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General David Petraeus kisses Jill Kelley after accepting community service award presented at Kelley General David Petraeus kisses Jill Kelley after accepting community service award presented at Kelley's home during the summer of 2011. (NY Daily News via Getty Images)  

Tampa socialite Jill Kelley was awarded Joint Chiefs’ No. 2 medal for civilians prior to Petraeus scandal

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Gregg Re
Associate Editor

The award even praised Kelley for her assistance to Petraeus, who was serving as the head of CENTCOM when he recommended Kelley for the honor. (RELATED: ’Pussy’ Gen. Allen, Petraeus asked for Kelley’s help after shock jock threatens to deep fry Koran)

“She has also been instrumental in introducing the Commander, early in his tenure, to local and state officials, particularly the Mayor of Tampa and the Governor of Florida, fostering a relationship that brought the military and the citizens of Florida closer together and with a more thorough understanding of the contributions by the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines of the Central Command and MacDill Air Force Base,” the award stated.

“The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Mrs. Jill Kelley are in keeping with the finest traditions of public service and reflect great credit upon herself, United States Central Command and the Department of Defense.”

Kelley was even a guest at the White House on three occasions — a fact she made sure to emphasize in her conversations with local Tampa reporters. (RELATED: Socialite didn’t speak to Obama during White House visits)

But all of the military’s effusive praise may have gone to Kelley’s head: The socialite has not been bashful about exaggerating her status with the military. While she was named an honorary military ambassador and an honorary consulate general to South Korea, neither position afforded her any actual authority.

Nevertheless, as press descended on her home in early November, Kelley called 911 and claimed “inviolability” and invoked “diplomatic protection” in an apparent attempt to convince local police to help scare the media away.

Kelley also requested an $80 million commission as a lobbyist on a billion-dollar energy business deal in South Korea, citing her military connections and influence. According to reports, the deal fell through after the president of the New-York-based energy company assumed Kelley was crazy.

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