MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
The COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped the Marine Corps from supporting the warfighter. It also did not stop Marine Corps Systems Command from recognizing superior achievements by its acquisition professionals.
The command recognized innovation and excellence among its workforce during the annual Acquisition Excellence Awards, held July 28 at Marine Corps University aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
Brig. Gen. A.J. Pasagian, MCSC commander, opened the event with remarks to the small crowd, which adhered to public health guidelines by donning face coverings and sitting at least two seats away from one another. The event was also streamed online for the rest of the workforce.
“Things look a little different this year, but it’s good to be in a room together,” said Pasagian. “We have to celebrate, recognize and understand the accomplishments of every area of warfighting. We’re here because these accomplishments are really noteworthy and remarkable.”
Pasagian introduced Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Gary L. Thomas, who spoke about the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, including how it changes the way the Marine Corps carries out ceremonies. However, he said it is important to find ways to overcome these obstacles to give appropriate recognition to those who exhibit excellence in supporting the warfighter.
“It’s an honor to be here with you today to recognize this year’s superb achievements in acquisition,” said Thomas. “Acquisition professionals are a key enabler of our efforts to prepare for the future operating environment. The systems you deliver to the Fleet Marine Force are an integral part of our ability to deter our competitors and defeat our adversaries.”
The first awards presented were the Andrew J. Higgins, Eugene M. Stoner and Donald Roebling Awards for Acquisition Innovation and Excellence, established by Marine Corps Order in May 2002. Higgins, Stoner and Roebling were responsible for the design, development, production and sustainment of critical items that have an enduring impact on the Marine Corps.
Maj. Matthew Browning won the Higgins Award—presented to a Marine Corps officer—for project management activities associated with the advancement of a Marine Corps ground-based, anti-ship missile capability for MCSC’s Ground Combat Element Systems.
“My goal was to provide the best capability I could for Marines, and the Navy and Marine team,” said Browning. “My programmatic success is a reflection of [the Program Manager for] Long Range Fires, the Ground Based Anti-Ship Missile team and supporting contractors, who help us reach our success. I am privileged to be associated with such an esteemed award.”
Master Sgt. Zachariah Kindvall received the Eugene M. Stoner Award, presented to a Marine staff noncommissioned officer. Kindvall exhibited superior performance as the Explosive Ordnance Disposal project officer for MCSC’s Logistics Combat Element Systems. His technical expertise and innovation were instrumental in improving the capabilities of the Marine Corps EOD community.
“I felt very honored when I found out about winning the award,” said Kindvall. “I know there were many high-caliber Marines nominated, so to be the one chosen is truly humbling. However, I don’t do anything on my own, so I really need to thank my team for everything they do.”
The Donald Roebling Award, presented to a Marine Corps civilian acquisition professional, went to Eugene Morin. Morin showcased outstanding performance while serving as product manager for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program, leading the team to secure a successful Full Rate Production decision, and meeting Initial Operational Capability nearly a year ahead of schedule.
“This is the greatest honor of my 21 years in the command supporting the warfighter,” said Morin. “It would not have been possible without the support of leaders who believed in me and the dedicated acquisition professionals that supported me on a daily basis. Thank you for the honor of this recognition.”
These three awards recognize individuals for their excellence and innovation in the acquisition, fielding, and support of systems and equipment to the operating forces. The Higgins, Stoner and Roebling awards are signed by Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger and sponsored by the Marine Corps Association and Foundation.
“I want to congratulate not only the Higgins, Stoner and Roebling award winners, but all of today’s well-deserving award recipients,” said retired Marine Corps Lt. Gen. William Faulkner, president and chief executive officer of the Marine Corps Association and Foundation. “Semper Fidelis, and thank you all so much.”
In addition to the Higgins, Stoner and Roebling Awards, the leaders also recognized recipients of the MCSC Commander’s Honorary Awards. These awards acknowledge individuals and teams who made significant contributions to MCSC’s mission accomplishment in 2019. A full list of Acquisition Excellence Award winners follow:
Excellence in Acquisition Support: Antonio Zambrano, Naval Surface Warfare Center-Carderock
Excellence in Command Support: Joshua Shuty, Command Element Systems
Excellence in Command Support (Team): Human Capital Management Payroll Team, HCM
Excellence in Contract Management: Leslie Mojica, Command Element Systems
Excellence in Contract Management (Team): EFAS Contracts Team, Logistics Combat Element Systems
Excellence in Financial Management: Carmen Ramos, Command Element Systems
Excellence in Financial Management (Team): Program Manager Engineer Systems Financial Management Team, Logistics Combat Element Systems
Excellence in Logistics and Product Support: Paul Emiro, Command Element Systems
Excellence in Logistics and Product Support: Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Systems and Integration Team, Program Executive Officer Land Systems
Excellence in MAGTF Engineering: John Peters, Logistics Combat Element Systems
Excellence in MAGTF Engineering: Program Manager for Engineer Systems Engineering Team, Logistics Combat Element Systems
Excellence in Operations Research and Systems Analysis: Jimmy Housley, Operations and Programs
Excellence in Operations Research and Systems Analysis: PfM Command Element Systems Cost Estimating and Analysis Team, Command Element Systems
Excellence in Program Management: John Norris, Command Element Systems
Excellence in Program Management (Team): Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, Logistics Combat Element Systems
Innovation Award: John Philpott, Logistics Combat Element Systems
Innovation Award (Team): Advanced Concepts Cell, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity
Lawrence P. Kreitzer Leadership Award: Col. Robert Bailey, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity
Colonel Richard “Dick” Bates Award: Joseph McPherson, Ground Combat Element Systems
2019 Department of Navy and Department of Defense Award recipients:
Ron Kiss Maritime Technology Transition Award: Christopher Wagner, Combat Element Systems
Field Acquisition Activity Award, Medium and Heavy Tactical Vehicles Equipment Specialist Team
Innovation Excellence Acquisition Team of the Year Award: Advanced Manufacturing Operations Cell Team, Operations and Programs
Office of Small Business Program Secretary’s Cup: Marine Corps Systems Command Small Business Team
Individual Achievement Award for Life Cycle Logistics: CWO4 Martin Lopez, Ground Combat Element Systems
Individual Achievement Award for Earned Value Management: Melissa Ransom, Program Executive Officer Land Systems
Secretary of Defense Product Support Manager Award: Katherine McCauley, Program Executive Officer Land Systems
2020 Dr. Delores M. Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Award: Ali Olinger, Program Executive Officer Land Systems