Michael Hutchison, deputy commander of the Army Contracting Command, presents Cathy Dickens with the Exceptional Civilian Service Award for her work in overseeing the Army Contracting Command-Redstone.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- One of Team Redstone's most respected members of the senior executive service was recognized May 6 with honors as she took over as the deputy commander of the Aviation and Missile Command.

Cathy Dickens, who most recently served as the top acquisition authority for the Army Contracting Command-Redstone in support of AMCOM and the Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, received the award for Exceptional Civilian Service from ACC-Redstone and the Order of St. Michael from the Army Aviation Association of America during the awards ceremony at Bob Jones Auditorium. She was nominated for the Exceptional Civilian Service Award by Maj. Gen. Camille Nichols, the commander of ACC.

At the awards ceremony, Michael Hutchison, deputy commander of the Army Contracting Command, credited Dickens for overseeing the realignment of contracting duties under ACC-Redstone and ACC, increasing the ACC-Redstone talent pool, increasing training for ACC-Redstone acquisition employees and for managing 900 acquisition personnel, $25 billion in contract awards in 2012 and $110 billion in active contracts.

"This is the largest of the contracting centers in contracts and actions," Hutchison said.

Hutchison met Dickens professionally for the first time in 2006. Since then, he has worked with her on acquisition strategy and policy. He has been impressed with her knowledge of Army acquisition, her leadership philosophy and her work ethic.

"She is always seeking opportunities for professional development for her employees. She has a sense of fairness and fair play, and a concern for her people," he said. "She always has a smile on her face and an ability to laugh heartedly. She is an outstanding leader and an exceptional person who is known for her competence and confidence, her caring, and her smile and laugh. Our loss is AMCOM's gain."

Dickens said the ceremony was overwhelming and she thanked those in attendance, including her mother and two sons, and several Team Redstone leaders, for "sharing this special day with me."

"I've been blessed with the opportunities I've had in my career," she said. "At ACC-Redstone, I've been blessed to work with a group of people who are truly patriots and will do whatever it takes to complete the mission."

She said the ACC recognition should be credited to a work force that "every day exceeded my expectations and overcame the impossible."

"This award belongs to ACC-Redstone for providing the best global contracting support within DoD," Dickens said.

She also thanked the Army Materiel Command, SMDC, AMCOM and the program executive offices for the success of ACC-Redstone.

"It means a lot that our customers would stand up and advocate for the challenges we have," Dickens said.

The executive is not saying farewell to ACC-Redstone. Her move to AMCOM only changes the relationship.

"ACC-Redstone will always be a very important part of our community, and it's still a top priority to me," Dickens said. "To my ACC-Redstone family, thank you for all your support, and for what you do for our Army and our nation every day."

Last month, Dickens was named the Department of the Army Civilian of the Year by the Redstone-Huntsville Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army. She has also received awards from the National Defense Industrial Association and Women in Defense, and was inducted in 2011 into the Athens State University Distinguished Hall of Fame.

Page last updated Thu May 23rd, 2013 at 15:02