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ROK Chief Awarded Meritorious Service Medal

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Trevor Gordnier
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 694th Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group awarded retired Chief Master Sgt. Kim, Kyu-dong with a Meritorious Service Medal for his dedicated service to the United States during his time as Command Sgt. Maj. of the 777th Armed Forces Unit, Republic of Korea Air Force. 

On December 31, 2020, Kim retired after completing 36-years of military service. Due to unprecedented delays consequential from the COVID-19 pandemic, Kim was presented his Meritorious Service Medal on July 21, 2022.

“Receiving this award has made the conclusion of my 36 years in the military even more meaningful,” said Kim. “Today’s heartfelt emotion and gratitude will remain in my heart forever.”

Kim first joined the ROKAF in 1984 and later transferred to Osan Air Base in 1985, working closely with the 6903rd Air Force Intelligence squadron. In 2018, Kim was selected to be the Chief of the Defense Security Agency Command. In this leadership position, he prioritized strengthening the alliance between the U.S. and the ROK by leading combined intelligence missions, informing intelligence policies and developing shared analytical assessments for multilateral operations. 

His team was the first to alert the 607th Air Operations Center, the United States Forces Korea and the Republic of Koreas Joint Chiefs of Staff of high-interest missile activity, which resulted in new political and diplomatic dynamics on the Korean peninsula. Not only did Kim make an impact on the mission but on his team members as well.  

“Out of all the leaders I have had in my adventures in Korea, nobody was more set on the relationship between the U.S. and ROK than Chief Kim,” said Senior Master Sgt. William Nash, 324th Intelligence Squadron Operations superintendent. “This is a well-deserved and long-time-coming recognition for a man, who has stood by the U.S. ROK alliance for nearly 40 years.”