Hunter Army Airfield
Presidential helicopters take off from Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. Airfield Facility Supervisor Richard Mansford saved the Army about $8.7 million with his recommendation to realign fuel points here and was named the Army's "Suggester of the Year."

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 23, 2013) -- The Army has honored 14 people for innovations and outstanding contributions that strengthened the force and saved resources.

The annual Secretary of the Army Awards recognize personnel in categories including diversity and leadership, exceptional civilian service, and "suggester" of the year -- for a person with an innovative money-saving idea.

"These individuals are leaders in their fields," said Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal. "All of their accomplishments have contributed to a more trained and ready force -- both at home and abroad."

An awards ceremony, scheduled for April 23, at the Pentagon was canceled due to budget cuts. Instead, the individual commands are presenting the awards.

Westphal said the contributions of the winners enhance mission capabilities.

"As we look to shape the force to meet the fiscal realities of a sequestration environment, we must deliberately and consistently identify our best," said Westphal. "Only by doing this will we retain the human capital the Army needs to meet the challenges of a changing world."

Innovative thinking is critical for the Army, he said.

"As the impacts of sequestration continue to degrade our readiness, exceptional Army leaders like these will be even more important in the future," said Westphal.

"Their work has been essential in finding the efficiencies that we desperately need," he said. "This is particularly true in a time of reduced resources and declining funding streams."

Winners are chosen from members of the military and civilian personnel Army-wide.


Master Sgt. Michael A. Dotson Sr., a senior Equal Opportunity advisor with the 11th Aviation Command, at Fort Knox, Ky., U.S. Army Reserve Command, was selected for the Diversity and Leadership Award (Equal Opportunity Advisor).

"It is the most prestigious thing I've ever won, not to diminish any other awards that I've won," said Dotson. "It's just that the magnitude of it is unbelievable."

Dotson was honored for his dedication to the Army's Equal Opportunity Program and commitment to his Soldiers, peers and leaders. The Army noted his innovative and creative ideas, and exceptional contributions in leadership, team building and exposing his students to diverse cultures.

"It's not really my award, because I have an awesome command team that really is very supportive of the Equal Opportunity Program," said Dotson, who said the award pushes him to work even harder and achieve even more.

"The diversity that my particular unit embraces is inspiring. Even though the Army said I won the award, I'm receiving it on behalf of a whole lot of other people," he said.


Airfield Facility Supervisor Richard Mansford saved the Army about $8.7 million with his recommendation to realign fuel points at Hunter Army Airfield at Fort Stewart, Ga., as an alternative to repaving a part of the facility.

He was named Suggester of the Year (Civilian).

"It's a great honor and I'm very proud of that," Mansford said, adding the recognition has helped boost morale and propel others to work harder at finding better ways to do things.

"In my job and at the installation I work at, process improvement and things like that are part of the culture here," he said.

"I will continue to keep trying to come up with good ideas, not necessarily because I'll get rewarded for them," said Mansford. "But that it is just part of business these days, particularly with the resources being what they are, you have to find better ways to do things."


Bruce A. Shahbaz was recognized with a Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service for his work as the surgeon general's representative to the Headquarters, Department of the Army Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention office, in Alexandria, Va.

"I am humbled to receive this award, and very grateful that the Army would consider me for such an important distinction," said Shahbaz.

The Army said his superb analysis of Army medical mission capabilities and suicide demographic data directly affected senior Army leadership strategies to proactively and aggressively reset the Army's campaign on suicide prevention.

"The three and half years that I spent working on health promotion and suicide prevention for the Army's senior leaders were challenging and rewarding," said Shahbaz.

"The Army's senior leaders inspired me with their commitment, dedication and courage -- their personal example has forever altered the Army culture on psychological injuries," he said. "To have been able to contribute, in even a small way, to their efforts is immensely fulfilling."

The other Secretary of the Army Award winners are:

Diversity and Leadership Programs Award, Diversity and Leadership Award: Christa J. Burleson, supervisor, Human Capital Manager, Strategic Human Capital Advisor, U.S. Army Audit Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va.

Diversity and Leadership Programs Award, (Equal Employment Opportunity Professionalism): Carmen L. Lopez, director, Equal Employment Opportunity Programs, U.S. Army Medical Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas

Secretary of the Army Award for Editor of the Year (Command): Dr. Charles Briscoe,
command historian, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Secretary of the Army Award for Editor of the Year (Departmental): Nelson McCouch III,
chief, Strategic Communications Division, U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center, Fort Belvoir, Va.

Secretary of the Army Award for Publications Improvements (Command): Daniel Telles,
director, Publications, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service:
-- William F. Crain, director, U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity, U.S. Army Materiel Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.;
-- Timothy F. Fitzpatrick, deputy director, Psychological Operations, U.S. Army John F.
Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Fort Bragg, N.C.;
-- J. Randall Robinson, director, Central Region, U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Fort Sam Houston, Texas;
-- Richard S. Strayer, training instructor (medical), Special Warfare Medical Group (Airborne), U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, N.C.;
-- Jack E. Walker, deputy to the garrison commander, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.;
-- Timothy B. Walton, chief, Operations and Maintenance Division, U.S. Army Garrison, Japan, U.S. Army Installation Management Command.

Page last updated Wed April 24th, 2013 at 06:57