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VMI pesents James Baker III with pubic service award

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LEXINGTON (WSLS 10) - A former White House staffer was presented with the Harry E. Byrd Public Service Award on Wednesday.

Former White House Chief of Staff James Baker II served under Ford and Reagan and was Secretary of Treasury under George H. W. Bush.

He spoke with VMI cadets today about the importance of being a strong leader.

"The challenges the next president will face are truly daunting, the Middle East is a complete mess in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Russia is spreading influence across the map," Baker said.

The Byrd award was established in 2001 to honor a public official who has made civic contributions.