Ebola Campaign Medal
3/30/2017 12:00:00 AM
During the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Rear Admiral (RADM) Scott Giberson led the effort to establish the Monrovia Medical Unit facilities. After the PHS deployments ended, RADM Giberson and other officers pushed for a campaign medal. RADM Giberson sent the following message to officers eligible for the Ebola Campaign Medal (ECM).
I’m writing to you because two years ago you had a substantial impact on the public health of our nation and nations abroad. You provided multiple public health services internationally and protected the safety and public health of our American citizens on the home front during our Corps’ Ebola response in West Africa.
Today is a good day for multiple reasons. First, two years ago almost to the day, we ended our historic MMU mission in West Africa. The MMU and Camp Eason was ‘decommissioned’ and the final team and leadership returned home. It was the culmination of over a year of planning, deployment, and redeployment...Second, most of you (if not all) have recently received), the Ebola Campaign Medal (ECM) in your PIR. Congratulations to everyone involved! It goes without saying, it was very well deserved…
As I close this final loop, I wanted you each to know it was an unbelievable privilege to work with you on the various missions: airport screenings, domestic response, CDC missions and epidemiology teams, novel NIH countermeasure research, and of course, the expeditionary MMU. Assuring recognition for this remarkable response was always a goal of our initial strategy. For various reasons (including my own oversights), this didn’t happen as quickly as planned, but due to unwavering determination and support, the recognition process is now complete. These awards and other individual awards received represent your extraordinary service and dedication during a time of high anxiety. It was your service that put the Corps in a very visible position with national and international leadership at the highest levels. Your individual and collective contributions made this mission a tremendous success and inspired your fellow officers, your leadership and our sister services. It was a remarkable set of missions that involved multiple agencies and hundreds of officers - that collectively was the Corps’ Ebola Response. Arguably some of the most remarkable missions and achievements in our distinguished history.
Regarding acquisition of the ECM ribbon, I am certain the ribbon is available at Ultrathin. However, at the moment they have not made the ECM medal. Vanguard is aware that officers have already been awarded the ECM, so I would expect more urgent progress being made in the near future and should also be available for purchase.
I hope this message finds you doing well and I hope it brings back a very rewarding memory of your contribution to our Corps and the Nation. Keep up the great work, be proud and humble, and stay fit and ready.
While I can’t speculate when the next large international public health response will be, I am sure the Corps will be called upon…again.
Scott F. Giberson, BSPharm, PhC, NCPS-PP, MPH
Rear Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service