Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten awards US Captain Robert Buzzell the Netherlands Decoration of Merit in Gold (Ereteken voor Verdienste in goud). Photo: Ministry of Defense


The US Defense Attaché to the Netherlands, Captain Robert Buzzell USN, received on April 24 the Netherlands Decoration of Merit in Gold (Ereteken voor Verdienste in goud). Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld-Schouten personally decorated Captain Buzell during a ceremony at the Netherlands Ministry of Defense.

Buzzell, who will retire this summer, was awarded this decoration because of his exceptional merits toward the Netherlands armed forces. His drive to further improve the cooperation between the Netherlands and United States armed forces has been exemplary.

The decoration came as a surprise for Captain Buzzell. Together with US Ambassadorn Pete Hoekstra, Captain Buzzel was invited for a general discussion. Upon their arrival, the Army Band played several US tunes after which Captain Buzzel was called to come forward.

The Decoration of Merit is an important military decoration for bravery. Minister of Defense Wim van Eekelen established the medal, which is granted in silver or gold, on April 16, 1987. The medal is the sixth highest military decoration, after the Medal of Recognition, still being awarded for bravery.