An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Feature Stories

NEWS | July 1, 2020

USARCENT Honors Volunteer with Top U.S. Army Civilian Award

By Story by Staff Sgt. Anri Baril U.S. Army Central

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- U.S. Army Central Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Jeffrey Van, presented Katrin Galeano with the Meritorious Public Service Medal, the third highest honors the Department of the Army can award to a private citizen. The award celebrates Galeano’s exceptional public service in support of her military spouse, families, civilians, the local Sumter community and the military community across the globe.

“The military has become my extended family over the last twenty years,” stated Galeano who was introduced to the U.S. Army when she met her husband while attending college as an international student, “Because exceptional volunteers have supported me from the very beginning and made a lasting impact on my life and my family, it is important for me to do the same.”

Mrs. Galeano has proactively supported Soldiers, civilians and family members throughout the past 20 years. She has led and advised Soldier and Family Readiness Groups in the U.S. and overseas. Her focus on creating a bridge between the military and the civilian communities as a citizen advocate at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC community has created a lasting imprint.

Mrs. Galeano was nominated by the headquarters to represent the Army Service Component Command during a high-profile school superintendent selection in the local community. Not only was she the voice of the current military community but also an advocate for the next generation military community to be assigned to SHAW AFB. During these events, she worked with state elected senators and house representatives who relied on her expertise to determine what military children and parents seek as they enter the community.

Making new connections and reaching out to resources comes second nature to Ms. Galeano who actively volunteers in local schools. Together with her daughter, she has taught German language and culture at local elementary and middle schools and assisted the schools with various events.

During her three-year tenure, Mrs. Galeano managed the Operations Security (OPSEC) social media presence for the Department of the Army with an audience ranging from newly enlisted soldiers and their families to units and military installations worldwide: active duty, national guard and reserve. During this period, Mrs. Galeano institutionalized a critical communication platform that that has had profound effects such as providing a clear understanding about the importance of OPSEC and what individuals and organization can do to protect critical information while also protecting themselves from a wide range of risks. Risks that are derived from intentionally or unintentionally sharing too much information, scams, cyber threats or any other threats that could harm the US Army, our mission, our Soldiers and their families.

Mrs. Galeano documented well over 6,000 volunteer hours on the Army Volunteer Management Information System with 800 hours as a dedicated volunteer certified by the HQDA OPSEC program manager. Her PhD Fellowship in Information Sciences provides her further expertise in this field which allowed her to share information and advice in the social cyber security realm. She is currently assisting U.S. Army Central’s (USARCENT) Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion (HHBN) in their Soldier and Family Readiness Group communications efforts.