(KFVS) - A Sparta High School graduate was recently awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal.
Dean Peebels was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal on Feb. 21. Peebels is the director of staff at the Headquarters Air Force District of Washington at Join Base Andrews in Maryland.
Peebels graduated from Sparta High School in 1979. He has family ties to Marion and Vienna.
Peebels received an associate degree in business administration from Belleville Area College, now called Southwestern Illinois College.
Peebels attempted to join the Air Force several times while in college, hitting speed bumps along the way.
Peebels graduated from ISU in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and finance.
After graduating from ISU and months of unsuccessfully searching for his first post-college job, he began considering joining the military once again.
He attended Officer Training School with the Air Force and has worked with the Air Force in some capacity ever since.
After seven years of active duty, Peebels separated from the Air Force in 1992, and continued in his previous military unit as a civilian contractor. He entered the Air Force Reserve in 1996. In 2002, he transitioned once more from being a contractor to officially joining the U.S. government as a civilian. Continuing to serve part time in the Air Force Reserve, Peebels retired in the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2009.
Peebels’ Meritorious Civilian Service Medal reflects his achievement as an outstanding civilian Airman who emphasizes leadership and excellence, characteristics highly respected throughout the Air Force, according to the United States Air Force.
The award honors his leadership from his previous assignment as deputy director of the Space Based Infrared System program at Los Angeles Air Force Base in California, where he stepped in to lead a division during a critical time.