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Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition,
Technology and Logistics – Human Capital Initiatives

2016 Awards

2016 USD(AT&L) Defense Acquisition Workforce Achievement and Development Award Winners

The Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement and Workforce Development Awards highlight premiere examples of individual excellence and outstanding organizational workforce quality initiatives. Photos and accomplishments of the winners will be on display for one year in the Pentagon Defense Acquisition Workforce Wall of Recognition display.

2016 Photo Gallery

Individual Awards

Bernie Beigh Portrait

Lieutenant Colonel
Bernie Beigh

U.S. Air Force

Lieutenant Colonel Bernie Beigh, U.S. SOCOM, was directly responsible for the development, test, procurement, and sustainment of Special Operations Forces-unique capabilities for United States Special Operations Command’s manned ISR and non-standard mobility fleet of 75 aircraft. His efforts enabled more than 155,000 combat flying hours directly supporting critical mobility and ISR Find-Fix-Finish operations across the globe. His leadership was directly responsible for expanding the USSOCOM Manned ISR and NSAV fleets by 30 aircraft, while rapidly fielding numerous modifications enhancing the ISR, mobility, and survivability of these platforms in response to Joint Urgent Operational Needs Statement, Combat Mission Needs Statements, and other emerging requirements. The distinctive accomplishments of Lieutenant Colonel Beigh reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Special Operations Command, and the Department of Defense.

Laura Michaels Portrait

Ms. Laura Michaels
Defense Contract
Audit Agency

Ms. Michaels established an audit process at a Top Five defense contractor that competes about $800 million in DoD acquisitions annually. Her audit process resulted in the timely completion of 17 forward pricing rate audits for the contractor's corporate home office, enterprise shared services, sector offices, and performing segments. Of note, the forward pricing rate audit process that Ms. Michaels developed has been adopted as an Agency best practice and the process is now being used across the Agency to audit forward pricing rate proposals at many major defense contractors. Her accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself, and the Defense Contract Audit Agency.

Polly McCall Portrait

Ms. Polly McCall
U.S. Air Force

Ms. Polly McCall distinguished herself as Chief of Contracts, Long Range Strike-Bomber program while assigned to Strike Systems Division, Fighters and Bombers Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, from 1 July 2015 through 30 June 2016. Ms. McCall served as the lead procuring contracting officer for the 13-month source selection of a prime contractor to execute engineering and manufacturing development and initial production of the Long Range Strike-Bomber. This source selection represented one of the highest-priority competitive award decisions in the Department of Defense for 2015. Ms. McCall ensured the source selection was flawlessly executed and spearheaded the response to the unsuccessful offeror’s protest of the award.

Molly Mertz Portrait

Ms. Molly Mertz
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Material Readiness

Ms. Mertz’s significant contributions resulted in new and Improved Operating and Support Cost Management guide book for over 18,000 Life Cycle Logisticians and enhanced the integration of Sustainment Planning and Operating and Support Costs management. Specifically, the publication of the Operating and Support Cost Management Guidebook provides both the Life Cycle Logistics and O&S Cost estimating communities with actionable steps to identify O&S Cost Should Cost initiatives. Additionally, her analyses of O&S Costs for Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) has improved senior leadership insight into sustainment planning and risk across the acquisition life cycle. Finally, her advocacy of O&S Cost instruction across multiple forums has brought increased focus on O&S Costs in sustainment planning and decision making. Ms. Mertz's distinctive accomplishments reflect great credit upon herself and the Department of Defense.

Denise Kerby Portrait

Ms. Denise Kerby
Missile Defense Agency

Ms. Denise Kerby provides outstanding support to the Missile Defense Agency, as the Director of the Missile Defense Agency’s Earned Value Management. Ms. Kerby completed a 100 percent update of all Earned Value Management directives and policies to show the agency’s alignment with Better Buying Power 3.0. In partnering with the National Defense Industrial Association and the academic community, Ms. Kerby developed a comprehensive recruiting and retention process for Earned Value Management personnel. Ms. Kerby’s active participation in OSD’s Performance Assessment and Root Cause Analyses enabled her to leverage Earned Value Management and Federal Acquisition Regulations guidance into the agency’s Earned Value Management Program Manager’s Guide. Ms. Kerby has shared this executive level reporting status within the Department of Defense and external government organizations. Her actions reflect great credit upon herself, the United States Army, and the Department of De.

Paul Manz Portrait

Mr. Paul Manz
U.S. Army

Mr. Paul Manz is recognized for his outstanding contributions to the DoD Tactical Warfare community while serving as PEO Ammunition Chief Scientist/Chief Engineer/Chief Technology Officer where he led a personal crusade to accelerate the integration of improved GPS Anti-Jam/Anti-Spoof, Assured PNT, and M-Code GPS related technologies across DoD’s $10B+ precision armaments portfolio. As the go-to technical authority and problem solver for senior Army and OSD leadership, he developed a Joint “coalition of the willing” program investment strategy and led a coordinated $30M initiative to assess the maturity of USAF M-Code GPS technology for subsequent use by multiple Joint programs of record. Paul Manz is a role model, leader, supervisor, and mentor who has made a profound lasting positive impact on our Nation’s military with tireless focus on his two primary customers – the Joint Warfighter and US Taxpayer.

John Carlson Portrait

Ms. Denise Mallett
U.S. Navy

Ms. Denise Mallett, Lead Business Financial Manager for PMA-276, H-l USMC Light/Attack Helicopters, was an unsurpassed visionary and leader. Ms. Mallett developed and programmed a database that is completely revolutionizing the way Naval Air Systems Command performs acquisition financial management. After prototyping and proving the concept in the H-l program office, Ms. Mallet developed a SQL-server based tool that could be used across NAVAIR to manage all appropriated funds. Her system, named the Common Spend Plan Tool, integrates all program office financial planning information, connects the data with Navy ERP, links it to DFAS, and standardizes financial processes across every program office. Where before financial plans were stove-piped in hundreds of disconnected and standalone spreadsheets, her planning tool will seamlessly integrate over $68.1 billion and almost 800 budget accounts, providing unprecedented insight, and speed.

Sharon Valle Portrait

Ms. Sharon Valle
U.S. Army

Ms. Sharon Valle, the Government Property Administrator/Plant Clearance Officer at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, is awarded the 2016 Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Award for Industrial/Contract Property Management for her truly noteworthy and significant contributions enhancing the effectiveness and efficiencies of government property management. Her efforts at the BGCAPP have ensured property accountability for hundreds of thousands of pieces of government property, valued at almost $2 billion, and are high-functioning, documented, traceable and accurate. Her leadership and direction have resulted in millions of dollars of cost avoidance and significantly contributed to the overall safety record of the BGCAPP during plant construction and systemization. She is a dedicated and valued asset supporting the United States in its crucial mission to destroy its stockpile of chemical munitions.

Jacki Garner Portrait

Ms. Jacki A. Garner
U.S. Army

Ms. Jacki A. Garner, who implementing an effective and sustainable information technology (IT) portfolio management framework for the U.S. Army, Europe, is awarded the 2016 Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement Award for Information Technology. Her tireless efforts and uncompromised dedication led to the creation of theater IT acquisition processes and an IT investment governance and management program that was instrumental in saving her command over $5.9 million in IT procurements. Her actions reflect great upon herself, the U.S. Army acquisition community, and the Department of Defense.

Lieutenant Colonel Kelly Polsgrove Portrait

Lieutenant Colonel Kelly Polsgrove
U.S. Air Force

Lieutenant Colonel Kelly L. Polsgrove distinguished herself as Deputy Chief, Global Positioning Systems Operations Support and Sustainment Division, Global Positioning Systems Directorate, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. Lt Col Polsgrove ensured the sustainment of the $32-billion Global Positioning System ground system and 39-satellite constellation. Her tireless dedication to the mission was reflected with a Global Positioning Systems best performance day in its almost 30-year history. During this time, she led three acquisitions including a full and open competition which completed in almost half the nominal timeline saving the government $14 million. Through her efforts to ensure a constant availability of this critical utility, the world has benefited from the economic impact of GPS at a value of $68 billion annually. The distinctive accomplishments of Lt Col Polsgrove reflect great credit upon herself and the United States Air Force.

Captain Joseph Tuite Portrait

Captain Joseph Tuite
U.S. Navy

Captain Joseph M. Tuite, USN led SUPSHIP Gulf Coast to performed superbly in executing all aspects of the $100M, 1.3M man-hour, 45-week USS America (LHA 6) Post Shakedown Availability. During this shipyard availability, his team coordinated successful completion of more than 569 work items, 89 Alteration Installation Team activities, 771 test events and countless QA inspections. Tuite receives award and returns to seat. As a result, America delivered to the Fleet outfitted with the latest improvements certified to all production standards, and ready to “answer all bells.” For his leadership in providing our warfighters with the best possible tools to fight and win, Captain Tuite is most deserving of the 2016 USD(AT&L) Individual Achievement Award for Production, Quality and Manufacturing.

Robert Hurd Portrait

Mr. Robert Hurd
U.S. SOCOM

Mr. Robert Hurd Jr. distinguished himself as Assistant Program Manager for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers, Program Manager Special Programs, flawlessly executing his duties across one of the most diverse portfolios in Program Manager Special Programs, involving multiple appropriations in excess of 120 million dollars annually. Mr. Hurd’s strategic partnership with operators, combat developers, resource sponsors, sister services, program executive offices, and other government agencies has resulted in improved relationships and synergy and highlights the benefits of transitioning new developments to the Department of Defense and the United States Government as a whole. His strategic and forward thinking efforts have saved the government time and money and will have a lasting impact for years to come. The distinctive accomplishments of Mr. Hurd reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Special Operations Command, and the Department of Defense.

Andrew Yee Portrait

Mr. Andrew Yee
U.S. SOCOM

Mr. Andrew Yee distinguished himself as Special Programs Branch Chief, J8 Requirements Division, while assigned to United States Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016. Mr. Yee displayed unwavering dedication to mission accomplishment and set the standard for technical competence and leadership ability. His superb professionalism, initiative, and leadership were vital to the successful analysis, validation, approval of over twenty sensitive and classified critical mission capabilities supporting National and Theater Special Operations Forces. Mr. Yee’s performance reflects great credit upon himself, the United States Special Operations Command, and the Department of Defense.

Matthew Meininger Portrait

Mr. Matthew Meininger
U.S. Air Force

Mr. Matthew Meininger distinguished himself in Science and Technology as Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology and Adaptive Engine Technology Demonstration Program Manager, displaying exemplary leadership and significantly contributing to the achievement of aggressive performance goals for a novel adaptive engine design. He reduced specific fuel consumption by 25 percent and increased thrust by 10 percent, which enabled a 30 percent increase in range for future strike and air superiority aircraft. He also led multi-disciplinary teams through two competitive acquisitions valued at 1.5 billion dollars, and successfully demonstrated and transitioned adaptive engine technologies to a program of record. The distinctive accomplishments of Mr. Meininger reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Ashley Farrier Portrait

Ms. Ashley Farrier
U.S. Air Force

Ms. Ashley M. Farrier distinguished herself as Contracting Officer, Directorate of Procurement, while assigned to United States Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016. During this period, Ms. Farrier consistently and humbly led from the front on multiple complex services acquisitions, always putting the best interest of the government end user first. Under tight deadlines, Ms. Farrier issued contracts for lodging, transportation, catering, and conference support that drew more than 11,500 attendees, including 84 partner nations. Finally, she expertly led a team of non-acquisition trained operators through a $49M competitive acquisition by ensuring a free flow of information, hands-on instruction, detailed processes, and “team first” leadership. The distinctive accomplishments of Ms. Farrier reflect great credit upon herself, the United States Special Operations Command, and the Department of Defense.

Christopher Harrington Portrait

Mr. Christopher Harrington
U.S. SOCOM

Mr. Christopher A. Harrington distinguished himself as Director, Office of Small Business Programs, while assigned to United States Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016. Due to Mr. Harrington’s dedication, the Command’s prime awards to Small Businesses increased by 36% over the previous fiscal year. Mr. Harrington also led the redirection of multiple large business contracts to Small Businesses, including a multiple award Small Business set aside with a $450M ceiling and a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business set aside with a $150M ceiling. The distinctive accomplishments of Mr. Harrington reflect great credit upon himself, the United States Special Operations Command, and the Department of Defense.

Scott Wilson Portrait

Mr. Scott Wilson
Missile Defense Agency

Mr. Scott Wilson is recognized for his outstanding leadership and significant contributions as the Missile Defense Agency Strategic Test Re-Planning Initiative Lead. Under his astute leadership, he challenged all status quo bias and identified over $1B in potential test savings across the Future Years Defense Program. Mr. Wilson developed a test plan that focused on more data collection efforts and allowed for a more robust operational assessment by the Operational Test Agencies and warfighters. The identified savings not only provide more system capability, but also fund more robust ground test and modeling and simulations programs. Mr. Wilson’s unique, significant contributions truly support the key objective of Better Buying Power to “improve the professionalism of the total acquisition workforce” while simultaneously achieving the Missile Defense Agency’s goals to support the warfighter, prove the power of missile defense though testing, and optimize available resources.

John Bailey Portrait

Captain John Bailey
U.S. Navy

This award is Mr. Kendall’s opportunity to reflect on the entire Acquisition Workforce and personally identify an individual that has truly epitomized everything he looks for in acquisition management. And, as the 2016 recipient, you should be very proud of your outstanding contributions in the promotion of competition, innovation, and excellence in meeting the needs of the Warfighter while protecting interest of the taxpayer. Well Done Captain Bailey.

Group Awards

Gold Winner - Large Organization Category

431st Supply Chain Management Squadron, 448th Supply Chain Management Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, OK

The 431st Supply Chain Management Squadron, 448th Supply Chain Management Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, distinguished itself from 1 July 2015 through 30 June 2016. The squadron managed 424 trainees in-core, supply chain series, supporting the Wing. The squadron established a workforce development roadmap, which implemented Education and Functional Civilian Training templates for 21 occupational series, comprising more than 95% of the workforce. Furthermore, the squadron initiated a Professional Supply Management Certification Program with 93 certifications awarded for the year. Finally, the 431st Supply Chain Management Squadron sustained an On-The-Job Individual Task Proficiency and Certification Program for the core supply chain civilian workforce. The distinctive accomplishments of the 431st Supply Chain Management Squadron reflect great credit upon itself and the United States Air Force.

Gold Small - Large Organization Category

Resource Management Division, Contracting Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson, Air Force Base, OH

The Resource Management Division, Contracting Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio established and implemented strategies designed to attract, develop, and retain twenty-one hundred employees in multiple locations. Their mindset of cooperation and willingness to address the multitude of challenges head-on led to the rapid execution of nine new process improvements and workforce initiatives. The partnerships formed with industry, other government entities, and universities led to the employment of over two hundred and fifty new trainees and thirty-five veterans who bring journeymen level experience. This culmination of effort helped shape a foundation built on transfer of knowledge from journeymen to the younger generation of workers, ultimately supporting our warfighters and setting the bar for best practices for years to come.

Silver Winner - Large Organization Category

Army Contracting Command – Warren, MI

For exemplary efforts in talent management, knowledge transfer, workforce development, and employee recognition, Army Contracting Command-Warren’s organizational programs and policies significantly improved the capability of the Army contracting acquisition workforce. ACC-WRN’s dedication to performance management, mentoring, contracting technical and leadership development, and recognition of team and individual achievements contribute to the improvement the qualifications and professionalism of the DoD Acquisition Workforce – a key objective of Better Buying Power. ACC-WRN’s exemplary commitment to its people reflects great credit upon the Army Contracting Command, the United States Army, and the Department of Defense.

Silver Winner - Small Organization Category

Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems Engineering Division, Naval Air Warfare Center-Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, MD

The exemplary efforts of the Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems Engineering Division have improved the qualifications and professionalism of the acquisition workforce. Through strategic initiatives, recruitment, engagement, and retention efforts, the Division Leadership developed a diverse workforce with experience in specialized areas, including underwater acoustic propagation, quantum information and computing, chemical physics, lasers, photonics, metamaterials, and signal processing. Furthermore, the Division provided its acquisition workforce with numerous opportunities to develop their technical knowledge and skills necessary to translate warfighting needs into technology requirements and develop effective airborne anti-submarine warfare systems suitable for employment against current and future complex underwater battlespace threats. These accomplishments reflect great credit upon the Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare Systems Engineering Division and uphold the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Bronze Winner - Large Organization Category

Defense Contract Audit Agency, Fort Belvoir, VA

The Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) is committed to improving the professionalism of the acquisition workforce by implementing a comprehensive program that addresses every aspect of the acquisition professional's career development. In 2015, the Defense Contract Audit Institute (DCAI) bolstered its training and educational curricula, revamped entry-level training and expanded leadership development, communications, supervisory and management training. Recognizing the key to a new acquisition professional's successful inculcation into the workforce, DCAA implemented a world-class onboarding process that quickly builds new employees' skills to a level that allows rapid integration into their Field Office team and prepares them for effective contributions to DCAA's acquisition mission. DCAA's drive to effectively deliver effective and efficient training to its employees signals the Agency's commitment to continuous learning and leading in the acquisition workforce community.

Bronze Winner - Small Organization Category

Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (SOF AT&L) U.S. SOCOM, MacDill Air Force Base, FL

Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (SOF AT&L), United States Special Operations Command, has demonstrated outstanding commitment, innovation, and results to develop and support the success of its workforce. Recognizing people are our greatest asset, SOF AT&L strongly promoted their health and wellness program, hosting 197 events with a total of 1,887 attendees. Their human capital planning encompasses the holistic development of the workforce through conventional and unconventional recruiting, training, education, and retention activities to develop and maintain a highly qualified workforce. As with SOF's operational force, being a SOF AT&L professional is demanding, dynamic, and requires the utmost in acquisition skill, professionalism, and dedication to the mission. This unique acquisition workforce spans eight program executive offices and four directorates that have expertly supported the nation's most elite warriors deployed, at any given time, in up to one hundred countries. SOF AT&L's "Blowing up Bureaucracy" initiative has fostered positive change in the work environment by reducing unnecessary processes while using resources more efficiently and effectively, resulting in enhanced capability in the hands of SOF operators to more rapidly support mission execution.