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The government said Friday it will bestow decorations on a record 149 foreign nationals this fall — including former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — as well as 4,103 Japanese for their achievements across a wide variety of fields.

Gates, 74, joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional before serving as defense secretary from December 2006 to July 2011 under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Obama was the eighth president Gates served.

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