- Submitter Name: Gregory E. Pyle, Chief
- How Submitter Knows Applicant: Annual Choctaw gatherings in Bakersfield, Calif.
- Submitted on: 08/23/2010
As Chief of the Choctaw Nation, I am proud to support Michael Ward in his effort to gain appointment to the California Citizens Redistricting Committee (CCRC). I have met Mike on several occasions most receintly in 2009 during our annual California PowWow in Bakersfield. Mike has proven himself capable and worthy of this critical undertaking as illustrated by his long history of service to others. With a distinguished formal educaiton in communications and public relations, Mike has carried on the proud legacy of the Choctaw Tribe by serving his country in the capacities of commissioned Air Force officer, Federal Agenty and Classified Intelligence Specialist. However, Mike has no greater strength or resource he will bring to the CCRC than his sense of honor and integrity. Althought there are many examples to illustrate this fact, perhaps the most notable is when Mike was publicly awarded the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp Silver Medal of Valor. This award had not been issued in over a decade prior to Mike’s reception and was awarded to him upon intervening in a burglary and recovering over $10,000 in unmarked bills. Without hesitation, Mike brought further pride to his Choctaw heritage by turning into the police all stolen items undisturbed. It is said that the true measure of a man is the integrity he has when no one is watching. Mike has proven that his willingness to do the proper and just thing at all times is unshakeable.
I would like to state that I do not take this recommendation lightly. California has the second largest population of Choctaw Indians in the U.S. with approximately 26,000 members of the Choctaw Nation claiming residence. As Chief of a tribal government, I understand the intricacies that are involved in ensuring accessible, fair and adequate governance for all. Mike is uniquely qualified to successfully complete the task of the CCRC due to his stellar academic and professional experience coupled with his personal attributes of integrity, compassion and tireless drive. He is a “MUST select”!
– Gregory E. Pyle, Chief