Teamwork is an integral part of Office of Special Investigations Special Agent Dan Scarola’s makeup.
His ability to work with others has served this SA assigned to the 6th Field Investigations Region Special Missions Branch, Operating Location Alpha at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, well.
Scarola’s commitment to strategic partnerships resulted in Ambassador John Hennessey-Niland, U.S. Embassy Koror, awarding the 15-year Air Force veteran the State Department Meritorious Honor Award, presented Aug. 17, 2022, for his contributions in furthering the U.S.-Palau relationship since January 2021.
“My initial reaction was utter shock, which quickly turned to immense gratitude,” Scarola said. “Though it has not been easy, 11 tours and 228 total days in Palau later, I’m deeply humbled and incredibly grateful.”
The award narrative states: “In recognition of his professionalism, tenacity, and adherence to the highest standards of excellence – which directly contributed to the deepening of the U.S.-Palau security cooperation and to his positive contributions to the Embassy. His efforts directly contributed to stronger bilateral relations and advanced U.S. interests in Palau.”
Scarola notes that several keys make the OSI/Palau partnership click.
“Empowerment through our various Subject Matter Expert Exchanges, a persistent presence, patience, empathy, open-mindedness and genuine investment,” he said.
Having his efforts and those of his SMB teammates recognized on an international stage is especially gratifying for Scarola.
“You cannot consider yourself a team player among partner nation counterparts without authenticity, which humanizes us in a foreign country, he said. “Shortly after, trust is gained, and that kind of currency in the Pacific Air Forces and throughout Oceania, is as good as gold. The OSI Special Missions Branch has the recipe and blueprint for success in the Pacific.”
Region 6 leadership is justifiably proud of Scarola and the SMB team’s performance.
“SA Scarola has been a true example of superior professionalism, extraordinary competence, and phenomenal skill in leading the OSI SMB mission in Palau, and it is a true honor to have the Ambassador formally recognize his outstanding performance and meaningful contributions,” said 6 FIR Commander, Col. Benjamin Hatch. “This incredible recognition can be seen as validation of what started a few years ago to stand up a unit with dedicated OSI agents to partner with the broader law enforcement community in the Pacific to combat transnational crimes, as well as support and enable Force Protection and Agile Combat Employment efforts in the Pacific.”