NSWC IHEODTD Commanding Officer Capt. Scott Kraft pins the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian on Mechanical Engineer Steve Kim, as his wife Julianne Kim watches, at a ceremony on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

This is the second highest award granted to career civilian employees by the Secretary of Defense and is reserved for Department of Defense and other government agencies’ employees who have distinguished themselves by exceptionally meritorious service of major significance to the DoD.

Kim, recognized nationally and internationally as a U.S. expert in biological agent countermeasures, was awarded the medal for his distinctive accomplishments from October 2006 to August 2016.

His work conducting exploitations of improvised explosive devices enhanced the understanding of the threat posed to U.S. warfighters along with fostering collaboration with our national, joint and international partners to fully depict the most recent threats to not only U.S. military forces but also those of our allies.

U.S. Navy photo by Matt Poynor

In addition to his IED efforts, Kim concurrently managed classified programs for DoD and non-DoD organizations providing oversight on the development, testing and fabrication of emergency destruct units currently deployed to safeguard classified information and equipment. He also provided research and testing of specialized energetic tools for special operations application.

“I view this award as acknowledgement that our hard work is making a difference for the warfighter,” Kim said. “I became a U.S. citizen at 10, and I’m honored to serve my country as a civilian engineer. I owe much to my supporting team members whose dedication and hard work made this award possible.”

While most of Kim’s work is classified, it can be said that his actions and contributions over the past decade of service have ensured the technical advancement in energetics and directly protected lives around the world. His exceptional leadership, professionalism and contributions are unsurpassed.

“It was my honor to present this medal to Steve today,” said NSWC IHEODTD Commanding Officer Capt. Scott Kraft. “We are fortunate to have an engineer of Steve’s caliber on our team. As a command we strive for excellence, Steve met that challenge and surpassed our expectations by going above and beyond the call of duty.”

“Steve’s commitment and dedication to the Navy, our customers and most importantly to our nation’s warfighters exemplify our core values,” said NSWC IHEODTD Technical Director Mr. Ashley Johnson. “The work he does is critical to our national defense. He is another shining example that the power and success of Indian Head is our people – the Navy depends on us to fly farther, hit harder, and save lives.”