BOGOTA, Colombia –
The commander of the Colombian Army has presented one of his military’s highest awards to the commander of the Security Assistance Command in a surprise ceremony during a key leader engagement in Bogota, Colombia.
Gen. Eduardo Zapateiro awarded the “Fe en la Causa” medal, translated as “Faith of the Cause,” to Brig. Gen. Douglas Lowrey, USASAC commander, at the ceremony April 8.
“This was a humbling experience,” Lowrey said. “I don’t have words to describe it and I never expected this. I’m still kind of awestruck and speechless, but it inspires me to do better.”
This medal was created to honor members of the Colombian Army who have been distinguished for their outstanding service, as well as to honor foreign military members who have earned the gratitude of the national army of Colombia.
“To me this medal represents the past, present and future relationships and efforts of the USASAC team, the relationships that we have, and will continue to build,” Lowrey said. “Although I am honored to receive this, this award is really for the years-long efforts by the hard-working team at USASAC.”
Presented right after the national anthems of both countries, and taps were played, the ceremony demonstrated the special bond between two democracies in action, which have long been partners and allies.
“Giving this medal to Gen. Lowrey is very special for me,” Zapateiro said. “I researched his resume, and I can feel in Gen. Lowrey, that he is a person that is disciplined, totally trained and educated in the art of logistics.”
That expertise in logistics, along with years of program knowledge in the USASAC delegation, helped solve several key issues for Colombia’s number one defense priority, the delivery of up to 200 M1117 Armored Security Vehicles from excess U.S. defense articles stock.
Zapateiro went on to say that the relationship with the U.S. was a long brotherhood that has accompanied the two countries throughout history.
“This alliance, this partnership, this friendship, that we have built strongly, will have to be unwavering,” he said. “We are, with the United States, in permanent communication to make a safe hemisphere, so that democracy never decays in both of our hemispheres and the region.”
USASAC currently has over $1 billion in foreign military sales cases with Colombia, to include advising and assisting the Colombian Army to build an advanced rotary school for their Black Hawk aviators and ASV maintenance facilities for their ground forces.