April 17, 2012 – Washington, D.C. – Last week, at a dinner hosted by the Macedonian Minister of Defense Fatmir Besimi in Washington, D.C., the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) presented the UMD Macedonia Friendship Award to Major General Michael D. Dubie, the Adjutant General of the State of Vermont, for his long-time contribution to the U.S.-Macedonia bilateral relations. The Vermont National Guard and Macedonia are marking their 16th year relationship under the National Guard’s State Partnership Program.
Major General Dubie has been a strong supporter of Macedonia’s NATO membership, and has on numerous occasions praised the Macedonian Army’s contribution to global peace and security. Since taking the helm of the Vermont National Guard, Major General Dubie has worked to straighten the bilateral military partnership between the U.S. and Macedonia having visited Macedonia many times. Under Major General Dubie’s leadership, eighty Macedonian soldiers fought side-by-side with members of, embedded within, the Vermont’s 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team during their recent deployment to Afghanistan – the first such joint deployment/embedment with a non-NATO member in the history of the U.S. military.
“The partnership between the Vermont National Guard and the ARM has brought mutual benefit for both parties. By working together with U.S. troops, the Macedonian Army has distinguished itself as a valuable ally to NATO in Afghanistan and has gained valuable experience and training. In the process, the ties between the two countries have been strengthened, thanks in part to the leadership of Major General Dubie,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski.
The UMD Macedonia Friendship Award is given to individuals who have been long-standing friends of Macedonia and the global Macedonian community. Past recipients have included Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney, Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI), Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), former Congressman Mark Souder (R-IN), former Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND), former Congressman Harry Mitchell (D-AZ), Ambassador Christopher Hill, Ambassador Philip Reeker, Victor Friedman, and Dr. Yalcin Ayasli.
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