Retired CHDS Intel Research Executive Director Simeral Honored for Service

Longtime Center for Homeland Defense and Security Intelligence Research Executive Director Capt. Robert Simeral (ret.) was presented on June 9, 2022, with a Meritorious Civilian Service Award in honor of his contributions to the Naval Postgraduate School-based educational institution.

In a surprise ceremony, CHDS Director Glen Woodbury and longtime CHDS faculty member and former NPS Dean Jim Wirtz, who collaborated with Simeral at the Center, presented the award including a plaque and a medal after Simeral’s presentation to an Emergence cohort. 

Robert Simeral (left) with CHDS Director Glen Woodbury (center) and Jim Wirtz (right)

Woodbury explained that the award presentation was postponed for nearly two years after Simeral’s retirement from NPS and CHDS in March 2020 because it was the first opportunity to conduct an in-person award ceremony due to the COVID pandemic restrictions. 

“Unfortunately, your award came just before COVID so this is your official award ceremony,” Woodbury said, noting that Simeral was his first instructor when he joined the first CHDS Master’s Program cohort in 2003. “This is the first chance I’ve had to present it in person.” 

A career naval intelligence officer, Capt. Simeral was appointed head of the CHDS Intelligence course in 2004 and served for about 16 years in that capacity before his retirement. His areas of specialization and research include: intelligence in support of homeland security and homeland defense; intelligence in support of the War on Terror; the role of intelligence in the transformation of the U.S. Navy and defense; intelligence community transformation in education; space operations in support of intelligence; intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting (ISR-T); intelligence in support of joint and naval warfare; and intelligence fusion for non-traditional users of intelligence. 

With the Emergence cohort and faculty standing during the award ceremony, Woodbury read from the inscription on the award plaque signed by NPS President Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau, including the following: “For sustained civilian meritorious service while serving as Senior Lecturer for the Intelligence Services and the Center for Homeland Defense and Security of the National Security Affairs Department at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California, from February 2004 to March 2020.” 

Woodbury (right) presents the Meritorious Civilian Service Award to Simeral

The award lauded Simeral’s “effective teaching, curriculum development and administrative service,” and noted he had taught nearly 1,200 graduate-level students, served as thesis advisor to about 100 students, and taught more than 400 intelligence fusion center leaders in a course he developed entitled Fusion Center Leaders Program.

Simeral’s dedication to instructional activities had a “deeply positive and lasting impact” on CHDS faculty and students, according to the award, and will “leave a legacy of contributions to the nation.” 

Simeral’s “distinctive accomplishments and impressive devotion upon himself, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Department of the Navy” concluded the award inscription. During his military career, Capt. Simeral served in command, fleet, and joint service positions in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Washington/National Capital Region, including as Commander, Joint Staff Intelligence Task Force, Pentagon, Operation Enduring Freedom Commander, Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI); Director of Intelligence (J2), U.S. Atlantic Command, Norfolk, VA; Commander Atlantic Intelligence Command, Norfolk, VA; and Director of Intelligence (N2), U.S. Pacific Fleet, Pearl Harbor, HI.

INQUIRIES: Heather Hollingsworth Issvoran, Communications and Recruitment | hissvora@nps.edu, 831-402-4672 (PST)

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