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NEWS | April 7, 2023

NSWCDD Honors Several with the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award

By Taft Coghill Jr., NSWCDD Corporate Communications

Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) recently recognized several employees who earned the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award (DoN MCSA) during its Honorary Awards Ceremony in March at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center.

James “Jim” Barnes, Daniel Belcher, Willie Crank, Jonathan “Jon” Dachos, Larry Fontenot, Lorilee Geisweidt, Charles Harms, Scott Larimer, James “Jim” McConkie, Thomas Moore, Ernest Yelder, and Matthew Zurasky were named recipients of the award.

The DoN MCSA is the third-highest honorary award in the Navy and is granted for meritorious civilian service or a high value contribution that greatly benefits the Navy. It recognizes achievements that have far-reaching, command-wide impact.

Zurasky, a recent retiree, was named a recipient of the award for authoring and defending several proposals leading to the development of warfighter joint munitions effectiveness manual operational tools.

Geisweidt, who also recently retired from NSWCDD, was recognized for leading weekly multi-organizational meetings to ensure construction, outfitting and accreditation of a multi-level security lab to support test and evaluation events, fleet war games and to exercise support.

Barnes, the current Comptroller Department head at NSWCDD, was nominated for streamlining financial processes that benefited the warfare centers and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Enterprise.

Dachos, who has held a variety of positions across the NAVSEA Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems, is a recipient of the DoN MCSA for helping to create the 5-Phase Space Design and Analysis process for Navy ships, which is under patent review.

“The award should be cut into 29 pieces,” Dachos said. “It reflects the great team effort, impact and results at the Human System Integration Branch for our Department of Defense operators and maintainers. It is a real win for our team.”

McConkie was nominated after he designed and developed a revolutionary gun weapons system which provided the fleet an advanced, affordable and effective minor caliber gun system to defeat small, unmanned aircraft threats as well as small, fast-attack craft surface threats.

Another honoree, David Belcher, awarded more than 400 new contracts worth an estimated $905 million in 12 years. Belcher’s career contracting portfolio is an estimated $1.8 billion.

Fontenot received the DoN MCSA because of his dedication, technical expertise and innovation in support of the Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System.

Harms earned the award for his applied technical expertise in computer program configuration management and data collection.

Yelder received the award for the effort that he put towards helping to transform the PMS 339 Cyber Security operations to a formalized and proactive process incorporating sound System Engineering principles.

Moore and Larimer were featured on the NSWCDD website due to their achievements. The news story can be found here: .

Crank was also featured previously as result of his accomplishments. This story can be found here: