Intelligence Star

Intelligence Star

The Intelligence Star is an award given by the Central Intelligence Agency for a "voluntary act or acts of courage performed under hazardous conditions or for outstanding achievements or services rendered with distinction under conditions of grave risk."cite web
title=CIA Medals: Intelligence Star
work=Factbook on Intelligence
] The award citation is from the Director of Central Intelligence and specifically cites actions of extraordinary heroism. This is the second highest award for valor in the Central Intelligence Agency. The U.S. military award citing extraordinary heroism is the Silver Star. []

Recipients of the Intelligence Star

Only several hundred persons have received this award during the entire history of the CIA. A majority of the officers that have received this rare award are from the CIA's elite Special Activities Division.

In the late 1990s, Alabama National Guard Captain Thomas Willard Ray was posthumously awarded the Intelligence Star for his actions in the Bay of Pigs Invasion leading to his capture and execution. The other crew member was co-pilot Leo Baker; they were on Mission Blue Beach Mission 36 and left base at 0855 Z.Leo was a member of the same Alabama National Guard Unit. [cite web|accessdate=
title=Story of Captain Thomas Willard Ray Killed in Action while piloting a B-26 in the Bay of Pigs Invasion |publisher=Unidad Cubana

On May 31, 2002, the Intelligence Star was awarded to Johnny Micheal Spann (aka "Mike" Spann) after he was killed in combat in November 2001 in Afghanistan. Spann was simultaneously awarded the Exceptional Service Medallion.cite press release|accessdate=2008-10-07
title=CIA Honors Slain Agency Officers at Annual Ceremony
date=31 May 2002
author=Director of Central Intelligence
publisher=Central Intelligence Agency

On 26 June 1968, Vice Admiral Rufus L. Taylor, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, presented the CIA Intelligence Star for valor to pilots Kenneth S. Collins, Ronald L. Layton, Francis J. Murray, Dennis B. Sullivan, and Mele Vojvodich for participation in Operation BLACK SHIELD. The posthumous award to pilot Jack W. Weeks was accepted by his widow.cite web|accessdate=
title=The Oxcart Story|date=May 08, 2007
publisher=Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA
] [cite book
chapter=A Futile Fight for Survival
title=Archangel: CIA's Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft
url= |date=June 27, 2007
author=Robarge, David
publisher=CSI Publications, Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA

On 12 March 1980, Director of Central Intelligence, Admiral Turner presented Antonio J. Mendez with the CIA's Intelligence Star for his role in the exfiltration from Iran of six US State Department personnel on 28 January 1980. cite web|accessdate=2008-10-07
title=A Classic Case of Deception
author=Mendez, Antonio J. |date=May 08, 2007
publisher=Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA


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