From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The National Security Education Program (NSEP) recognized a senior Navy civilian with their 2015 Spirit of Service Award for advancing their core mission of strengthening foreign language skills and international expertise in the national security community, Feb. 25.
Lee Johnson, head of Navy's Language, Regional Expertise and Culture (LREC) office, is being recognized by the Boren Forum for his role in "ensuring that Asia Pacific regional expertise is codified and valued within the United States Navy, through the development of a new additional qualification designator (AQD)", wrote the forum's president Yenal Kucuker in a recent letter. The award was presented during the Boren Forum open house reception at the Hillyer Gallery in Washington, D.C.
"I phoned a Defense Department colleague who is very familiar with the Boren Forum to have him confirm I understood correctly the intent of the letter informing me of the award. Of course, I did grasp the contents correctly, yet I remain surprised at having been selected. Several of its alumni work in national security related agencies and clearly their knowledge and understanding of the importance of language and culture skills to our nation's defense posture helps highlight the value of those skills within Navy," said Johnson.
Johnson, a 1973 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy served in the Navy for 31 years on active duty retiring at the rank of captain in 2004. He's served the Navy as a civilian for the last ten years and has been the head of LREC since 2007.
Kucuker wrote Johnson's work "ensures that our military forces will be better equipped to navigate the cultural and diplomatic arena and directly enhances our ability to develop partnerships that underline our national security architecture. We recognize this contribution to developing a cadre of regional and linguistic experts as something that aligns with the NSEP mission and spirit and we want to acknowledge this exciting initiative."
NSEP was created by the David L. Boren National Security Education Act of 1991 to develop a much-needed strategic partnership between the national security community and higher education, addressing the national need for experts in critical languages and regions.
The Boren Forum is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the educational, social, and career development of NSEP award recipients and the enhancement and expansion of public service opportunities through partnerships among alumni and other organizations.
Past recipients of the Boren Forum Spirit of Service Award include former NSEP Director Robert Slater, former Congressman Daniel Boren, Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency David Shedd, and U.S. Ambassador Wanda Nesbitt.