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The Marine Corps’ Deputy Commandant for Information Lt. Gen. Matthew Glavy speaks about the importance of embracing change during Marine Corps Systems Command’s Acquisition Excellence Awards, Aug. 23 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. The AE Awards is an annual event recognizing Marines and civilians for their acquisition efforts. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Samantha Bates)

Photo by MCSC OPAC

Awarding Excellence: MCSC Marines, civilians recognized for acquisition efforts

25 Aug 2021 | Matt Gonzales, MCSC Office of Public Affairs and Communication Marine Corps Systems Command

For a second consecutive year, Marine Corps Systems Command has delivered innovative, life-saving capabilities to Marines despite the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, the command recognized several of its Marines and civilians for these efforts.

MCSC held its annual Acquisition Excellence Awards during a ceremony held Aug. 23 at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. The socially distanced event enabled Brig. Gen. A.J. Pasagian to promote the relentless dedication and myriad sacrifices made by the workforce to support the warfighter.

“Marines continue to protect the unprotected, help those who cannot help themselves,” said Pasagian. “You all provide the gear that helps them accomplish this.”

The event was intended to recognize a select group of individuals for superior performance in 2020. But Pasagian was adamant in commending the entire room of acquisition professionals for their dedication in supporting the warfighter, despite an ongoing health crisis.

“The level of acumen in this room is impressive,” he said. “People all over the world, including our adversaries, are talking about what you all are doing. Quantico is truly changing global behaviors, and that is extraordinary.”

Deputy Commandant for Information Lt. Gen. Matthew Glavy served as the ceremony’s guest of honor. Glavy thanked everyone in the room for their service, praised the award recipients for helping to achieve current and future Marine Corps goals, and emphasized the need to embrace change moving forward.

“We have to be on a continuous course of learning, and change must be part of our DNA,” said Glavy. “I’m thankful for what you do, what you’ve done and what you continue to do to make us great.”

The event began with a special presentation of the Legion of Merit award to MCSC Chief of Staff Col. Kirk Mullins, for his work as the former program manager for Advanced Amphibious Assault. The Legion of Merit recognizes exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service to the Marine Corps.

Marines continue to protect the unprotected, help those who cannot help themselves. You all provide the gear that helps them accomplish this.Brig. Gen. A.J. Pasagian, commander of Marine Corps Systems Command

Next was the presentation of the Andrew J. Higgins, Eugene M. Stoner and Donald Roebling Awards for Acquisition Innovation and Excellence. Higgins, Stoner and Roebling designed, developed, produced and sustained several critical items that have had a lasting impact on the Marine Corps.

In addition to receiving the Legion of Merit award, Mullins won the Higgins Award, presented to a Marine Corps officer for excellence and innovation in supporting the acquisition or fielding of equipment to Marines.

Mullins served as the program manager for Advanced Amphibious Assault at Program Executive Officer Land Systems from 2018 to 2021. During this time, he oversaw the timely and successful initial fielding of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle—a next-generation, eight-wheeled vehicle designed to move Marines from ship to shore.

Then, in December 2020, the program achieved a successful approval for the vehicle’s full-rate production decision milestone.

“I was quite surprised to win this award, yet I also felt a great sense of humility and gratitude for the PM AAA team,” said Mullins.

“Every time I glance at the award, I will be reminded of the historical significance of Andrew J. Higgins and his role is winning World War II through promoting an amphibious capability. I’ll also be reminded of the hard work put forth by PM AAA in an effort to further promote our Marine Corps amphibious capability.”

The Stoner Award, which recognizes a Marine staff noncommissioned officer, was presented to Master Gunnery Sgt. Alfredo Franco, the project officer of Common Aviation Command and Control System and maintenance subject matter expert for the Program Manager, Air Command and Control and Sensor Netting at PEO Land Systems.

Franco helped successfully field the CAC2S capability ahead of schedule, leading to its full deployment in December 2020. He coordinated with vendors, the Fleet Marine Force and the CAC2S fielding team to integrate, field and deliver new equipment training, technical publications and initial issue provisioning package for Marines.

He addressed multiple equipment issues facing his community. His subject matter expert advice to his teammates ultimately made the fielded products and training more effective for Marines.

“I was surprised to be the recipient of the Eugene M. Stoner Award,” said Franco. “I was very humbled by the recognition.”

Deborah Olson, the program manager for Engineering Systems, took home the Roebling Award, presented to a civilian acquisition professional. Under Olson’s leadership, PM ES divested more than 47,000 pieces of equipment in support of Force Design 2030.

Olson’s personal actions led 4th Platoon, 1st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company to conduct a Littoral Explosive Obstacle Neutralization full-mission profile, contributing to concept experimentation, doctrine development and standard operating procedure refinement using full Naval integration from both ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship.

“I’m humbled and honored by this recognition,” said Olson. “I have an amazing team in Program Manager, Engineer Systems who are dedicated and focused on their mission. They are the ones who made it happen.”

The full list of Acquisition Excellence Award winners:

Excellence in Acquisition Support: Matthew Fish, Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Integration Team

Excellence in Command Support: Adrienne Bey, Program Management Warfare 230

Excellence in Command Support (Team): Program Manager Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar Fielding, System Improvement and Support Team, PM G/ATOR, PEO Land Systems

Excellence in Contract Management: Christopher Chambers, Wargaming Capability, Portfolio Manager Command Element Systems, MCSC

Excellence in Contract Management (Team): Amphibious Combat Vehicle Contracting Team, PM Advanced Amphibious Assault, PEO Land Systems

Excellence in Financial Management: Neidra Sampson, PM Air Command and Control and Sensor Netting, PEO Land Systems

Excellence in Financial Management (Team): PM Logistics Integrated Information Solutions - Marine Corps Audit Team, PEO Manpower, Logistics & Business Solutions

Excellence in Logistics and Product Support: Scott McDonald, Infantry Combat Equipment, PfM Ground Combat Element Systems, MCSC

Excellence in Logistics and Product Support (Team): Expeditionary Medical Systems Team, PfM Logistics Combat Element Systems, MCSC

Excellence in MAGTF Engineering: John Pomfret, Long Range Fires, PfM Ground Combat Element Systems

Excellence in MAGTF Engineering (Team): Amphibious Combat Vehicle Engineering Team, PM Advanced Amphibious Assault, PEO Land Systems

Excellence in Operations Research and Systems Analysis: Kristin Cowell, Logistics Integrated Information Solutions–Marine Corps, PEO Manpower, Logistics & Business Solutions

Excellence in Operations Research and Systems Analysis: Amphibious Combat Vehicle Cost Analysis Team, PM Advanced Amphibious Assault, PEO Land Systems

Excellence in Program Management: Edgar Howell, Program Manager for Supply and Maintenance Systems, PfM Logistics Combat Element Systems, MCSC

Excellence in Program Management (Team): Common Aviation Command & Control System Program Management Team, PM Air Command, Control and Sensor Netting, PEO Land Systems

The Innovation Award: John Stroud, Assistant Program Executive Officer for Engineering, PEO Land Systems

The Innovation Award (Team): Command Individual Risk and Resiliency Assessment System Team, PEO Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions

Lawrence P. Kreitzer Leadership Award: Anton Stubbs, PfM Ground Combat Element Systems, MCSC

Colonel Richard “Dick” Bates Award: Jack Cave, MCSC Operations and Programs, MCSC

The Department of Navy also recognized several representatives of MCSC and associated organizations for their efforts in acquisition support. The 2020 Department of Navy Acquisition Excellence Awards highlighted the following individuals for their work:

Small Business Team Award: PM Infantry Combat Equipment Contract Management Team, PfM Ground Combat Element Systems, MCSC

Acquisition Professional of the Year: Edward McGrail, former contracting officer for Program Manager Training Systems

RADM Wayne E. Meyer Memorial Award: John Garner, PEO Land Systems

A+ Award: PM Infantry Combat Equipment Contract Management Team and Task Group Collaboration Team, PfM GCES, MCSC

Information Technology Excellence Innovate Award: Command Individual Risk and Resiliency Assessment System Team, PEO Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions

Test Team Award: Amphibious Combat Vehicle Integrated Test and Evaluation Team, PM Advanced Amphibious Assault, PEO Land Systems

Aspiring Tester Award: Andrew Ferguson, Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, MCTSSA

Lead Tester Award: Giang Pham, PM Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar, PEO Land Systems

Small Program Outstanding Tester Award: Maj. Richard Zjawin, PM TRASYS, MCSC

Office of Small Business-Programs: Austin Johnson, Director, MCSC Office of Small Business Programs

Office of Small Business-Programs (Team): MCSC PfM Supporting Establishment Systems IT-ISO Team, PEO Digital & Enterprise Solutions

Secretary of Defense Product Support Manager of the Year: Katherine McCauley, PM Advanced Amphibious Assault, PEO Land Systems

Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Medical Logistics Award Program Civilian Acquisition Professional of the Year: John Philpott, PfM Logistics Combat Element Systems, MCSC

Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller) Outstanding Financial Management Team Award Below Army Command Level: Joint Program Executive Office Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense Financial Management Coronavirus Disease Response Team, MCSC

DOD Gears of Government Award: The Intelligence Systems Team, PfM Command Element Systems, MCSC


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