WEST POINT – The West Point Association of Graduates announced on Monday that former US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will receive the Thayer Award in a ceremony on October 4.
Panetta was the 23rd US Secretary of Defense and also held positions of the third director of the CIA, 18th White House Chief of Staff, and chairman of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy.
He currently serves on the boards of directors for Oracle and Blue Shield of California and serves as co-chairman of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Defense Personnel Task Force and the Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission on Countering Violent Extremism.
The Thayer Award, established in honor of Col. Sylvanus Thayer, “Father of the Military Academy,” is presented to an outstanding citizen whose service and accomplishments in the national interest exemplify the military academy’s motto, “Duty, Honor, Country.”
The Association of Graduates has presented the award annually since 1958.
Past recipients of the Thayer Award include Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Bob Hope, Neil Armstrong, Barbara Jordon, Sandra Day O’Connor, Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger. Last year’s recipient was George W. Bush.