The city Military Affairs and Veterans Department operations manager received the Meritorious Public Service Award.
The U.S. Department of the Navy recognized Harrison Conyers III, the city of Jacksonville Military Affairs and Veterans Department operations manager, with the Meritorious Public Service Award, a civilian citation.
The award is the Navy’s third-highest civilian recognition. It is presented to those who have made a substantial and positive impact on a specific activity or in a geographic location.
At a ceremony at City Hall, Capt. Brian Weiss, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, and Mayor Lenny Curry presented the medal to Conyers.
“It is such a privilege to be able to serve the veterans and active duty military that guarantee the freedoms we hold dear. Although I am blessed to receive this honor, it is being able to see the military bases protected and the veterans lives we change each day that is the true symbol of success,” Conyers said in a news release.
He began his career in city government in 1996 as an analyst in the Community Services Division. Conyers then briefly worked with the Jacksonville Children’s Commission (renamed the Kids Hope Alliance) as the Quality Services deputy director before moving to the military affairs department in 2005.
As a department leader, Conyers is the city’s representative to veteran-serving organizations and initiatives; manages city services including the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program; and coordinates events including the Veterans Day Breakfast, Memorial Day Observance and Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
Among his achievements is creation of the Jacksonville Veterans Resource and Reintegration Center, a central agency for social services, financial assistance, career support and military family support that stemmed from a partnership with the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation.
“Every wheel has a hub. In baseball, it is the catcher. In football, it is the quarterback. In music, it is the drummer. Harrison is the COJ MAVD hub – catcher, QB and drummer all in one. This award is well-deserved and I couldn’t be prouder of him,” said Military Affairs and Veterans Department Director Bill Spann in the release.
Conyers previously received other military commendations including one in 2017 for securing $1.5 million in state grants used to protect local military installations from encroachment.