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Mienie awarded Pro Patria medal by the South African National Defense Force

2019-04-16-MienieAward
Dr. Edward Mienie was awarded the Pro Patria medal by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), 37 years after his initial service. Mienie is executive director of the strategic studies program and partnerships and an associate professor of strategic and security studies at UNG.

Some have to wait years for acknowledgment, and others never get any at all.

Dr. Edward Mienie, executive director of the strategic studies program and partnerships and an associate professor of strategic and security studies at the University of North Georgia (UNG), recently was awarded the Pro Patria medal by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), 37 years after his initial service.

"I never expected this to happen, especially as so many years had passed since I completed my active duty in the Angolan War," Mienie said.

Brig. Gen. A.J. Coetzee, director of information warfare for the South African Department of Defence, presented the medal at the 14th International Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security, which was hosted by Stellenbosch University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa. Mienie was a keynote speaker at the conference.

The medal, which Mienie was awarded for his combined one-year service in the Angolan War during the 1980s, recognizes members of all ranks of the SANDF since 1974 for service in the defense of the republic or for the prevention or suppression of terrorism.

Mienie said his service had a profound impact.

"It taught me perseverance under very difficult circumstances and it taught me a way to think and process my surroundings to acquire situational awareness," Mienie said. "Though it has had a deep impact on me as I had to deal with the deaths of some of my fellow soldiers, it certainly taught me the value of true friendship, selfless living and camaraderie when our lives were on the line and we had to protect one another."

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