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DeVries Receives DON Civilian Commendation Medal

Levi DeVries receives DON Civilian Service

Commendation Medal for work with US

Naval Academy’s Airborne Drone Policy

Professor Levi DeVries of Robotics and Control Engineering at the US Naval Academy, was awarded the Department of the Navy (DON) Civilian Service Commendation Medal for his efforts modernizing USNA’s airborne drone policy. He was presented with his medal by Jenelle Piepmeier, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Weapons, Robotics and Control Engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Levi DeVries, son of Jim and Adelle DeVries, has been teaching at the US Naval Academy since August 2014. He is a 2005 graduate of Mahnomen High School. He received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland.
According to the letter provided with the medal, the award was presented “for significant contributions to the United States Navy while serving as the Drone Lead, United States Naval Academy, from May 2018 to January 2023.”
“In 2018, the DoD came out with a new airborne drone policy that crippled USNA’s educational mission overnight. You then took over the program, adjusted policy and procedures to enable the Academy to operate airborne drones in accordance with the new DoD policy. This was a monumental task that you made seamless. Through your efforts, USNA is now operating drones on a routine basis as part of the academic mission to train future officers.”
“Your work has been of substantial benefit to the United States Navy and the Nation. Please accept my personal thanks and congratulations on a job well done!” — Dr. Andrew T. Phillips, Provost, United States Naval Academy.

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