Good morning, everyone, and thank you, Monty [Wilkinson]. I appreciate your kind words, and your leadership of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA). Our Department is fortunate to have you at the helm of EOUSA.
It is a great privilege for me to join all of you, as we recognize the most outstanding accomplishments of employees in the U.S. Attorney community during the past year. I want to welcome all the family, friends, and colleagues who have joined us — both here at Main Justice, and those watching this ceremony from offices across the country. I also want to thank the members of the EOUSA team who have worked so hard to bring us together today.
Attorney General Sessions and I both served as AUSAs and U.S. Attorneys. We understand the value of the work done by the men and women in this room, and by your colleagues in all 94 U.S. Attorney’s offices.
The dedicated employees of our U.S. Attorney’s offices handle most of the litigation of the Department of Justice. Every day, you are on the frontlines of America’s justice system, making our country safer and better by protecting our fellow citizens, promoting equal justice, and upholding the Constitution and the rule of law.
Today, we pause to honor and recognize just a small portion of your work — truly outstanding examples of the contributions of our U.S. Attorney community.
These 179 award recipients embody the best of the Department of Justice. Our honorees include career executives and supervisors; Assistant U.S. Attorneys and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys; appellate attorneys and law enforcement officials; administrators, paralegals, and public affairs officers.
Their accomplishments span the full range of our Department’s activities. During the past year, these dedicated public servants have dealt crippling blows to transnational drug cartels and violent gangs; uncovered foreclosure-rescue scams and health care fraud; and prosecuted would-be terrorists who conspired to join ISIS.
They have strengthened our nation’s counter-proliferation efforts by preventing the illegal export of controlled technologies and weapons. They have brought to justice corrupt public officials, hackers who spread malware to millions of computers, and human traffickers who exploited vulnerable women and children.
They have protected valuable taxpayer dollars, and ably represented our government in complex civil and appellate cases. And they have provided superior management and administration, and essential litigation support.
In these ways and many others, today’s honorees have earned the esteem of their colleagues. But most importantly, you have earned the gratitude of your fellow citizens — whose communities you have made safer, whose lives you have improved, and whose trust you have rewarded.
Today, we also recognize that your achievements are the result of tremendous sacrifices. The pursuit of justice is never a 9-to-5 endeavor, and all of you have put in long hours and poured your hearts into this work. But the sacrifices don’t end there; your families and loved ones have made sacrifices as well. Their understanding, their patience, and their support have made possible your successes — and today we recognize and thank them as well.
I am proud to help honor each of today’s award recipients. I will continue to work alongside all of you to make this Department and our country stronger and better. Thank you once again for your outstanding achievements, for your dedication to this work, and for your commitment to our nation’s highest principles.
Congratulations on a job well done. Keep up the great work, and thanks for having me here today.