WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus honored outgoing Congressman Gene Taylor with the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Navy's highest civilian honor.
The Secretary of the Navy awards this distinction to an individual who makes special contributions "bearing directly on the accomplishment of the Navy's mission."
"The Navy has no better friend than Gene Taylor," Secretary Mabus said. "His steadfast support of our Sailors and Marines has ensured they had the right equipment to do their jobs, keep them safe and do the mission our Nation has asked them to do."
Congressman Taylor has served on the House Armed Services Committee since 1989.
When Taylor became Chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces in January of 2007, he championed the Navy's 30-year plan which calls for a 313-ship fleet to be able to meet all its missions to transport troops, provide support for military operations, and establish and maintain the U.S. presence around the world.
Since Congressman has been the Seapower Subcommittee chair in 2007, the Navy's fleet has grown by seven ships, from 279 to 286. Prior to this, the Navy's fleet had been the smallest it had been since the 19th Century.
Originally a certificate with a lapel pin, the medal was first presented in July 1951.
The Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award reads as follows:
Congressman Taylor's selfless devotion to the Nation's Sailors and Marines ensured they were provided the resources necessary to support and defend the Nation's interests around the globe. His courageous leadership, vision, and loyalty to the men and women of the Department of the Navy greatly contributed to the quality of the United States' naval forces and ensured the Navy and Marine Corps team was the most lethal fighting force in history. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces, Congressman Taylor's tireless advocacy helped maintain the highest levels of combat readiness. With grateful appreciation for his outstanding contributions to the Navy and the Marine Corps, the Honorable Gene Taylor is awarded the Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award.