DAHLGREN, Va. – Lt. Paul Cross was awarded the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) C. J. Rorie Award for his impact on the Navy’s Gun Launched Guided Projectile program, command officials announced.
Cross is recognized for outstanding leadership as the NSWCDD Projectile Integration Lead Engineer for the Gun Launched Guided Projectile effort, ensuring the success of fielding a guided projectile.
The Rorie Award – named in honor of retired Rear Admiral C. J. Rorie, NSWC commander from March 1975 to September 1977 – was established to recognize military personnel assigned to NSWCDD whose excellence in the performance of their duties has contributed significantly to the effectiveness of the division’s military operations.
The Gun Launched Guided Projectile is used for anti-air and surface missions. The projectile can alter its flight post-launch while traveling at higher-than-conventional round speeds. As a systems engineer, Cross is responsible for ensuring all the round components are successfully integrated into the volume and weight constraints.
“My team and I were commissioned by OPNAV (Office of the Chief of Naval Operations) to do a study surrounding the potential architecture of the overall combat system, its sensor, and other components,” said Cross. “We had an aggressive four-month timeline to review possible combat architectures and their project adaptability, find the most successful ones, and present those candidates to OPNAV. There were a lot of long hours.”
Cross started his military career in the Marine Corps, before taking a hiatus to pursue an engineering degree. While in college, Cross joined the Air Force National Guard, serving in Kansas. During his junior year, he found out about the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate (NUPOC) program that would allow him to return to active duty service.
The NUPOC program selects eligible college students and graduates. Candidates are commissioned as Ensigns following their completion of the program to begin their Division Officer tour aboard conventional ships.
“The opportunity to go active duty again appealed more to me than the civilian industry,” said Cross. Halfway through his Division Officer tour, Cross found out about the engineering duty officer community after no longer being able to serve as a nuclear trained officer. “I applied for a lateral transfer into the engineering duty officer community, where I was able to use my engineering degree to shape the Navy’s future.”
Cross first heard about NSWCDD while working on his master’s degree at the Naval Post-Graduate School. “I had a thesis on the railgun. During a school break, I came out to Dahlgren for research, and was impressed by the area and the types of projects being done here. When an opportunity to come here on a military tour came up, I jumped at the opportunity.”
“Working at Dahlgren has been a great learning experience because I get to see the background of the Navy that’s different than other places I’ve worked,” said Cross. “It’s eye opening. I’ve been able to see the different paths civilian employees took to end up at Dahlgren.”
Because Cross is on active duty, he expects to be stationed at NSWCDD for only another year. “Unfortunately, I’ll have to move on, but I know I’ll always look back at my time at Dahlgren fondly. The work we do and the people we work with are top notch,” said Cross. “This has been one of the best tours of my career.”
The NSWCDD Honorary Awards video program scheduled for publication on the command’s YouTube page later this month will feature congratulatory remarks to awardees and their families by NSWCDD Commanding Officer Capt. Casey Plew, NSWCDD Technical Director John Fiore, and U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman. Check the NSWCDD website for updates: https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Home/Warfare-Centers/NSWC-Dahlgren/