WASHINGTON—The U.S. Army Acquisition Executive’s (AAE) Excellence in Leadership Awards were announced at a ceremony Jan. 18 at the Pentagon, with this year’s honorees representing excellence across such fields as missile defense, workforce development, rapid fielding, logistics and Soldier equipment.
Hon. Bruce D. Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology (ASA(ALT)), hosted the awards ceremony, which was also attended by Dr. Mark T. Esper, secretary of the Army, and Jeffrey S. White, principal deputy to the ASA(ALT). Among the multiple award winners were the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Missiles and Space (MS), which received three individual awards, and PEO Aviation, which received an individual award and a group award.
William A. Breffeilh, deputy project manager for the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System within PEO MS, was named Acquisition Support Professional of the Year. Breffeilh oversaw an $872 million upgrade to the Patriot missile system that included hardware and software improvements and nearly half a million source lines of code. Breffeilh, who served as acting project manager for six months, also established an organizational professional development program, and his mentorship was a factor in one of his senior employees being selected as a deputy product manager.
Daniel S. Hemeyer, also with PEO MS, received the Thomas E. “Tom” Mullins Business Operations Professional of the Year award. Hemeyer is director of the Program Management Directorate for the Lower Tier Project Office, and manages two Acquisition Category I programs. He was instrumental in identifying and implementing efficiency initiatives that yielded cost savings of more than $23 million, and leveraged more than $1.025 billion in cost avoidance from the Patriot International Engineering Services Program and more than $300 million in cost avoidance from the Patriot Field Surveillance Program and technology refresh initiatives.
Rounding out the individual awards at PEO MS is Thomas N. Doss, who was named Defense Exportability and Cooperation Professional of the Year. Doss manages the largest and most complex foreign military sales portfolio of any PEO in the Army, serving 43 partner nations with a combined case value of approximately $43.6 billion. His leadership during case development activities resulted in the receipt of a Letter of Request from Poland that represents an opportunity for the U.S. to strengthen its partnerships in Eastern Europe by countering potential aggression and to bolster the U.S. defense industrial base.
Billy R. McCain, product support manager for the Product Manager for Global Combat Support System – Army (GCSS-A) within the PEO for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), was named Logistician of the Year for his work to lead the organization’s Deployment Division. GCSS-A is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that replaces aging and stove-piped tactical logistics systems with a web-based, integrated logistics and financial solution. Its fielding represents the largest ERP deployment in Army history, and thanks to McCain’s leadership, the program office migrated more than 20,000 units from legacy systems to GCSS-Army and improved property accountability of more than $92 billion in assets.
Thomas J. Coradeschi, PEO Ammunition, was named Science and Technology Professional of the Year. Coradeschi carried out a system requirement review for the 7.62 mm XM1158 Advanced Armor Piercing program, preliminary design review (PDR) for the 40 mm High Velocity M918E1 and 40 mm Low Velocity M781E1 Target Practice – Day/Night/Thermal cartridges, and a system functional review and PDRs for the XM1147 120 mm Advanced Multi-purpose program. All of these were crucial gates for proceeding to current test programs for these munitions, which are used by warfighters in every service.
Not all of the winners came from PEOs: Nickee L. Abbott, director of Engineering and Integration for the Army Rapid Capabilities Office and chief engineer for the System of Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate, received the Honorable Dr. Claude Bolton Jr. Engineering and Systems Integration Professional of the Year award. Abbott led engineering and systems integration efforts to get capabilities to Soldiers more quickly by combining multiple programs of record and emerging technologies from industry and government to create new rapid prototypes. One of these solutions is an electronic warfare capability that addresses an operational needs statement from United States Army Europe against the near-peer Russian threat and sets a precedent for incremental and rapid integration of prototypes for operational assessment and delivery.
The Barbara C. Heald (Deployed Civilian) Special Award was given to Steven B. Piggott for his support of the Expeditionary Contracting Command – Afghanistan during Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Piggott, a contract specialist with the U.S. Army Contracting Command – New Jersey who deployed as a member of the U.S. Army Contracting Command’s Deployable Cadre Program, was responsible for a diverse workload of priority requirements in support of NATO Resolute Support and the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A). He provided contract administration for more than 26 contracts valued at more than $416 million, as well as pre-award support and customer requirements generation. The Heald award is one of five Secretary of Army Excellence in Contracting Awards; the remaining awards have not yet been announced.
PM AWARDS MARK AIR, GROUND DEFENSE EFFORTS
PEO Aviation’s Lt. Col. Calvin J. Lane was named the Product Management/Product Director Office Professional of the Year at the O5 Level for his efforts to advance the CH-47F Chinook Block II program. The program achieved Milestone B in early 2017, thanks to Lane’s contributions to the completion of an analysis of alternatives, development of an engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) request for proposal, demonstration of the critical technologies, completion of all required documentation and negotiation of the EMD contract.
Col. James W. Schirmer, project manager for Armored Fighting Vehicles within PEO for Ground Combat Systems, received the award for Project Management/Project Director Office Professional of the Year at the O6 Level. Schirmer’s leadership kicked off the Mobile Protected Firepower program, while simultaneously moving the Paladin Integrated Management Program toward a full-rate production decision, upgrading the Bradley Fighting Vehicle fleet and delivering the first combat vehicles in support of the Army’s European Deterrence Initiative—all on schedule and within budget.
A joint product team representing PEO Aviation and PEO Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S) received the Product Management/Product Director Office Team of the Year for the O5 Level for its work on the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (EMARSS). The team culminated a 30-month extensive reorganization of the EMARSS program with a successful follow-on test and evaluation in April 2017. Once recognized as one of the Army’s most problematic acquisition programs, the EMARSS product team addressed several programmatic challenges to deliver the first 12 EMARSS on schedule and within budget constraints.
The AAE’s other group award—Project Management/Project Director Office Team of the Year for the O6 Level—went to the Project Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment (PM SPIE) within the PEO Soldier. PM SPIE’s $1.5 billion portfolio includes more than 420 individual items of clothing and individual equipment as well as helmets, body armor, eye protection and parachutes. The organization reached several milestones throughout 2016, ranging from workforce development to requirements planning. PM SPIE worked with several Army agencies to develop a streamlined requirements process for organizational clothing and individual equipment (OCIE) that reduces the timeline for OCIE requirements validation from more than 24 months to four months and cuts documentation from hundreds of pages to just 16. PM SPIE also developed a unique jungle combat boot capability and fielded more than 6,000 boots to the 25th Infantry Division in March 2017—an unprecedented nine-month achievement.
WRITING AWARDS CONTINUE GREENE’S LEGACY
December also saw the announcement of the winners of the 2017 Major General Harold J. “Harry” Greene Awards for Acquisition Writing. Greene was killed in August 2014 while serving as deputy commanding general of CSTC-A, and he previously served as the deputy for acquisition and systems management in the Office of ASA(ALT). “With these awards, we remember a leader who left an unfading mark on us all,” said Lt. Gen. Paul A. Ostrowski, principal military deputy to the ASA(ALT). “In fact, each year there are many submissions to this competition from those who worked for Maj. Gen. Greene, were mentored by him and vividly recall his lively spirit and lasting commitment to provide Soldiers with the best equipment in the world.”
Winners and honorable mention entries were chosen across four categories: acquisition reform, future operations, lessons learned and innovation. This year’s honorees are:
Category: Acquisition Reform
Winner: Creating a Defense Acquisition Consulting Team
Author: Capt. Christopher W. Piercy, U.S. Air Force Installation Contracting Agency
Honorable Mention: A Model and Process for Transitioning Urgent Acquisition
Authors: Stephen F. Conley, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center; and Dr. Craig M. Arndt, Defense Acquisition University
Category: Future Operations
Winner: Future Operations: Tactical Power for Multi-Domain Battle (MDB)
Author: John M. Spiller, Lt. Col. USA (Ret.), PEO for Combat Support and Combat Service Support
Honorable Mention: Ready for Future Operations: Establishing an Organic Depot to Maintain the Army’s Premier Aerial Sensor System
Authors: Lt. Col. Kecia Troy and Carla Miller, PEO IEW&S; Joshua Erlien, Naval Service Warfare Center, Crane Division; Dr. Christina Bates, Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate
Winner: Network Assisted GPS … Coming Soon to a Precision Fire Mission Near You!
Author: Paul Manz, PEO Ammunition
Honorable Mention: Seeking Innovative Ways to Restore Our Warfighters
Authors: Kristy Pottol and John Getz, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity
Category: Lessons Learned
Winner: Driving Out “The Stupid” – Leveraging IT Lessons Learned from DOD and Industry
Author: Col. Richard Haggerty, PEO for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation
Honorable Mention: The Top Five Lessons I Learned While Working at Amazon.com Inc.
Author: Lt. Col. Rachael Hoagland, HQDA Chief Information Officer G-6
A special supplement featuring the winning entries is online now, and will accompany the print version of the April – June 2018 issue of Army AL&T magazine. If you wish to be added to the magazine’s mailing list, subscribe online; if you’d like multiple subscriptions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
View more photos of the awards ceremony.