Army attorney donates $5,000 award to 5th Special Forces Group
February 6, 2009
By J.D. Leipold
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Feb. 6, 2009) - Dennis Dean Kirk, an attorney with the head counsel of the Army at the Pentagon was richer by $5,000 Thursday morning for earning a special act award that saved the Army $7.3 million, but by noon he'd given that $5,000 right back to the Secretary of the Army Gift Fund.
Kirk, a private-practice trial litigator for 30 years, has been serving as associate general counsel with the Army for the last four years. He's not in to it for the money, having left a $450-per-hour law business for something he really loves doing -- working for the Army and studying business transformation using Lean Six Sigma practices on the side.
"I didn't come in here for the money, I came in here because there was a gap in the Army line," he said. "Our people have served in the Army except for my mother, my sister, my son and I for six generations."
Kirk received his award for saving the Army $7.2 million and streamlining business processes.
Savings were realized with the Multinational Forces and Observers Group in the Sinai where the Gaza Strip serves as a no-man's land run by an 11-nation consortium to keep peace between Egypt and Israel.
"It is as independent as a separate nation in that we provide an aviation brigade to fly the helicopters to get the observers who prevent interaction, tunneling and craziness between Egypt and Israel," Kirk said. "What happened was that I found in the use of our helicopters they had for over 25 years started some procedures inside the Black Hawks that didn't match anyone's accounting.
"They were using that money to supplement their funds so they would order parts but they would get us to pay in advance and when the parts arrived, it would be paid again, so our balance sheet was starting to look very large," he said. "It was costing $60 million per year for our observers, so I looked into the problem and found out where the money was going and was able to save $7.2 million."
Since Kirk said he doesn't need or even want the cash award, he decided to honor his nephew-in-law, Maj. Paul Syverson III ,who was killed in Balad, Iraq in 2004 and the General Counsel offices by donating the funds through the Secretary's gift fund to the commander of the 5th Special Forces Group out of Fort Campbell, Ky.
"I've been blessed by God and service to the country has been a privilege and an honor," Kirk said. "I love serving the cause, it's just the country boy in me who wants to touch everything in life and make it better."