WASHINGTON NAVY YARD, D.C. –Commander Naval Sea Systems Command, Vice Adm. Bill Galinis, presented James Kenny, retired Executive Director, Naval Systems Engineering & Logistics Directorate, with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service during a Nov. 10 ceremony at the Washington Navy Yard.
The DoD Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service is the highest civilian award given by the United States Department of Defense. This award is given to civilian employees who had careers that reflect exceptional devotion to duty and whose contributions to the efficiency, economy, or other improvements in DoD operations are of a significantly broad scope.
Kenny joins a select group of individuals who have received this award as nominees must meet a specific list of criteria in order to be considered for such an achievement and their accomplishments must be for the DoD as a whole, not just their component. The DoD Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service requires that nominees are career DoD civilian employees, had a clear impact on the DoD, Federal Government, and/or the Nation, and their accomplishments must be succinctly articulated within the nomination. After review by the DoD Ad Hoc Committee only five to seven nominees are presented to the Secretary of Defense for review and approval each year.
Kenny’s 39 year service to the United States Navy showed his dedication to our country and our sailors. The achievements that helped him receive this award were each distinguished in their own right but put together show a dedication to our nation that is unparalleled.
Kenny led over 750 engineers and scientists who are responsible for a broad range of technical disciplines and recruited over 200 engineers in two years. He invested in entry level talent, leadership training, professional development, and on the job rotational assignments.
After a COVID-19 breakout on USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Mr. Kenny successfully established the Naval Coronavirus Disease Rapid Response Team to mitigate the spread of the virus, allowing our military forces to safely continue their missions during a global pandemic. He also led the team of the USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) through an unexpected electrical system problem and helped the team develop a material solution.
Throughout Kenny’s career in the Navy he has focused on “Achieving lasting change in hearts and minds and seeing people achieve their full potential to produce top results for the Navy.” He has distinguished himself among his peers by continually striving for excellence, helping create better environments for his employees, and mentoring younger employees so they can succeed in their goals.