By Twilla Smith
NRSE Public Affairs
Miriam S. Gallet, the Naval Air Station Jacksonville's public affairs officer (PAO), retires after 37 years of civil service Dec. 16 at the officers' club on base.
"I can't thank Miriam enough for her hard work and dedication to the men and women of NAS Jacksonville," NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Sean Haley said. "I am honored to have had the privilege to serve with her at Team Jax."
The guest speaker for Gallet's retirement will be Rear Adm. Dawn Cutler, the Navy's Chief of Information, and one of many officers Gallet has worked with throughout her career.
"Nobody worked harder or smarter than Miriam Gallet," said retired Navy Region Southeast (NRSE) PAO Pat Dooling. "No matter the project, she always gave 110 percent and always with outstanding results. She always made me proud. Naval Air Station Jacksonville is losing a true professional."
Gallet's accomplishments while working for the Navy include the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal; PWC Guam Woman of the Year; Commander, Naval Forces Marianas Federal Woman of the Year; and NAS Jacksonville Civilian of the Year. She was also the recipient of three legislative resolutions, the Guam First Lady Honorable Citation for Community Service and numerous performance awards, plaques, certificates and letters of appreciation.
"I love NAS Jacksonville and the United States Navy," Gallet said. "But after 37 years, it is time to experience life without the constraints of an eight-, 10- or 12-hour day and on call 365 days a year. It is time to move on and make room for someone else aspiring to be an installation PAO."
Equally important to Gallet as doing an exemplary job was giving back to the community. She founded a cycling team aboard NAS Jacksonville that participated in events across the community, served as a chairperson of the North Florida Bicycle Club, and the City of Jacksonville Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board. In previous commands, Gallet served on Adak, Alaska's School Board; St. Marys Women Voters Club; Guam Advocacy Office for the Disabled; and many other organizations.
"My job as PAO of the third-largest Navy installation in the world has been challenging and rewarding. It has been a privilege to be part of a team that takes care of its military and civilian workforce," Gallet added. "I did my best and was well rewarded in kind and in friendship."
"Miriam is quite simply the best PAO in the Navy," Haley said. "Miriam's sage counsel and support were invaluable to me and the NAS Jacksonville team during my tenure and I have no doubt that her commitment to excellence was one of the key reasons NAS Jacksonville was again selected as the NRSE nominee to Commander Navy Installations Command for the Installation Excellence Award," he added.
According to Gallet, she will always be grateful to everyone she met throughout her career. "For the last several days, memories of my career have been flooding my mind. Some are very vivid and have brought back great joy. I will always remember my Guam and NAS Jax families and the faces of old friends and new shipmates," Gallet said.
"I praise and acknowledge all of the outstanding colleagues I've worked with over the years, who gave me great personal and career support. I am sincerely thankful to each of them, and most importantly, to Skipper Haley. He is an amazing forward thinker and leader."
"My memories have brought back the faces of those who believed in me and trained me, those who disciplined me, those who inspired me, those who cared for me and loved me throughout my career," She added. "It has been an amazing journey."
"Also, I would like to express my gratitude to this nation for giving me - a Cuban refugee - the privilege and opportunity to live the American dream. My heart is filled with love and with thanks for the love of family, blessing of friends and above all, the exquisite privilege to be a citizen of the greatest country in the world."
Gallet plans on continuing her hiking around the world and enjoying time with her family and friends.