U.S. Pacific Fleet chief gets Seoul’s national security medal

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Nov 3, 2014 - 21:14
  • Updated : Nov 3, 2014 - 21:14

The South Korean government on Monday bestowed the Order of National Security Merit’s “Tongil Medal” on U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Harry B. Harris for his contributions to maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula.

South Korea’s Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Hwang Ki-chul gave the medal to Harris during a ceremony at Seoul’s Ministry of National Defense. The ceremony was attended by senior South Korean and U.S. defense officials. 
U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Harry B. Harris (right) shakes hands with South Korea’s Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Hwang Ki-chul, after receiving Seoul’s national security medal at the Ministry of National Defense in Seoul on Monday. (Navy)

“U.S. Pacific Cmdr. Harris helped deter North Korean provocations and contribute greatly to regional peace and stability through active cooperation with the South Korean Navy,” the Navy said in a press release.

Harris has helped strengthen the allies’ naval cooperation through regularly holding joint exercises and establishing a South Korea-U.S. antisubmarine cooperation panel, all of which have contributed to enhancing the allies’ operational capabilities, Seoul officials said.

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 and attended Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and Oxford University. During his graduate studies, he focused on East Asia security.

Harris has served in every geographic combatant command region, and joined major operations such as Attain Document III in Libya in 1986 and Odyssey Dawn in Libya in 2011. He was promoted to admiral and took the helm of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in October 2013.

By Song Sang-ho (