U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner presented with Patriotic Employer Award

Published 1:55 pm Friday, March 29, 2024

When Lt. Col. Steven Jackson, with the Mississippi Army National Guard, was deployed overseas in March 2023, the outpouring of support from his coworkers, spearheaded by his boss, U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District Clay Joyner, helped to keep him grounded.

He returned to Oxford and his role as a law enforcement coordinator with the United States Attorney’s Office in February.

Wanting to say “thank you” to Joyner, Jackson nominated him for the Patriot Award through the U.S. Department of Defense. The Patriot Award recognizes supervisors and bosses nominated by a guardsman or reservist employee for the support provided to the nominator. The award is the highest recognition given by the U.S. government to employers for their outstanding support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.

Email newsletter signup

On Friday, Joyner was presented with the Patriot Award by W. O. Jones, vice chair of the Mississippi Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve through the Department of Defense at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oxford.

Jackson said Joyner’s support while he was in the Middle East was invaluable and got him through the deployment.

“In October it got really bad (following Hamas’s surprise attack on southern Israel),” Jackson said. “The emails and care packages helped me keep going.”

Jackson, a Preston native of Kemper County near Philadelphia, has served over 21 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard with four overseas deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, Kuwait and South America.

Joyner became the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District in March 2021.

After receiving the award, Joyner said he was honored to receive the award and gave much of the credit to his fellow employees at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“I can’t really think of anything more humbling than receiving something called a patriotic employer from a gentleman such as this (referring to Jackson),” Joyner said. “I’m proud to accept it, but I’m not accepting it just for myself … everything that was done was done by these people right here.”