New Warfare Centers Awards Recognize Command Staff

17 29/07/2022

The NAVSEA Warfare Centers honored headquarters command staff with awards in six categories during a virtual ceremony on Aug. 30.

While the Warfare Centers Awards have been recognizing Warfare Center Division employees’ accomplishments annually since 2005, this was the first Warfare Centers Headquarters Command Awards ceremony.

“This honorary award program was established to recognize Warfare Centers Headquarters command staff members who excel in support of the mission and values of the organization,” Warfare Centers Commander Rear Adm. Kevin Byrne said in presenting the awards. “To our winners, congratulations.Your outstanding professionalism, personal initiative and total dedication to duty provided unprecedented benefits that are most worthy of this special recognition.”

Winners were recognized in the following categories:

Administrative Service Award:

Ralph Dixon, executive assistant, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Headquarters, for his daily effort providing outstanding mission essential support to Warfare Centers leadership and staff, including his dedicated presence in the office throughout the coronavirus pandemic over the past year.

Great Idea Award:

New Warfare Centers Awards Recognize Command Staff

Pamela Raposa, talent /workforce manager, Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Headquarters, for her concept of a virtual career fair for the Warfare Centers, and the successful conduct of the first virtual career fair on Feb. 25, 2021. The event was safe, more efficient, less costly, non-competitive for recruiters, and expanded applicant and recruiting pools while continuing to target audiences such as accredited engineering schools and minority institutions.

Customer Service Award:

Jillian Hesse, Risk Management Framework (RMF) lead, NUWC HQ, for her exceptional customer service in leading the Warfare Centers to achieve a 98 percent RMF accreditation rate, and for successfully embracing a collateral assignment of overseeing the RMF package for Operation Flank Speed.

High Performance Award:

The individual award goes to Diane Brown, Personnel Demonstration Project manager, NSWC HQ, for developing and deploying new Personnel Demonstration Project policies including Direct Hiring Authority for virtually all 29,000 positions at the Warfare Centers, resulting in a consistent increase in the speed of hiring and a reduction in the administrative burden of hiring actions.

The team award goes to June Drake, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), NSWC HQ, and Dr. Vittorio “Vic” Ricci, CTO, NUWC HQ, for One Team collaboration between the Surface and Undersea Warfare Centers CTOs, working jointly to establish and efficiently execute a singular Concept of Operations. They provided technical leadership and creative solutions to difficult problems, and fostered an environment of collaboration and teamwork while continuously improving the Warfare Centers’ approach to establishing and executing large Naval Innovation in Science and Engineering (NISE) investments focused toward fleet capability demonstration.

Leadership Award:

Paul Vebber, director of wargaming, NUWC HQ, for his role in making wargaming an effective Fleet Engagement Community of Practice line of effort and a critical element of the Warfare Centers Cycle of Assessment activities, through support of the Analytic Master Plan Wargaming Pillar, developing and conducting wargaming training for Department of Defense employees, and serving as the design and development lead on the Chief of Naval Operations’ Rapid Innovation Cell’s Fleet Battle School game project.

Improving the Culture Award:

Jon Legge, director of financial operations, NSWC HQ, and Christopher Lenker, financial management analyst, NSWC HQ, for their efforts as Navy Working Capital Fund (NWCF) subject matter experts, demonstrated through their willingness to apply their significant expertise to the benefit of the entire Warfare Center community. They selflessly developed and briefed multiple NWCF presentations to expand its understanding while helping financially challenged Warfare Center Divisions to identify as much as $2 million in additional mitigations to enable the Warfare Centers to align themselves with success in financial execution.

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