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Recognizing excellence: SDDC officer receives Superior Service Medal.

Brig Gen. Maynard Sanders received the Defense Superior Service Medal April 7 for his exceptional service, accomplishments and leadership during his tour of active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sanders, who ended a six-month tour as the director of the Deployment and Distribution Operations Center, relinquished his duties to Brig. Gen. Dave Kee from the Defense Logistics Agency and returns to his assignment as the Deputy Commander for Mobilization for the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command in Alexandria, Va.

"Every mission was met with proficiency, expertise and brought great credit upon every one of you. I thank you for your leadership and sense of humor," said Maj. Gen. Brian Geehan, director of logistics, U.S. Central Command, after presenting the award. "It's been an honor."

The medal is the second highest peacetime defense award, awarded to officers who perform superior meritorious service while in a position of significant responsibility and assigned to a joint activity.

Sanders leaves behind a legacy of accomplishments and tough shoes to fill, Geehan said.

Since October, Sanders supervised the strategic and operational logistics throughout the Southwest Asia theater of operation, directed a 68-person joint division, and transported a record number of passengers while meeting delivery dates and passenger requests. Sanders spearheaded the introduction of commercial airlift of cargo into Iraq, which hadn't happened since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During Sanders' command, theater airlift assets and coalition forces moved more than 300,000 passengers and 41,000 short-tons of cargo and supplies for Pakistan Earthquake Relief Operations.

"When I think about the operational environment--everything happened on target and on time," said Geehan. "I credit that to the leadership."

Sanders attributed his success to the support of those he worked with.

"Some seek greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them," Sanders said to the room filled with comrades and friends. "Right now, I'm surrounded by greatness."

Sgt. Crystal Rothermel

143rd Transportation Command
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Title Annotation:Maynard Sanders of Surface Deployment and Distribution Command
Author:Rothermel, Crystal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2006
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