Jill Kelley Got Medal for Being a Good Socialite

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 22 2012 3:43 PM

Woman in Petraeus Scandal Got Medal for Being a Good Socialite

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Jill Kelley leaves her home in Tampa, Florida

Photo by Tim Boyles/Getty Images

It seems you can get a medal for being an effective schmoozer. Gen. David Petraeus was the first to recommend that Jill Kelley receive the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s second-highest honor to a civilian, reports the Tampa Tribune. The award was approved by Adm. Mike Mullen, who was the Joint Chiefs chair at the time. The reason for the award? 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. Petraeus himself was responsible for presenting Kelley with the award, which includes a silver medal, on March 18, 2011.   

In case you need a refresher, Kelley is the woman who complained of allegedly threatening e-mails to the FBI. Authorities quickly discovered the e-mails were coming from Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’ mistress. During the investigation, the FBI also uncovered lots of e-mails between Kelley and Marine Gen. John Allen. Before all that, Kelley was recognized for her “outstanding public service to the United States Central Command.” The award citation notes that Kelley’s "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."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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