.
Previous winners of the Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award have included Army Gen. John Shalikashvili, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Marine Corp Gen. Michael Hagee, the current Commandant of the Marine Corps; and Adm. William J. Fallon, who now serves as Commander, U.S. Pacific Command.
Founded in 1884, the Naval War College is the oldest military war college in the nation, and its student body is composed of senior officers from all military services, international officers from 46 allied nations, and a select number of civilians from various branches of the federal government, including the Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security. The 10-month graduate-degree program provides up-and-coming professionals from around the world with a broad education in all areas of national security and strategic studies.
"The Naval War College helped me prepare for what I am doing now in Korea," said Hill, who heads the American delegation to the Six Power Talks on the Korean Nuclear Issue. "It helped teach me what the military can and cannot do. It is important that a diplomat understands what the job of the military is and vice versa. But as I look back on the time since the War College, I cannot imagine grappling with these issues without the experience of Newport."
Also attending the dinner were Ambassador Robert Pearson, director-general of the Foreign Service; retired Adm. Stansfield Turner, a past president of the Naval War College and the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Professor John Jackson, director of Long Range Planning at the Naval War College who served as master of ceremonies for the event.
The audience of more than 100 guests included current and former Naval War College students and faculty members, and a number of Hill's friends and associates.
The award is sponsored by the Naval War College Foundation, a charitable organization which supports a wide range of Naval War College educational and research programs. The Foundation was represented at the dinner by the Chairman of its Board of Trustees, retired Capt. D. Robert McGinnis.
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