Officials at Randolph Air Force Base announced on 3 September that Edmund Zelnio, the Air Force nominee assigned to the Air Force Research Laboratory, is the winner of the 53rd annual Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award.
Zelnio, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, was selected for the honor, the highest given by the Secretary of Defense to a career civilian. Zelnio has chaired SPIE's Synthetic Aperture Radar Imagery conference for 14 years, and also has served on program committees for other Defense, Security, and Sensors and Optics+Photonics conferences.
The award reflects execptional devotion to duty and extremely significant contributions of broad scope to the efficiency, economy, or other improvements in the operation of DoD.
A member of AFRL's Sensors Directorate, Zelnio was cited for his hard work over a 32-year career that has contributed to the successful deployment of new sensor and sensor exploitation technologies in numerous Air Force and DoD weapon systems for air-to-air, air-to-ground, and space-to-ground sensing scenarios.
Additionally, Zelnio's contributions to synthetic aperture radar sensor technology and synthetic aperture radar sensor exploitation technology enabled DoD to find and prosecute targets previously impervious to attack due to weather and foliage concealment strategies.
This award will be presented by the Secretary of Defense in a ceremony at the Pentagon tentatively scheduled for 15 October.