ARLINGTON, VA – U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus recently presented Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) with the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award in a ceremony at his office in the Pentagon. The award is the highest recognition that the Secretary of the Navy may pay to a civilian not employed by the Department of the Navy.
Hinchey, who is retiring after 20 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives, enlisted in the United States Navy following high school and was honorably discharged after serving in the Pacific aboard the USS Marshal. He is a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. Hinchey also created the House Defense Energy Security Caucus, which aims to find solutions to the energy challenges that are facing the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense.
"I appreciate Congressman Hinchey’s support of the Department of the Navy’s energy efforts and other initiatives that maintain readiness while ensuring quality of life for the men and women who wear the uniform of our nation," Secretary Mabus said. "He has proudly represented his fellow New Yorkers in demonstrating unfailing support of our Navy and Marine Corps team, the greatest expeditionary force the world has ever known, and this award recognizes that support."
"It is a great honor to receive the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award," Hinchey said. "I served in the U.S. Navy after high school, which enabled me as a member of Congress to understand and address the challenges and needs of our men and women in uniform. In that effort, it was a great privilege to work with Secretary Mabus and all of the distinguished leaders of our armed services. I thank the Secretary for this designation and I will cherish it forever."
Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) said, "My good friend, Mr. Hinchey, has been a great partner on the Defense Appropriations subcommittee toward strengthening our Navy and I congratulate him on this exceptional honor."
As a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Hinchey has been a tireless advocate on behalf of the needs of the U.S. Navy. As a veteran, Hinchey has also worked diligently to ensure proper treatment and care of our uniformed men and women during and after their service, voting repeatedly to increase troop pay and strengthen health care and other benefits.
Hinchey has also played a substantial role in educating members of Congress and the public on the strategic value of utilizing sustainable energy sources for the U.S. military. As a founder of the bipartisan Defense Energy Security Caucus, Hinchey has continuously highlighted the need to strengthen emerging defense energy initiatives, including ways to limit the need for heavily targeted and dangerous fuel convoys in Afghanistan; encouraging the Department of Defense to purchase exclusively American-made photovoltaic solar panels; and, supporting an emerging advanced biofuels industry and advanced battery researchers.
Established in 1951, The Navy Distinguished Public Service Award is presented by the U.S. Secretary of the Navy to civilians for contributions or accomplishments that have had Navy-wide, or beyond, impact.