Thank a government employee this week

Commentary: It\'s Public Service Recognition Week, and former DHS human capital exec Jeff Neal says government employees do not get the thanks they deserve for ...

Commentary by Jeff Neal
Founder of
& Senior Vice President, ICF International

This column was originally published on Jeff Neal’s blog,, and was republished here with permission from the author.

This is Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) — a week set aside to recognize the work done by government employees at local, state and federal levels. Government employees do not get the thanks they deserve for the great work they do at every level of government. Instead, we see constant bad-mouthing of government workers and politicians using them to make political points. Let’s try something different this week. Think about how government workers have supported you in your day-to-day life and where you can, say Thank You to them for what they do every day.

Jeff Neal

I will start with some “Thank You” PSRW greetings for government workers who I appreciate and I encourage everyone who reads this post to do the same.

Thank you to the United States Postal Service. People seem to like to criticize the Post Office, but I do not know why. I’ve never had a letter or package I sent via USPS lost or damaged. They can deliver a letter anywhere in the country for pennies and do it quickly. Last year, they delivered over 155 billion packages and pieces of mail to almost 154 million delivery points. They have competitive prices, great service, and do not refuse to deliver mail to locations just because those locations are not profitable. Thank you postal workers.

Thank you to the Food and Drug Administration. We are seeing more and more drugs introduced every year. The FDA makes certain they are properly tested before they hit the market. Almost everyone I know needs a drug of some sort, whether it is chemotherapy for cancer patients, drugs to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s, medications to treat allergies, or countless other medical issues. They regulate medical equipment and other medical products as well. Thank You FDA employees.

Thank you to the Federal Aviation Administration. Like many Americans, I traveled via air to get to a client meeting a couple of weeks ago. The FAA provided the Air Traffic Control that kept my flight and the other 7,000 flights that are in the air at any given time safe. They oversee airport safety and the approximately 7,300 airlines and air operators who fly in the US. Thank you FAA employees.

Thank you to the employees of the City of Fairfax, Virginia. I have been living in Fairfax for 17 years. In that time every interaction I’ve had with the city government has been excellent. They provide great service to city residents, have lower taxes than most jurisdictions in the area, and do a superb job. Thank you Fairfax, VA employees.

Thank you to the professional staff of the House of Representatives and the Senate and the employees of the Judiciary. When we think about the federal government, we typically think of the executive branch. There are two other equal branches of government that are necessary for our system to work. In addition to the judges, representatives and senators, the judiciary and the legislative branches have professional staff members who keep the institutions running. Without them, neither branch could get its job done. Thank you legislative and judicial branch employees.

Thank you to the civilian employees of the Department of Defense. DoD civilians include the logisticians at the Defense Logistics Agency, the men and women of the Navy’s Fleet Readiness Centers who repair and rebuild aircraft and engines, the non-appropriated fund employees who run base recreational facilities, mission support professionals in HR, finance, IT, procurement and facilities, and thousands more. Thank you to the 700,000+ DoD civilians

Thank you to the scientists, engineers, doctors and other researchers at the National Institutes of Health, the military laboratories, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and every other scientific organization in government. Your quest for knowledge and the benefits you provide benefit everyone on the planet. Thank you to the researchers.

Thank you to the clerks and assistants in every agency at every level of government. You do not often get the recognition you deserve for the support you provide to your agencies and their customers. Your contributions may not be as visible, but agencies would not be able to get their jobs done without you. Thank you to the clerks and assistants.

Thank you to the men and women of our armed forces. Your sacrifice provides the security we need to maintain our way of life. Risking your life, spending months at a time away from your families, working long hours in tough and sometimes life- threatening situations, you are truly the guardians of freedom. Thank you to our American Armed Forces.

Thank you to the diplomats. Whether appointees, career foreign service, or the people who support them, you represent America abroad, support economic development and are the face of America to other nations. You risk your life to do a vital job. Thank you to the diplomats.

Thank you to the law enforcement officers. You have some of the toughest jobs in government. You work long hours and risk your life to protect everyone else. You have tough jobs, but you continue to do them day after day, year after year. Our society depends on men and women like you. Thank you to the law enforcement officers.

Thank you to everyone else in government. Public service is more than just a job. For many public servants it is a calling — a way to contribute to our society every day. You may not be in one of the highly visible jobs, but we depend on you and your work. You make a difference every day, and most Americans appreciate what you do. Thank you to public servants everywhere.


New federal leave policies a good start, but more should be done

You didn’t get the job … Now what?

Death by a thousand cuts or improving the civil service

If it works, kill it: How Bureaucracy stops progress

Copyright © 2024 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

    DHA, AFGE cement workplace policies for 38K DoD health employees

    Read more
    Small business, SBA, contracting

    GOP senators seek IG review to see if SBA office space remains underutilized

    Read more
    Cybersecurity Microsoft

    CISA directs agencies to investigate if Russian hackers stole Microsoft account details

    Read more