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NEWS | Oct. 5, 2022

NSWC Dahlgren Division Chief Engineer’s Impactful Leadership Leads to Selection for the Navy’s Civilian Service Commendation Medal

By NSWCDD Corporate Communications

What defines a leader? According to Merriam-Webster, a leader is defined as a person who leads, guides or directs as well as commands authority and influence. The diverse and talented personnel within the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) workforce demonstrates outstanding leadership everyday while fulfilling duties in their respective roles.

Robert “Bob” Throm is one such individual at NSWCDD, who is acknowledged for his exemplary leadership and vast technical expertise in support of Dahlgren employees and developing warfare combat systems.

The Department of the Navy (DoN), Naval Sea Systems Command and NSWCDD Command and senior leadership selected Throm as a 2022 recipient of the Civilian Service Commendation Medal (CSCM) award in recognition of his attributes and accomplishments in leading multiple teams totaling more than 1,000 government and contract personnel.

Additionally, Throm also served in a pivotal role in the development and execution of 43 varying research, development, test and evaluation projects impacting the fleet and warfighter.

The CSCM award is the DoN’s fourth highest honorary award presented to a civilian employee exhibiting high-level performance well above expectations and providing significant contributions and achievements Navy-wide.

“It’s an honor to be selected for the award. I really appreciate the time and work it took for my department and division leadership to complete the nomination process on my behalf,” said Throm. “Just knowing there are folks out there noticing the work I’m doing, all the great work the team is doing, it’s a great feeling.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Penn State University, Throm met with NSWCDD recruiting staff and accepted a position as an engineer developing shipboard gridlock systems in 1991.

Since joining the NSWCDD workforce more than three decades ago, Throm shares his technical knowledge, expertise and mentorship with his team and new hires, paving the way for cutting-edge technology advancement by the next generation of scientists and engineers. “What I believe Dahlgren brings to the table is the opportunity to discover and expand knowledge,” Throm stated. “We encourage our workforce to move around projects, talk to people in other areas, explore possible career paths, find what they like to do and open the door for them. I enjoy helping to grow individuals through mentorship and sharing of information.”

As the chief engineer for the Naval Computing and Cyber Systems Engineering Division within the Strategic and Computing Systems Department at Dahlgren, Throm instills technical rigor, discipline and delivery of all projects across the division, utilizing several different metrics to monitor each project’s conception to execution stages.

Throm ensures the projects obtain complete and accurate statements of work, have good staffing plans, systems engineering plans and system configuration plans as well as risk mitigation plans and performance indicators, maintaining compliance. He examines and implements solutions-based actions if a project falls out of compliance in any of the above areas. “What we do impacts the fleet and warfighter. We want to make these systems easily operational for our sailors so they feel protected and can protect in return.”

According to the award citation, Throm “delved into problems at all levels of the organization to ensure risks were captured and managed for all projects, quickly responding when technical issues were identified, ensuring that projects created an executable path forward for success. His impacts will live on for many years through the people, the technical solutions and the improvement initiatives that he championed.”

John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Throm’s leadership, technical expertise, dedication and drive to help grow a knowledgeable, tech-savvy workforce and provide the highest quality products for the fleet and warfighter mirror the qualifications of a DoN CSCM awardee. Congratulations to Throm on his recognition.