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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary’s awards recognize the accomplishments of individuals and/or teams of employees throughout the Department. Usually granted on an annual basis, the frequency of these honorary awards is determined solely by DHS. At the discretion of the DHS Secretary, nominations are solicited from across the Department for these awards. Nominations must be approved by the nominee’s supervisory chain of command and the Commandant before being forwarded to DHS for selection. Below is a list of the DHS Secretary’s awards:
Secretary’s Award for Valor - This award is the highest recognition for extraordinary acts of valor occurring either on or off duty. The employee will have demonstrated selfless response by performing courageously in a highly dangerous or life-threatening situation to protect another’s life or to save significant assets or infrastructure from harm. Both civilian and military employees of the Department are eligible for this award. Only one individual or group award in this category.