Florida socialite Jill Kelley, whose tip to the FBI uncovered David Petraeus’ affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, was awarded a prestigious military medal for her “selfless contributions” to the forces, it has emerged.
Jill Kelley received the award for “Outstanding Public Service” from the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the second highest honor to a civilian – after she was recommended by David Petraeus himself.
After problems with the application, it was resubmitted in October 2010 by Marine General James Mattis, who had replaced David Petraeus as the head of U.S. Central Command.
David Petraeus then presented the award to Jill Kelley, whom he met through her work and lavish party planning for MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, at a ceremony in Washington on March 18, 2011.
The award citation noted the honor was for her public service to the U.S. Central Command, MacDill and the Department of Defense from October 31, 2008 to May 31, 2010. She received a silver medal, lapel pin, citation and certificate.
“Mrs. Kelley distinguished herself by exceptional service while supporting the mission of the United Central Command, building positive relationships between the military and the Tampa community, supporting community outreach, and advancing various military endeavors,” according to the award citation, seen by the Tampa Tribune.
It adds that her “willingness to host engagements with Senior National Representatives from more than 60 countries was indicative of her support for both the Coalition’s effort and the mission of United States Central Command”.
Jill Kelley’s willingness to rub shoulders with the military’s top brass has become increasingly apparent since her part in the Petraeus scandal emerged over the past two weeks.