MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
On Nov. 5, the Department of Navy recognized representatives of Marine Corps Systems Command and Program Executive Officer Land Systems for their superior work in acquisition during the 2020 DON Acquisition Excellence Awards.
The virtual ceremony recognized individuals and organizations within the Department of Navy who have demonstrated superior performance in the acquisition of products and services for the Navy and Marine Corps.
MCSC employees who took home awards include the Program Manager for Infantry Combat Equipment Contract Management Team, led by Peggy Smith, as well as Edward McGrail, a former contracting officer for the Program Manager, Training Systems. Program Executive Officer Land Systems John Garner also received recognition.
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) James Geurts provided remarks throughout the webcast. He congratulated all nominated teams and individuals for their efforts in 2020, including those who were not recognized with awards.
“It takes everybody working together to do what the nation requires of us,” said Geurts. “It’s great for us to be able to recognize all of you—whether you’re a team or individual—for helping us support our Sailors and Marines. Your team is proud of you. We are all proud of you.”
Small Business Team Award
PM ICE’s Contract Management Team won the DON Small Business Team Award.
The DON recognized Smith’s team for implementing creative approaches to awarding contracts, enabling Marines to receive equipment faster. When an issue arose involving rifle magazine pouches, the team developed an innovative strategy to procure new pouches outside of the existing federal procurement list. They accomplished this task two months ahead of schedule.
Additionally, after a protest involving a contract award associated with the Plate Carrier Generation III, the PM ICE Contracting Management Team executed a contracting strategy that allowed for continuation. They awarded eight multimillion-dollar contracts. Because of their dedicated efforts, they guaranteed the equipment would be available for Marines.
Smith accepted the award on behalf of the team.
“On behalf of the PM ICE Contracts Team, thank you,” she said. “This award is truly an honor.”
Acquisition Professional of the Year
McGrail received the DON Acquisition Professional of the Year Award. This award is bestowed upon an individual whose outstanding leadership and achievement enhanced their command’s effectiveness and resulted in better buying power for the government.
McGrail completed 117 total contract actions and obligated nearly $55 million in fiscal year 2020. He oversaw one of the command’s most prodigious teams, producing 323 total contract actions and obligating more than $125 million.
His creative use of contracting authorities reduced cycle time, lowered costs and provided products and services that improved the Fleet Marine Force warfighting skills, ultimately enhancing operational readiness for many more years.
“This award is only 1 percent mine,” said McGrail. “Forty-nine percent goes to my team and legal support. The last 50 percent goes to my wife and daughter for putting up with long nights, frequent travel and understanding the greater purpose of civic duty.”
Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer Memorial Award
The DON recognized Garner with the Rear Adm. Wayne E. Meyer Award, which exemplifies the pinnacle of acquisition excellence and is the highest honor bestowed within the Navy/Marine Corps acquisition enterprise.
Garner excelled at meeting the unique challenges presented this year, and in leading and managing some of the Marine Corps’ most important programs. Garner oversaw the early deployment of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle ahead of schedule and has the program on track to reach Full-Rate Production. This was accomplished despite several COVID-related obstacles during the system’s Low Rate Initial Production and testing.
This year also saw Garner initiate the Medium Range Intercept Capability program, using an innovative mid-tier acquisition model that leverages prior prototype efforts to great effect. Similarly innovative was the fielding of an afloat version of the Common Aviation Command and Control System to several amphibious ships, which went from idea to implementation within months instead of years.
“As has been said before, this is a team sport,” said Garner. “We may accept personal awards, but it’s a great honor to accept this award on behalf of all the acquisition professionals in both PEO Land Systems and Marine Corps Systems Command, all of whom have worked together through some challenging times to accomplish some impactful results to support the Marine Corps and other service warfighters.”
At the event’s conclusion, Geurts once again congratulated all nominees and winners. The ASN-RDA also commended the acquisition professionals for excelling during a pandemic, despite having to telework and, in some cases, simultaneously homeschool their children.
“I cannot think of a team I would rather have lined up, fighting every day in the trenches, working through everything we’ve needed to work through,” said Geurts. “I couldn’t be more proud of the way you have all focused on the mission, taken care of each other, reached out for help when needed, helped somebody when needed, and in the end delivered support to Marines and Sailors.
“Well done for the year.”