The Radford University Police Department has been awarded the Seven Seals, the U.S. Department of Defense's highest civilian honor.
In a ceremony on Friday, Dec. 21, in Martin Hall, RUPD Chief Colleen Roberts accepted the award that recognized the 39-member department for its outstanding support of military service members. The presentation was made by Michael Kavanaugh, Army Reserve Ambassador for Virginia.
The Seven Seals Award is made by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a program of the Defense Department. Depicting the heraldry seals of the seven military services, the award recognizes significant individual achievement and initiative among the more than 4,800 volunteers who carry out ESGR’s mission across the nation. Recipients of this award do not necessarily employ Reservists but have demonstrated outstanding support, commitment and patriotism.
"We're very proud of this honor," said Richard Alvarez, Radford University's vice president of finance and administration. "The passion and dedication of the RUPD to supporting all those who are serving, or have served, our country is commendable, as is its service to the university."
Kavanaugh, representative of the ESGR's Virginia and Roanoke field committees, said the RUPD "has been exemplary in support of members of the Guard and Reserve, and its contribution will be more important in the future."
The RUPD currently includes two Reservists. Chief Roberts said the honor encompassed the entire team. "This award recognizes my colleagues, staff and friends who have done many acts of kindness and shown great generosity in support of the men and women of the military who serve this country," she said.
In 2009, Roberts won the ESGR's Patriot award, which recognizes direct support of a supervisor for an individual National Guard member or Reservist.
ESGR, a Defense Department agency established in 1972, develops and promotes employer support for Guard and Reserve service by advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and resolving conflict between employers and service members.