2021 Awards

2021 Defense Acquisition Workforce Awards Winners







View the 2021 Awards Program Booklet



Senior DoD acquisition leadership proudly recognized the winners of DoD's 2021 Defense Acquisition Workforce Awards at a virtual recognition ceremony, which streamed on Defense.gov December 15, 2021. This virtual awards ceremony celebrates the imagination and resiliency of the Department’s talent.


The Defense Acquisition Workforce Award recipients represent the best of the best across our acquisition community. Accomplishments of the winners are on display for one year in the Pentagon on the Defense Acquisition Workforce Wall of Recognition display.

Achievement Award Winners

Lee White

Lieutenant Colonel
Lee White, USMC

U.S. Special
Operations Command

Lieutenant Colonel Lee White, United States Marine Corps, distinguished himself as the Assistant Program Manager, Precision Strike Systems, Program Executive Office Special Operations Forces Warrior Systems, Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, United States Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. He organized a rapid expeditionary acquisition task force and led his team in the formation of an acquisition strategy to execute a requested Marine Corps Special Operations Command OCONUS combat evaluation. He consistently contributed to a broad range of acquisition issues and improved the quality and effectiveness of the SOF AT&L organization, resulting in getting the right products and services into the hands of the SOF operators and our international partners.

Walter Hicks

Mr. Walter (Rick) Hicks
Defense Contract
Audit Agency

Mr. Walter (Rick) Hicks, Technical Programs Chief, Defense Contract Audit Agency, managed a group of 27 employees in the conduct of audits for various Department of Defense organizations. His leadership in the audit and negotiation of forward pricing rates at a major defense contractor resulted in $329 million of savings to the government over five years will lead to our military being able to purchase additional military equipment to secure our nation’s freedom. Mr. Hicks’ significant contributions to the Department of Defense and DCAA missions demonstrate excellence and professionalism in the acquisition of products and services for the warfighter while protecting taxpayers.

 Shanda Lyman

Ms. Shanda Lyman
U.S. Transportation Command

Ms. Shanda Lyman, Supervisory Contract Specialist, Sealift Services Division, Acquisition Directorate, United States Transportation Command, managed six global mobility transportation contracts valued at $1.2 billion. Additionally, she led a multi-functional team of USTRANSCOM and Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command logisticians, acquisition, and lawyers to execute four MM-3 task orders valued at $42.5 million on the behalf of the Operation Warp Speed Task Force and HHS. In support to the White House Presidential Task Force response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she led a team of logisticians to deliver COVID-19 test kits and needles/syringes assisting the Federal Vaccine Operations Task Force’s ability to deliver a nation-wide vaccination program.

Shenendoah Hoefferle

Mr. Shenendoah Hoefferle
Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, U.S. Air Force

Mr. Shenendoah Hoefferle distinguished himself as Senior Cost Analyst, Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C. He was lead estimator for an office executing more than $50 billion in the Fiscal Year 2021 Future Years Defense Program for more than 40 programs. Concentrating on new cutting-edge programs for space, he provided key data-driven decision support to the Chief of Space Operations to establish the United States Space Force’s ability to address current capability gaps and future threats to national security. Mr. Hoefferle was a key asset to the DoD cost estimating capability as a leader and mentor in the operations research community.

Ivan Bembers

Mr. Ivan Bembers
Business Plans & Operations, National Reconnaissance Office

Mr. Ivan Bembers, Integrated Program Management Team Lead, Business Plans and Operations Directorate/Cost and Acquisition Assessment Group, National Reconnaissance Office, fundamentally changed the way performance management functions under the conditions of an ongoing pandemic by diligently and creatively crafting solutions to problems and recognized issues that helped identify connections, consequences, and alternatives. Mr. Bembers broke new ground in developing methods of integrating agile development and earned value management. Adding to his multiple contributions, he collaborated with the Naval Post Graduate School and Naval Air Systems Command to build a data-driven Masters of Cost Estimating and Analysis degree program capstone project for NPS students.

 

Lance Miller

Mr. Lance Miller
Signals Intelligence Systems Acquisition Directorate, National Reconnaissance Office

Mr. Lance Miller, Acquisition Program Manager, Advanced Plans Branch, Space Systems Program Office, Signals Intelligence Systems Acquisition Directorate, National Reconnaissance Office, has organized, led and facilitated multiple engagements of the NRO and user personnel to identify, analyze and assess more than 100 signal intelligence mission enhancements valued at billions of dollars. Working across organizational lines, he cleverly leveraged a $35 million Research and Development investment from another acquisition program office to ensure the technology would be available to accommodate a limited integration schedule. Mr. Miller’s efforts provide the NRO with a valuable source of human capital.

 Amy Hoffer

Ms. Amy Hoffer
Naval Facilities Engineering Command

Ms. Amy Hoffer, Senior Project Manager, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, U.S. Navy, has been the driving force behind the success of the $600 million+ procurement effort for the recapitalization of the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay Dry Dock, which is an integral part of the Navy’s ability to continue to meet the national nuclear deterrence mission today and into the future as the Columbia Class submarines come online. Her depth of knowledge of facilities engineering and procurement, as well as a firm focus on the mission being supported, were the key to the successful development and award of this high risk, high visibility project ahead of schedule with no bid protest.

 Samantha Bell

Ms. Samantha Bell
Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, U.S. Air Force

Ms. Samantha Bell, Deputy Director, Financial Management, Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., has led an office executing more than $50 billion in the Fiscal Year 2021 Future Years Defense Program for more than 40 programs. She led the Herculean effort to coalesce Fiscal Year 2023 Program Objective Memorandum inputs for the United States Air Force and United States Space Force programs, with associated briefings up to service chief level. Ms. Bell tackled the challenge of operating in the COVID-19 pandemic head-on, including enabling financial support to the defense industrial base; and she facilitated the successful standup of the United States Space Force and the critical execution of its funding.

 Mohammad Ashraf

Captain Mohammad Ashraf, USSF
Space Command Center

Captain Mohammad Ashraf, Chief, Next Generation Global Positioning System Command and Control Cybersecurity, Command and Control Systems Division, Space Production Corps, Space and Missile Systems Center, United States Space Force, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, has expertly led the 17-member cybersecurity team responsible for systems engineering, design, requirements testing, and technical baseline management to ensure cyber-resilient operations of a $6.4 billion national satellite command and control program. His information technology expertise, leadership abilities, and disciplined technical rigor guaranteed the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System’s compliance with 637 security controls and 4,147 Defense Information Systems Agency Security Technical Implementation Guides for more than 6.3 million lines of software code.

 Joe Munger

Mr. Joe Munger
Air Force Materiel Command, USAF

Mr. Joe Munger is the F-16 FMS Modernization Branch Material Leader, Fighters and Advanced Aircraft Directorate at Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. His exceptional character, ability, and unyielding drive produced an energized organization, revitalizing the spirit of the FMS Branch, which is one of the largest in AFMC with 233 personnel and a $27 billion portfolio. Mr. Munger executed SAF/AQ’s philosophy to leverage buying power by spearheading the $62 billion award of the first ever Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract that commoditized pricing for new F-16s and accelerated responsiveness to international partners.

Julie Glaser

Ms. Julie Glaser
Air Force Materiel Command, USAF

Ms. Julie Glaser is the Life Cycle Logistics Chief for B-52 Radar Modernization Program, Air Force Materiel Command, U.S. Air Force. She is directly responsible for leading and managing all life-cycle logistics requirements for this top Air Force priority. She oversaw the logistics team technical evaluation of 115 basis of estimates for $586 million Engineering Manufacturing and Development proposal. Her tenacious leadership of this $2.4 billion Acquisition Category I program proved invaluable to completing an Independent Logistics Assessment, Life Cycle Sustainment Plan, Depot Source of Repair, Logistics Health Assessment and 19 other regulatory program requirements.

Terry Hirst

Mr. Terry Hirst
Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing & Technology Center, USA

Mr. Terry Hirst, Rock Island Arsenal – Joint Manufacturing & Technology Center (RIA-JMTC), U.S. Army, distinguished himself as the Quality Assurance Specialist assigned to the M997A3 Ambulance Program from December 1, 2019 to June 27, 2021. The M997A3 plays a critical role in providing support in homeland security, natural disaster relief missions, and provides increased medical support during domestic disasters. His efforts directly resulted in reducing RIA-JMTC Concerns per Units by approximately 77%, its P3 partner AM General Concerns per Units by approximately 93%, and led to DCMA, South Bend not detecting a single Ambulance shelter nonconformance this calendar year.

 John Nuckols

Lieutenant Colonel John Nuckols, USA
JPEO for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, & Nuclear Defense

Lieutenant Colonel John Nuckols, Joint Product Manager for the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense, U.S. Army, supported COVID-19 testing for deployed warfighters, units moving to training, new recruits entering the Army, and in a national acquisition role, supporting two administrations and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. His distinctive accomplishments include managing the award of more than 35 diagnostic industrial base expansions, valued at more than $3.6 billion, and procurement of more than $3 billion in tests for retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and underserved populations.

Monte Cox

Mr. Monte Cox
Air Education & Training Command, USAF

Mr. Monte Cox, as Air Education and Training Command’s lead Requirements Manager for Flying Training and Technical Training portfolios, led a team of 23 officers, enlisted, civilian, and contractor personnel overseeing 24 programs, including the $9.8 billion T-7 acquisition program. Through the Air Force Modification Program, he led requirements validation across the portfolio and championed development and validation of the $906 million T-6 Avionics Replacement Program. Mr. Cox’s diligent and caring leadership contributed to Air Education and Training Command fighting through the COVID-19 pandemic to meet Air Force student production requirements today and long into the future.

Kevin Wingerd

Dr. Kevin Wingerd
JPEO for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, & Nuclear Defense, USA

Dr. Kevin Wingerd has distinguished himself through his exceptional leadership and accomplishments as the Chief Technical Officer for the Joint Project Manager for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Medical, Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense, U.S. Army. His support of numerous repurposing efforts led to the acquisition and availability of medicine, equipment and COVID-19 testing supplies that saved many lives. He has facilitated advanced development, manufacturing and acquisition of medical solutions, and provided the U.S. military forces and the nation with safe, effective and innovative medical solutions to enhance the nation's biodefense response capability.

Amy Medlin

Ms. Amy Medlin
Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics

Ms. Amy Medlin has functioned as an Acquisition Program Manager for 17 service projects supporting U.S. Special Operations Command Components and Headquarters Directorates. She conducted five source selections as the Source Selection Evaluation Board Chair in support of the USSOCOM Enterprise, including about $80 million for Enterprise Knowledge Management. Ms. Medlin has continually demonstrated adaptability, flexibility, and eagerness to assume more responsibility resulting in sustaining services, through proactive services acquisition strategy development, timely service contract executions, and post award surveillance, in direct support of Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command Priorities.

Denise Baylor

Ms. Denise Baylor
Air Force Materiel Command, USAF

Ms. Denise Baylor, Small Business Director, Air Force Program Executive Office, Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command, Maxwell Air Force Base, Gunter Annex, Alabama, has led the Program Executive Office Business and Enterprise Systems from single-digit Senior Leader Performance Expectation goals to more than 50%. She advanced Small Business training by holding events at least twice annually for more than 200 personnel. Among Ms. Baylor’s many achievements is increasing the total obligated small business dollars to $361.9 million to small business primes in information technology and cybersecurity, which is critical to winning the cyber superiority race in an agile environment for the Air Force.

 Major Luke Leininger

Major Luke Leininger, USA
USSOCOM

The rapid establishment of U.S. Special Operations Command’s Program Executive Office for SOF Digital Applications (PEO SDA) and the implementation of DoDI 5000.87 within USSOCOM was enabled by the tenacity, hard work, and leadership of Major Luke Leininger. He took the initiative to develop an expertise in the Scaled Agile Framework, becoming a SAFE Agile trained Leader for the organization, while simultaneously standing up a fully functioning PEO. Major Leininger pushed risk acceptance to the lowest level possible for software acquisition, with the goal of increasing the speed of delivery to the Operator, and, with his efforts, that goal was achieved.

 Lieutenant Colonel Ephane Dubose

Lieutenant Colonel Ephane Dubose, USAF
USSOCOM

Lieutenant Colonel Ephane Dubose, U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Air Force, demonstrated exemplary performance in the execution of strike program integration, experimenting, testing and fielding. During this period, his team executed 254 tests, experimentations and demonstrations across 10 different Special Operations Forces air platforms, executing 726 test and demonstration flight hours. He skillfully directed the first Special Operations Forces weapon datalink development, integration and test on manned and unmanned platforms, introducing mid-flight precision guided weapon re-targeting, increasing lethality by 400%. He led the Armed Overwatch demonstration, providing 80% of the vendor down-select criteria for the $1 billion effort.

Software Innovation Team Award Winner

Software Innovation Team Logo

HQ U.S. Special Operations Command

The Mission Command System/Common Operating Picture, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, FL team distinguished itself by implementing a pioneering acquisition strategy that ensured the best available software solutions will be delivered to the USSOCOM Operators through user centric software design principles while leveraging a supporting enterprise DevSecOps environment that will allow software deployment at the speed of SOF. The team and the 140+ users executed three, three-week virtual, agile, prototyping sprints with each of the five vendors across a 9-week period for a total of 15 user centric engagements. The team’s efforts have served as a driving force within USSOCOM to generate the appropriate policies, procedures, and infrastructure necessary to succeed in complex global competition.

Flexibility in Contracting Award Winner

Flexibility in Contracting Award Winner

Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and Army Contracting Command COVID-19 National Response Team U.S. Army

The Joint Program Executive Office for Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense & Army Contracting Command COVID-19 National Response Team is recognized for outstanding innovation, speed and flexibility in contracting while providing assisted acquisition support to the United States Department of Health and Human Services and direct acquisition support to the DoD in response to the COVID-19 National Emergency. The team awarded more than $23 billion for vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, enablers and personal protective equipment in record time in order to protect to our Nation’s general population and the DoD from COVID-19.

DEVELOPMENT INNOVATION AWARD WINNERS

Workforce Large Award Winner

Communications-Electronics Command, Software Engineering Center U.S. Army

Communications-Electronics Command Software Engineering Center partnered with local educational institutions to create tailored curriculums designed to improve the workforce’s knowledge base and ensured employees were informed on the most up-to-date information being shared throughout industry. The internal job fairs and rotation program gave the workforce an opportunity to experience new roles to improve skill sets while also allowing the organization to fill gaps as needed to maintain readiness. Software Engineering Center’s innovative approaches to developing the workforce ensure employee technical skills stay relevant to meet critical mission priorities now and in the years to come.

Workforce Small Award Winner

Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology and Logistics U.S. Special Operations Command

Through a variety of initiatives and programs, Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (SOF AT&L), United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), created a unique recruiting ground for SOF Acquirers, instilled new knowledge, energy, and opportunities for the acquisition professionals, and promoted work-life balance initiatives all while rapidly fielding premier technology for today and tomorrow’s fight. The COVID-19 pandemic provided new recruiting opportunities for SOF AT&L with the first ever virtual career fair with a Historically Black College. SOF AT&L maintained an average 95% fill rate, which is a direct result of the collaborative effort among the SOF AT&L Program Executive Offices, Directors, Deputies and the workforce development team.

DAVID PACKARD EXCELLENCE IN ACQUISITION AWARD WINNERS

Packard Team 1

Applied Cyber Technologies Team, Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems Team U.S. Army

In 2020, the Army’s Applied Cyber Technologies developed its “Pipeline Ecosystem,” which is a cloud-based, continuous integration/continuous delivery environment designed to drive innovation, automate technical processes, enable iterative software development, and accelerate acquisition. Built with industry-leading Agile and DevSecOps practices, the Pipeline Ecosystem is precisely the kind of innovation DoD has prioritized in its modernization plans.

Team 2

Special COLUMBIA Program PMS 397 Team U.S. Navy

The Navy’s COLUMBIA Class Submarine Program (PMS 397) has been a leader in Navy acquisition through executing improvements across acquisition, contracting, supply chain, workforce development, and sustainment. The team negotiated and awarded the first ever, modern era, two submarine lead buy supporting full construction of a lead ship and continued advance construction of a second ship. They also implemented an innovative approach to enable on time FY21 contract award that will save approximately $1.5 billion and developed new, creative supplier management strategies to mitigate risk and drive industrial base readiness.

Packard Team 3

Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology and Logistics U.S. Special Operations Command

The Air Force’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Systems Branch and Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense led planning, development, and execution of initiatives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their efforts yielded two significantly capable systems that went from concept to operations in only 95 days protecting aircrew across 60 missions and saving more than 300 lives. Additionally, their COVID-19 disinfection and detection efforts supported the Services’ requirements to protect our warfighters and communities.

Team 5

U.S. Air Force, Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) “SpeedDealer” Live-fly Prototype Demonstration Team

The Air Force’s Three-Dimensional Expeditionary Long-Range Radar (3DELRR) “SpeedDealer” Live-fly Prototype Demonstration Team created an innovative contracting approach, moving from standard FAR based contracting to use of OTAs to conduct a competitive demonstration. The team provided a new method for the USAF to provide critical radar systems in support of anti-access/area denial missions for Combatant Commanders.

Operation Warp Speed, U.S. Army

Operation Warp Speed

The Army’s Operation Warp Speed and the Joint Program Executive Office Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense Medical Repurposing Team drove the development, production and delivery of safe and effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and therapeutics to the American people. Operation Warp Speed rapidly assembled the world’s best scientists and harnessed the planning, project management and logistics expertise of the DoD to drive the R&D of several pharmaceutical candidates, producing FDA authorized vaccines and therapeutics in record time.

JPEO-CBRND Medical Repurposing Team/RAIDR, U.S. Army

JPEO-CBRND Medical Repurposing Team/RAIDR, U.S. Army

The Army’s Operation Warp Speed and the Joint Program Executive Office Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense Medical Repurposing Team drove the development, production and delivery of safe and effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and therapeutics to the American people. The Joint Program Executive Office Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense Medical Repurposing Team responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by helping develop the Rapid Acquisition and Investigation of Drugs for Repurposing tools and leveraging their capabilities and expertise to provide benefit to the nation through accelerated delivery of safe and effective medical countermeasures.