DAHLGREN, Va. –
Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday famously said, “People are our most important weapons system” during his first message to the fleet in August 2019. Just a month prior in July 2019, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Engineer Sarah Moore started her career in the Integrated Combat Systems Department.
Moore first joined the workforce at NSWCDD in the Naval Acquisition Development Program (NADP) following her graduation from Virginia Commonwealth University. Early on, she made a positive impression on her team in the Human Systems Integration (HSI) branch.
“We knew from the time she started with us that she was a go-getter,” NSWCDD HSI Branch Head Anita Kirkland observed about Moore. “From the first day, Moore hit the ground running. She was enthusiastic, engaged and wanted to learn. She wanted her hands on everything.”
Moore never hesitated when it came to putting herself in the shoes of the warfighter – literally and figuratively.
“We put her inside U.S. Marine Corps combat vehicles, suited up in full combat gear in order to assess egress routes for the Marines, should the vehicle roll over,” said Kirkland.
On July 22, Moore received the G. Dennis White Early Career HSI Practitioner Award to recognize these efforts.
“When we say people are our asymmetric advantage, I believe that,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Navy Research, Development, Test and Engineering (RDT and E) under the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Joan Johnson, who presented Moore with the award. “For me to have the opportunity to recognize a young professional who two years into her career, as Sarah has done, has made an impact on the Navy, operators, the capability of the warfighter – that’s humbling for me.”
In addition to her can-do attitude, Moore is recognized for “leading the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block III human factors analysis of the equipment sponson (a projection on the side of the ship),” according to the nomination form. “Her efforts greatly reduced the risk to the Maintainer in executing his tasks.”
Additionally, the nomination celebrated Moore for her “[willingness] to roll up her sleeves and dig into a new task” and “willingness to embrace new experiences through her work on the design of three U.S. Coast Guard ships from a human factors engineering perspective,” among other projects.
“I think it’s an extreme honor [to receive this award] because I don’t feel like I deserve it,” said Moore during an interview. “I know I work hard, but when I got the phone call, I didn’t even know my name was submitted. I was so shocked. [I’m grateful] for the support from my HSI family.”
Candidates for the G. Dennis White Early Career HSI Practitioner Award must reflect the ideals of the late HSI champion, Dennis White, including cooperation, courage, proactivity, flexibility and persistency – all on behalf of the warfighter.
“There are pages and pages of detail to articulate all the incredible work Sarah has done,” said Johnson during the award presentation. “I know our warfighters are in good hands with professionals like you. So early in your career, you have demonstrated incredible leadership and critical thinking.”