FREDERICKSBURG, Va. –
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Command and senior leadership came together to honor the technological achievements and impactful contributions of its workforce during the Annual Honorary Awards Ceremony held at the Fredericksburg Expo Center March 10.
One hundred and four individuals, 21 teams representing 268 team members and eight patent inventors from the warfare center were selected to receive NSWCDD honorary awards, including one recipient for the In-House Laboratory Independent Research (ILIR) Fiscal Year 2022 Project of the Year Award and two recipients for Naval Innovative Science and Engineering (NISE) Fiscal Year 2022 Project of the Year Award.
Additionally, The Department of Navy granted one NSWCDD employee with the Superior Civilian Service Award and 12 NSWCDD individuals for the Meritorious Civilian Service Award.
Commanding Officer Capt. Phil Mlynarski and Technical Director Dale Sisson Jr., SES, spoke to the awardees during the ceremony, congratulating them for their dedication, perseverance, leadership and technical rigor.
“Each individual and each group award presented is a testament to the value of your long hours and commitment to providing the tools necessary to protect our nation,” Mlynarski said. “Thank you for joining us and making our vision to design, develop and integrate superior 21st century warfare systems a reality.”
The guest speaker was Reuben Pitts III whose career spanned more than 40 years serving in leadership roles in the Navy and at NSWCDD supporting Integrated Air and Missile Defense. Pitts commended the award recipients for the significant impact their work and commitment makes on the Navy’s fleet and warfighter. Pitts also shared wisdom on how to be a good leader.
“It is about the positives, not overcoming negatives, it is about motivating people to get up and come to work when they don’t feel well, it’s about people staying late when they know they are going home to a cold dinner, it’s about people triple-checking work they have already double-checked,” Pitts said. “That kind of leadership requires you to find a cause greater than yourself, articulate it clearly and pursue it with every ounce of your being.”
Following the awards banquet, each individual and team awardee received recognition in their respective category, acknowledging meaningful contributions and achievements.
John Adolphus Dahlgren Award
The John Adolphus Dahlgren Award was presented to two individuals, James McConkie and David “Mike” Mearns, in recognition of their significant achievements and contributions in science, engineering or management. The award – considered the highest local honorary award granted within NSWCDD – is named in honor of Rear Adm. John Adolphus Dahlgren who served in the U.S. Navy from 1809 to 1870, invented the Dahlgren gun and is considered the father of modern Naval Ordinance.
“I feel honored to be chosen for this year’s John Adolphus Dahlgren Award because I know I'm in really good company,” McConkie said. “This team is always so supportive of their people and I think that is why our people excel.”
Dr. James E. Colvard Award
Gregory McHone and Patrick Shea were the recipients of the Dr. James E. Colvard Award for furthering the reputation of NSWCDD as a technical organization with their work and dedication. The award is named in honor of Dr. James E. Colvard who served as technical director of the Naval Weapons Laboratory from 1973-74 and the Naval Surface Weapons Center from 1974-80. .
“It is truly quite amazing, I am blessed and honored to be associated with the Colvard award and all of the other recipients who have received this award,” Shea stated.
Navy Superior Civilian Service Award
The Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Award is the second highest honorary award granted to an individual whose contributions are exceptionally high in value and have wide impact in the Navy. Robert Scranton was granted the award for outstanding leadership and technical innovation.
Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award
The Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award was presented to 12 civilian employees, recognizing their unwavering service or high-value contributions that benefits the Navy or Marine Corps. The award is the Navy’s third highest honorary award granted to individuals demonstrating exemplary service.
The NSWCDD awardees were James Barnes, Daniel Belcher, Willie Crank, Jonathan Dachos, Larry Fontenot, Lorilee Geisweidt, Charles Harms, Scott Larimer, James McConkie, Thomas Moore, Ernest Yelder and Matthew Zurasky.
Bernard Smith Award
The Bernard Smith Award is presented to individuals who demonstrate perseverance and capacity in scientific or engineering achievement when faced with adversity. The award is named for Bernard Smith who served as technical director of the Naval Weapons Laboratory from 1964-73. This year’s recipients were Stephan Brown, Mindy Morack and Jeffrey Truslow.
Reuben S. Pitts Leadership Award
The Reuben S. Pitts Leadership Award was presented to Ryan Berg, Matthew Castelo, Brandon Harper, Gavin Harris, Kendra Miller, Christopher Reasonover and Brent Steffey. The award is granted to individuals whose outstanding performance in project leadership, organizational leadership or both made a notable and significant impact to NSWCDD. The award is named in honor of Pitts who during his four decades in federal service formed the NSWCDD Warfare Systems Department and acted as an integral leader in the advancement of Navy combat systems.
Dr. Charles J. Cohen Award of Excellence for Science and Technology
Evan Bates and Christopher Weiland were presented the Dr. Charles J. Cohen Award of Excellence for Science and Technology for their impactful contributions and accomplishments to the Navy or Department of Defense in science or technology. The award is named for the distinguished scientist and mathematician who pioneered the development of exterior ballistics and satellite geodesy during his time at the Dahlgren Laboratory from 1944-78, paving the way for much of today’s naval capability.
C.J. Rorie Award
The C.J. Rorie Award is named in honor of Rear Adm. Conrad J. Rorie who served as Commander of the Dahlgren Naval Surface Weapons Center from 1975-77. The award is granted to NSWCDD-based military personnel whose contributions and achievements represent excellence in the performance of duties, resulting in the overall effectiveness of the Dahlgren Division’s military operations. Lt. Sasha Barnett and Petty Officer 1st Class Ray Joseph Odviar were presented with this year’s C.J. Rorie Award for their technical leadership and unwavering support to furthering weapon systems development and deployment.
Helen Springer Award
The Helen Springer Award was presented to four individuals, Wendy Hornbaker, Jeffrey Hughes, Kristy Peyton and Catherine Wesbey for their dedication and impactful contributions to NSWCDD business operations. The award honors former NSWCDD Deputy Human Resources Director Helen Springer who was instrumental in transforming business procedures and policies to reflect changing technology.
Walter T. Lewis Acquisition Award
The Section 233 Contracts Team received the Walter T. Lewis Acquisition Award for successfully developing and implementing contracts for architect and engineer design and construction of facilities projects. The award is named in honor of NSWCDD’s first civilian contracting officer with unlimited contracting officer authority, first small business specialist, the first competition advocate and first deputy for procurement.
Employee Development Award
Emma Dohmeier, Michael Gibson, Emily Nugent and Steven Owen are recipients of the Employee Development Award for their commitment, efforts and leadership in providing positive and supportive development opportunities and programs to the NSWCDD workforce.
Commander’s Diversity and Inclusion Award
The Commander’s Diversity and Inclusion Award was presented to five NSWCDD employees, Aaron Anderson, Lucas Durham, Brenda Gates-Anderson, Gilbert Harper Jr. and Tzawe Wang, for their continuous dedication, involvement and promotion of equal employment opportunities, equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Technology to Warfighter Award
The Technology to Warfighter Award was presented to three individuals, Richard Scott, Carly Torisky and Harold Vogel. Five teams were also recognized for their notable accomplishments and impact to the development of the warfighter’s capabilities and operations. The following teams received the award:
- Battle Management System 30mm Gun Weapon System Virtual Reality Trainer Team
- Gaming Environment for Air Readiness Team
- H12 Special Systems Branch Team
- Real-Time Spectrum Operations Own Force Monitoring System Team
- Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile Gravity Team
NSWCDD Award of Excellence for Analysis
Seven team members, Christian Armstrong, Joshua Cole, Brian Gregg, Tyler Grigg, Ronak Patel, Jason Terry and Zachary Wehrmann, were recipients of the Award of Excellence for Analysis for outstanding performance and achievements in analysis, warfare, design, engineering, modeling and simulation.
NSWCDD Award of Excellence for Information Technology
The NSWCDD Award of Excellence for Information Technology was established to recognize individuals whose contributions in information technology (IT) advanced cyber defense capability or IT availability, reliability or usability across the warfare center. Curtis Boyle, Jason Bryant, Eva Hatcherson, Tyler Perdue, Eric Rice, Robert Simmons, Timothy Smith, Andrew Tabler and David Wise were presented this award for high performance and achievements in IT.
NSWCDD Award of Excellence for Software Engineering and Integration
Eight individuals, Sandra Blader, Geoffrey Driskell, Craig Emmerton, Jonathan Graham, John Gray, Edward Kennedy, Jean Levy and Christopher Miller, were presented the NSWCDD Award of Excellence for Software Engineering and Integration. The award is granted to individuals who notably demonstrated outstanding performance and technical leadership for furthering software engineering and integration.
NSWCDD Award of Excellence for Systems Engineering and Integration
The NSWCDD Award of Excellence for Systems Engineering and Integration was awarded to Andrew Cartwright, Philip Costello, Jason Field, Heather Hughes, Pacifique Munezero, Steven Murphy, Bradford Smith and Amanda Staufenberger for their continuous support, dedication and technical accomplishments in systems engineering and integration at NSWCDD.
NSWCDD Award of Excellence for Test and Evaluation
The NSWCDD Award of Excellence for Test and Evaluation was presented to Bernard Acosta, Zachary Anderson, Pedro Cintron-Tirado, Thane Everett, David Grammer, Emily Hester and Andrew Rasure for significant contributions and exemplary leadership in test and evaluation, data collection, analysis and assessment and measurement of component, system, and platform or mission performance.
The NSWCDD Patent Awards were established to recognize inventors for their innovative contributions that impact the efficiency, economy or scientific breakthrough in government operations as well as encourage creative thinking and promote disclosure of inventions. The 2022 individual award recipients are Jordan Chaparro, David Hubble, Lynda Hester, Daniel Holden, Sean Chapin, Victoria Snyder, Vincent Vendetti and William Buchanan.
Paul J. Martini Award
The Paul J. Martini award is named for Paul Martini who served as head of the Engineering Support Directorate of the Naval Ordnance Laboratory from 1951-73 and is granted to those who demonstrate excellence in an administrative or support function. Nineteen individuals, April Brooks, Tonia Damon, Jennifer Dulin, Emmanuel Gonzales, Pamela Jett, Michael Johnson, Tiffany Johnson, Shelby Khan, Sean McGovern, Kristy Mckenney, Michelle Noyes, Dhiren Patel, Michael Shively, Amanda Smits, Janelle Tempalski, Matthew Vinagro, Elizabeth Wilmoth, Candace Wine and Charlene Wright, were presented this award for superior performance of their duties and unwavering dedication to supporting naval programs and operations.
Distinguished Community Service Award
The Distinguished Community Service Award is presented to individuals and groups in the NSWCDD workforce whose volunteerism and outreach have positively impacted their communities. The honorary award was granted to nine individuals, Erica Borgers Klonkowski, Jennifer Boyd, Shelley Butler, Gregory Corder, Milesha Grier, Scott Larimer, Michael Liskiewicz, Janna Roland and Gregory Sokolowski, for outstanding volunteer service and efforts within their communities.
In-House Laboratory Independent Research FY2022 Project of the Year Award
Joel Harrison and James Ketchum received the In-House Laboratory Independent Research FY2022 Project of the Year Award for their significant efforts in the development of new technologies and techniques as well as demonstrating high-level scientific and technical leadership and collaboration. The award is presented to an individual or group whose research results exhibit outstanding technical or scientific merit with relevance to the mission and demonstrates a positive effect on other efforts across the warfare center.
Naval Innovative Science and Engineering FY2022 Project of the Year Award
The NSWCDD Technology Office selects a single NISE project to receive the Project of the Year Award. The purpose of the award is to honor a project that significantly added value and to recognize the principal investigator(s) who displayed innovative technology development and capability through knowledge sharing, collaborative efforts and successful technology transition. Michael McErlean and Riley Turoff were presented the award for contributing to the body of hypersonic materials knowledge through presentations, reports and mentorship.
Award of Merit for Group Achievement
The Award of Merit for Group Achievement honored 15 teams for high-level efforts and impactful contributions to major projects and operations. The award was established to promote positive teamwork and encourage beneficial collaboration for the success of the overall mission. The following teams were presented the award:
- Cloud Based Automated Analysis Suite Team
- Command Office Administrative Team
- Common Data Repository Team
- Corporate Operations Department COVID-19 Response Team
- Emergent Fleet Analysis Team
- High-Power Joint Electromagnetic Non-Kinetic Strike Effects Verification Test Team
- iLab IRIS-AEGIS Off-board Sensor Targeting Capability Team
- Internal Training Domain Team
- Marine Air Defense Integrated System Desktop Trainer Team
- Project Flying Disc Test Team
- RedShip Project Team
- Silverado Integration and Demonstration Team
- Special Safety Assessment Support Team
- USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) MK38 Machine Gun System Structural Test Fire NSWCDD Failure Investigation Team
- Virtualization Link Certification Team