Cost-saving strategies pay off for 'transformative leaders'
June 3, 2014
By David Vergun
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 3, 2014) -- The drawdown and budget reductions "are significant and challenge the best of our managers, much more so than the environment of building up the Army over the last decade," said Under Secretary of the Army Brad R. Carson.
"Transformative leaders" like these are needed to manage change in the future, Carson said, referring to Michael R. Wilson and Capt. Lauren M. Hamlin. Carson presented each with a Pace Award during a ceremony in the Pentagon, today.
Both recipients worked to save the Army tens of millions of dollars in program costs and streamline processes.
Their examples should challenge everyone to be more innovative and better at ensuring readiness at the best possible value, Carson said.
The under secretary implored other Army leaders who have such transformative personnel in their own organizations to "nurture their development and give them the tools that they need to succeed and thrive," and to "try to remove the impediments that these junior leaders sometimes face."
If such individuals are encouraged and awarded for their innovative efforts, "our force will be in good hands," he concluded.
CAPT. LAUREN M. HAMLIN
Hamlin, assistant executive officer and chief of administration and support, Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, developed and implemented cost-saving strategies on multiple Army contracts that saved the Army
more than $14.7 million, according to her citation.
She also single handedly developed the capability for Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness training center managers and program managers Army-wide to order training and informational materials online, partnering with the Defense Logistics Agency to save more than $880,000, the citation continued.
Also, her impressive ability to streamline processes and reduce costs contributed greatly to the Army's overall efforts to synchronize programs and reduce redundancy within the Ready and Resilient Campaign Plan, the citation concluded.
The under secretary noted that she did so well with the contracts she was given, that "I have half a mind to give her the rest of the Army portfolios and see what happens. All in due time, I'm sure."
Following the ceremony, Hamlin said that the processes she created were carefully documented and placed in a turnover folder so the next person that takes her place can have the system in place.
She acknowledged that getting turnover folders from predecessors isn't always the rule.
As a relatively junior officer, she wanted to add that she had "good mentors" in her organization "who took me under their wing."
MICHAEL R. WILSON
Wilson, who is a logistics management specialist at the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, led the efforts at redistribution of Army-owned repair parts in Afghanistan, which resulted in a cost avoidance of about $6 million in secondary destination transportation costs each month during 2013, and more than $141 million during the life of the program, according to his citation.
He also established guidance on the management of serviceable returns across the Army and led efforts to streamline the shipping and handling process for turn-in for disposal, the citation continued.
Following the ceremony, Wilson said that in Afghanistan there's a system in place for handling the movement of vast quantities of materiel, but sometime human intervention is needed to make adjustments.
For example, the system might recommend moving things to centralized locations, but during operations it might make better sense not to do that, he said, meaning that models and algorithms are useful, but should not be over-relied upon.
He added even with his best efforts, he couldn't have accomplish what he did without the materiel managers in theater who executed the plans.
ABOUT PACE AWARDS
This year marks the 52nd annual presentation of the Pace Awards.
Recipients are an Army officer, lieutenant colonel or below, and an Army civilian, GS-14 or below, assigned in a staff capacity at Headquarters, Department of the Army.
The award is given to those who contribute significant improvements to the Army by providing substantial financial savings or creating cutting-edge technological or military developments.
The awards are named for a World War II Soldier, Maj. Frank Pace Jr., who later served as secretary of the Army, from 1950 to 1953.
Pace also served in the postmaster general's and U.S. attorney general's offices. His civilian career included founding the Public Broadcasting Corporation in 1968, and leading General Dynamics as its president and chairman.
Carson said the awards are given in the spirit of the great public service Pace provided to the Army and to America.
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