Award: The American Spirit Medallion
Presented by General Colin L. Powell
Freeport McMoran Victory Ball
Saturday, June 3rd, 2006 At the National WWII Museum
"Colonel Terry Ebbert faced the challenge of his lifetime last August. As Director of Homeland Security and Public Safety for the City of New Orleans, he is responsible for the Police Department, Fire Department, Emergency Medical Service, and the Office of Emergency Management. As Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on the Gulf Coast, he helped to facilitate a highly complex evacuation plan involving two states, eight parishes, and numerous departments and agencies that moved 1 million people out of the city, and saved more than 10,000 lives.
Colonel Ebbert, a former Marine who served in Vietnam, stayed on duty 24/7 following the storm. He and the courageous men and women who serve the city were faced with unimaginable situations following the storm — and witnessed the best of human valor and the worst of human nature. In his testimony before the Select Bipartisan Committee investigating the Preparation and Response to Hurricane Katrina, Colonel Ebbert praised the first responders from all city, state, and federal agencies for their leadership and unselfish devotion to helping those in need in New Orleans."
Award: Distinguished Public Service Award
Presented by Admiral T.W. Allen
Commandant, U.S. Coast guard
June 9th, 2006
"Demonstrating extraordinary decisiveness and leadership, Colonel Ebbert led the City of New Orleans' response operations in an exemplary and courageous manner prior to, during and following Hurricane Katrina, an unprecedented natural disaster. His vision and leadership in coordinating the day-to-day response and recovery operations with the New Orleans Area Field Office, as a member of the unified command, where he was the sole direct link between the City and the Federal government, kept assistance efforts focused on the citizens of New Orleans and surrounding parishes. Ebbert's unwavering dedication to the people of Louisiana and distinguished service during this catastrophic event are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard."
Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré (U.S. Army Ret.)
"Ebbert is a retired Marine Corps Colonel and Vietnam Veteran who had been awarded the Navy Cross, the nation's second-highest military decoration for valor in combat. He was a good man to have around in a time of crisis. Ebbert was not given to wild statements and over exaggerations."
Book: The Great Deluge
"But CNN and Fox News reporters warned that if a levee had broken, as claimed, then parts of New Orleans might soon be underwater. Meanwhile, at City Hall, Ebbert stayed cool, collected, and in charge. While others were cracking up all around him, he concentrated on problem solving.
Terry Ebbert, the New Orleans Director of Homeland Security, ostensibly ran the city."
Book: The Crime Fighter
Jack Maple, Deputy Commissioner N.Y.P.D.
"Lucky for me, I had in New Orleans a true warrior on my side who fully appreciated the importance of establishing unity of command. At fifty-five, Terry Ebbert looked like Dorian Gray, not because he'd made a pact with the devil but because he ran about 200 miles a day and he was an ex-Marine. He was the real deal. One Easter Sunday he was standing in the finishers' area after running a ten-kilometer New Orleans road race when a young lawyer from Baton rouge walked up and shook his hand. The lawyer had been a Marine lieutenant in Operation Desert Storm, and he wanted Terry to know that on the night before the Marines crossed the Iraqi line, the lieutenants there all had gathered in one tent and braced themselves for battle by sharing memories of the things Terry had taught them. Besides winning the Navy Cross in Vietnam and ascending to the right hand of the Corps Commandant P. X. Kelly, Colonel Terry Ebbert had been the commanding officer of the Marine's officer training school at Quantico from 1987 to 1989. 'A leader can't sit back and say, 'Charge!,'' he would remind me. 'A leader says, 'Follow me.'"