A civilian and U.S. Army Central spouse was awarded the third-highest honor the Department of the Army can award to a private citizen on July 1.
USARCENT Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Van presented Katrin Galeano with the Meritorious Public …
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USARCENT Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Van presented Katrin Galeano with the Meritorious Public Service Medal this week. The award celebrates Galeano's exceptional public service in support of her military spouse, families, civilians, the local Sumter community and the military community across the globe.
"The military has become my extended family over the last 20 years," Galeano said in a news release. "Because exceptional volunteers have supported me from the very beginning and made a lasting impact on my life and my family, it is important for me to do the same."
Galeano was introduced to the U.S. Army when she met her husband while attending college as an international student, according to the release. Since then, she has proactively supported soldiers, civilians and family members throughout the past 20 years.
In those 20 years, Galeano led and advised Soldier and Family Readiness Groups in the U.S. and overseas, and she created a "lasting imprint" in her focus on creating a bridge between the military and the civilian communities as a citizen advocate at Shaw Air Force Base in the Sumter community.
Headquarters nominated Galeano to represent the Army Service Component Command during a high-profile school superintendent selection in the local community. She was not only the voice of the current military community, but she was also an advocate for the next generation of the military community to be assigned to Shaw.
During these events, state senators and House representatives relied on her expertise as to what military families seek as they enter the community.
Making new connections and reaching out to resources comes second nature to Galeano, who actively volunteers in local schools. According to the release, she and her daughter taught the German language and culture at a local middle school and assisted during events at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
During her three-year tenure, Galeano managed the Operations Security social media presence for the Headquarters Department of the Army in the Pentagon with an audience ranging from newly enlisted soldiers and their families to units and military installations worldwide: active duty, National Guard and reserve. Galeano institutionalized a critical communication platform, making profound effects by providing a clear understanding about the importance of OPSEC and what individuals and organizations can do to protect critical information while also protecting themselves from a wide range of risks.
According to the release, Galeano documented well over 6,000 volunteer hours on the Army Volunteer Management Information System with 800 hours as a dedicated volunteer certified by the HQDA OPSEC program manager. Her PhD Fellowship in Information Sciences provided her further expertise in this field which allowed her to share information and advice in the social cyber security realm.
She has also assisted USARCENT's Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion in their Soldier and Family Readiness Group communications efforts.
"I am one volunteer of many," Galeano said. "It is hard to leave. This has become our home, because of the people."
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