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NGA officer named honor grad of year at FLETC

By Kris Mackey, Office of Corporate Communications
Pathfinder Magazine
Dec. 11, 2014

Michael R. Bransford is a sergeant with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Office of Protective Services in St. Louis, Missouri. He recently was named honor graduate of the year by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, which graduates about 70,000 students annually and supports more than 90 U.S. federal organizations and state, local, tribal and international police forces.

Bransford, who graduated FLETC in January of 2013, is the first NGA student to earn the title. Bransford had the highest academic average in his class, based on scores of written examinations, firearm proficiency and physical efficiency tests.

"As a FLETC graduate, I know how big of an accomplishment this award is to receive,” said Lt. Anthony Weidler, Bransford’s direct supervisor. “This is just another example of how Sgt. Bransford demonstrates excellence in everything he does."

As a squad supervisor on the evening shift at St. Louis, Bransford helps ensure a safe operating environment by protecting agency personnel and visitors, property and operations.

“These officers do so much more than badge checking, which is the more common perception of officers at NGA,” said Mark Bramlett, deputy chief of police, NGA West. “The officers have extensive backgrounds in law enforcement, military and training.”

Bransford is a U.S. Army veteran who worked as a deputy sheriff in Warren County, Indiana, for two years before moving to Danville, Illinois, where he worked for 18 years with the Danville Police Department. He spent his last 10 years there as a detective.

He leveraged a Master of Science degree in criminology and criminal justice from Indiana State University, and a Bachelor of Science in career and organizational studies from Eastern Illinois University to teach criminology and criminal justice at the Danville Area Community College. He moved to St. Louis in 2012 where he joined the west campus of NGA as an officer.

“I am proud to have served my country as a soldier and law enforcement officer for over 27 years,” said Bransford. “I am equally proud to protect and serve at NGA, and for the many opportunities the agency provides.”