Forty-nine of the government's top career people got a $20,000 pat on the back the other day from the President. He did it by giving them the title "distinguished executive" which, along with the honor of the thing, carries the large, first-time awards. Another 206 executives got $10,000 awards. The big winners are:

George H. Aldrich, State Department . . . Mark G. Aron, Transportation . . . Walter C. Barber, EPA . . . Eckardt C. Beck, EPA . . . Alan Berman, Navy . . . John D. Blanchard, Army . . . Peter C. Borre Jr., Energy . . . Anthony J. Calio, Space Administration . . . Gerald A. Cann, Navy and Francis X. Cavanaugh, Treasury.

James E. Colvard, Navy . . . Donald E. Crabill, OMB . . . S. Leigh Curry Jr. . . . Joseph T.Davis, IRS . . . Harold R. Denton, Nuclear Regulatory Commission . . . Herbert R. Doggette Jr., Health & Human Services . . . Claude J. Farinha, Air Force . . . Charles R. Foster, Transportation and Roy N. Gamse, EPA.

Walter Gillespie, National Science Foundation . . . William J. Griffin, Customs Service . . . Donald R. Harrigan, Small Business Adm. . . . Vincent J. Hearing, HUD . . . Howard W. Hjort, Agriculture . . . Anthony F. Ingrassia, OPM . . . George Jaszi, Commerce . . . Christopher C. Kraft Jr., NASA . . . Joe B. Lagrone, Energy and Douglas R. Lelsz, Agriculture.

James J. Leonard, Army . . . William E. Lilly, and William R. Lucas, NASA . . . Milton A. Margolis, DOD . . . Dale R. McOmber, OMB . . . Sedric W. Melidosian, VA . . . Charles Miller II, HHS . . . Lloyd F. Miller, NTSB . . . Jerry C. Pfeffer, DOE . . . John R. Quetsch, DOD . . . Dr. Joseph E. Rall, HHS . . . Heather L. Ross, Interior . . . Edward W. Scott Jr., DOT . . . Jack L. Stempler, DOD . . . Charles Swinburn, DOT . . . Philip L. Verveer, FCC . . . William E. Williams, IRS . . . Richard D. Wilson, EPA . . . Robert S. Wiseman, Army . . . and Alfred M. Zuck, Labor.