By Preston Rudie
TAMPA, Fla. (WTSP) -- Since Jill Kelley was thrust into the national spotlight, we've heard about the socialite's support of our country's military.
Now we've learned that Kelley was recognized for her public service when former CIA director David Petraeus honored the 37-year-old with the Joint Chief's of Staff's second highest award given to civilians.
Last year during a ceremony in Washington DC, Petraeus gave Kelley the Outstanding Civilian Service Award.
A Pentagon spokesperson could not provide background on why Kelley was selected for the award, but he did give 10 News a copy of the citation that accompanied the award. The text of the citation is listed below:
In recognition of outstanding public service to the United States Central Command, the MacDill Air Force Base community and the Department of Defense from October 31, 2008 to May 31, 2010. Mrs. Kelley distinguished herself by exceptional service while supporting the mission of the United Central Command, building positive relationships between the military and the Tampa community, supporting community outreach, and advancing various military endeavors.
Her willingness to host engagements with Senior National Representatives from more than sixty countries was indicative of her support for both the Coalitions effort and the mission of United States Central Command. On multiple occasions, Mrs. Kelley invited Senior National Representatives, their spouses, and senior leaders to her home to demonstrate their gratitude and support.
These events promoted camaraderie, understanding and a better appreciation for Coalition and military customs, concerns and abilities. Her personal leadership and selfless contributions to our community generated a strong bond between our Coalition members and Tampa residents, which inspired acts of generosity and patriotism in others.
She has also been instrumental in introducing the Commander, early in his tenure, to local and state officials, particularly the Mayor of Tampa and the Governor of Florida, fostering a relationship that brought the military and the citizens of Florida closer together and with a more thorough understanding of the contributions by the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines of the Central Command and MacDill Air Force Base.
The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Mrs. Jill Kelley are in keeping with the finest traditions of public service and reflect great credit upon herself, United States Central Command and the Department of Defense.
First Coast News