The Council of Trustees of the Association of the United States Army awarded the 2011 George Catlett Marshall Medal to Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker for his tireless dedication to promoting America’s interests abroad and his commitment to the highest American ideals.
Ryan C. Crocker, a Career Ambassador who repeatedly served in the world’s most troubled hotspots, exemplifies American diplomacy.
Ambassador Crocker grew up in an Air Force family and spent much of his youth living abroad in such locations as Morocco and Turkey. In 1971 he received a B.A. in English from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and in 2001 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from his alma mater.
Upon joining the Foreign Service in 1971, he began a career that would take him to posts throughout the Middle East and would provide him the regional understanding and expertise to pursue American interests in some of the most difficult and dangerous diplomatic assignments. Over the ensuing years, Ambassador Crocker consistently demonstrated his ability to confront and overcome crises. From surviving the bombing of the American embassy in Beirut in 1983 to reestablishing the American embassy in Kabul during the early stages of Operation Enduring Freedom, he more than earned his reputation as a diplomatic “fireman.”
In 2007, as levels of violence in Iraq spiraled out of control, Ambassador Crocker took the reins of the American embassy in Bagdad. There, in concert with General David H. Petraeus, he helped form an unprecedented level of civil-military cooperation; Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates lauded the partnership formed in Iraq as the best civil-military team he had seen in his 42 years of government service. Working hand in hand with his military partners, Ambassador Crocker established a seamless integration between the political and military efforts at all levels of operation and served as one of the primary architects of Iraq’s transformation.
Ambassador Crocker is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Distinguished Service Award and the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award. He has twice received the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award for his civil–military roles in both Gulf Wars. On January 15, 2009, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a singular honor reflective of his selfless and courageous service to the United States.
In recognition of his proven leadership skills in numerous critical missions and his exceptional ability to foster establishment of effective interagency teams, it is with profound admiration and sincere gratitude that the Association of the United States Army presented its highest award, the George Catlett Marshall Medal, to Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker on the twelfth day of October, two thousand eleven.