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Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

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NYPD Commissioner Receives MCUF Leadership Award

By Sgt John Neal | | November 13, 2002

NEW YORK -- The Marine Corps University Foundation honored the Commissioner of the New York Police Department with the Major General John H. Russell Leadership Award at its annual luncheon here today.

In a white-walled room of the Union League Club where a giant portrait of Abraham Lincoln looked down on the assembly of current and former Marines, Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly received the MCUF's award for his exemplary leadership role.  Kelly, a retired Marine colonel and Vietnam veteran, said receiving the award was "a tremendous honor."

Kelly is the only person to hold the top spot in the NYPD in two separate tenures.  He is also a former Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service (for which he received the Alexander Hamilton Medal for Exceptional Service), a former Under Secretary for Enforcement at the U.S. Treasury, and served as Director of the International Police Monitors in Haiti, for which the President of the United States and the Joint Chiefs of Staff decorated him.  He was also Vice President for the Americas of Interpol.  Additionally, he holds several degrees from colleges in New York City and Harvard University.

The foundation of his success as a leader, Kelly says, came from his service in the Marine Corps.

"Those leaderships lessons I learned early on in the Marine Corps, those traits, those principles ... I rely on every day."

In leading New York's finest, Kelly says the city and the NYPD have "been major beneficiaries of training received in the Marine Corps."  The relationship between the law enforcement community in New York and the Marines is one Kelly says he and many New Yorkers are proud of.

"We're awfully proud of our Marine Corps connection, which I'm sure is no surprise."

Several of the top leaders of the NYPD once wore the uniform of the United States Marines, including Deputy Commissioner and retired Lieutenant General Frank Libutti.  With Libutti's experience combined with that of the several hundreds of Marines serving in the NYPD, Kelly says New York's finest have strengthened its abilities to protect the Big Apple.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to the Marine Corps for the quality of leadership it provides," said Kelly, "and to Marine Corps University for keeping that leadership alive."

The MCUF's Russell Leadership Award recognizes those who best portray a commitment to personal and professional excellence as embodied by the Marine Corps.  Past recipients include former Mayor of New York City David Dinkins, two former chairmen and CEO's of the New York Stock Exchange, and former Secretary of the Navy James Webb.

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