INDIAN HEAD, Md. – Christopher Cherry, a civilian explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) professional, was recognized with one of the Navy’s highest honors: the Department of the Navy (DON) Distinguished Public Service Award, at the EOD Technology and Training Program Board at Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters, September 11.

Cherry was presented the award by Rear Adm. Eric H. Ver Hage, EOD Executive Manager, and Brig. Gen. Heidi J. Hoyle, Commanding General of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, both of whom serve as co-chairs of the EOD Program Board.

“Mr. Cherry’s entire career has been dedicated to providing our warfighters the tools necessary to identify and exploit improvised explosive devices they encounter in the field,” Ver Hage said. “It is my distinct pleasure and privilege to present him with this award on behalf of the countless number of EOD personnel he ensured were brought home safely.”

Cherry’s products are widely used to support the Joint Service EOD community throughout the DoD and his tools were directly responsible for the disruption of more than 50,000 improvised explosive devices (IED) on the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. Cherry has trained thousands of U.S. military personnel on the use of his explosively driven tools, tactics, techniques and procedures for rendering safe IEDs and provided comprehensive chemistry classes on homemade explosives threats.

Throughout his 40-plus-years career, Cherry assisted multiple EOD communities and his products were part of the Counter Bomb/Counter Bomber (CB2) and Knowledge Technology Operational Demonstration (KTOD) Advanced Concepts Technical Demonstrations (ACTD). The CB2 and KTOD ACTDs led to the rapid fielding of his technologies to counteract the high-risk threats from IEDs found in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

“Today we are privileged to recognize Chris Cherry and his family with the [DON] Distinguished Public Servant Award. This may be a [DON] award; however, it is presented with gratitude on behalf of the joint EOD Technology and Training program and all of our past and present EOD technicians,” said Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Indian Head Division (IHD) Commanding Officer and Deputy Executive Manager for EOD Technology Capt. Scott Kraft. “[His] distinctive accomplishments, initiative and total devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and are keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy.”

The DON Distinguished Public Service Award is the highest form of public service recognition approved by the Secretary of the Navy. Nominations are limited to those extraordinary cases where individuals have demonstrated exceptional service of substantial and long-term benefit to the Navy and the Marine Corps.