PEO Missiles and Space officer first to receive Canada's leadership award
March 21, 2008
By Dan O'Boyle
When it comes to firsts, the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space continues to set the mark.
The most recent addition to the list comes in the person of Maj. Frederick Hughes, the first Army officer to receive Canada's Leadership award following two years of service as an exchange officer in Ottawa.
"A role model in personal commitment, drive and enthusiasm, he quickly became an expert in (the) Department of National Defence process, overcame staff shortfalls and represented the Canadian Forces interest as a project manager in the Defence Cryptographic Modernization Program," the award reads.
Specifically, it was the Acquisition Corps major's job to replace all the Canadian Forces Secure Telephone Unit IIIs.
"I was responsible for running the entire project and laying all the groundwork to make the modernization happen," Hughes said. "To be part of this effort was a tremendous
professional development opportunity in and of itself. And then to be recognized with this award is quite an honor, with a nomination process among all Canadian Forces Information Management officers. Plus, I received a Canadian Forces coin, which is a rare commodity, as the CF awards extremely few coins. I feel quite humble to have received this honor, for what I feel was a really important job."
The Information Management Group, where Hughes served, is responsible for delivering and maintaining products and services to meet the information needs of its clients and to contribute to the success of the mission and defense objectives of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces.
"I was representing our country and at the same time helping to make our country a little bit safer because our national security is tied closely to the Canadian national security with that huge border," Hughes said. "Now we all have the same level of equipment for communication with NORAD and NORTHCOM as examples.
"The other piece of this assignment that was special was that my wife, who is also a Canadian citizen, and our two children, James and Laura, were all together. Suzanne's
family all still reside in Canada, so it felt good to know that my work contributed to making them safer as well."
Hughes said the Canadians gave him a "real job" and gave it to him fast.
"They are good Soldiers and gave me a lot of responsibility from the get go," he said. "I had a $24 million budget that I managed myself, with a lot of leeway. They had a lot of faith in my abilities as a U.S. Army officer."
A 19-year veteran, Hughes holds a bachelor's in criminology from Florida State University and a master's in procurement and acquisition management from Webster University.
He has served with Task Force Eagle, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina, as the Close Combat Weapon Systems Project Office ITAS fielding officer and as assistant project manager for Transportation and Communication Sectors, Project and Contracting Office, Baghdad, Iraq.