Former CMF Deputy Commander Awarded Legion of Merit

From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON (NNS) — Royal Navy Commodore William J. Warrender was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptional meritorious service as the deputy commander, Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), from March 2015 to June 2017 during a ceremony at the Pentagon Dec. 6.

The award was presented by Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan, the commander of the CMF during Warrender’s time as deputy commander. Donegan is now serving as the director of Navy Staff at the Pentagon.

“Commodore Warrender set the standard on how to best employ multinational assets across 3.2 million square miles of international waters,” said Donegan. “Through his dedicated leadership, task forces were able to protect the free flow of commerce, improve maritime security and to deter illicit activity in the CMF area of operations. Will, thank you for your superb leadership of this multi-national task force.”

Warrender’s recommendation and approval for the award were based on his critical leadership and oversight of maritime operations during an exceptionally complex and challenging period as an innovative leader, brilliant tactician and dynamic maritime commander according to an action memorandum signed by the Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

As deputy commander, CMF he was responsible for providing maritime security and stability across 2.5 million square miles of international waters while strengthening the maritime capabilities and interoperability of Gulf partner nations. As a direct result of his engaged leadership, there are 32 member nations actively combining efforts to thwart violent extremism and terrorist networks in the CMF area of operations through maritime security, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and counter-narcotics operations.

The Legion of Merit, the first United States decoration created specifically for award to citizens of other nations, was established by an Act of Congress of July 20, 1942, amended by an executive order of March 15, 1955. The reverse of the medal has the motto taken from the Great Seal of the United States “ANNUIT COEPTIS” (He [God] Has Favored Our Undertakings) and the date “MDCCLXXXII” (1782) which is the date of America’s first decoration, the Badge of Military Merit, now known as the Purple Heart.

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