One of TARDEC's long-time associates was recognized this fall as one of the Army's top civilian employees. Christopher Ostrowski, TARDEC Associate Director for Vehicle Electronics and Architecture (VEA), was one of seven regional finalists for the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Joseph P. Cribbins Medal. The medal is awarded annually to a Department of the Army (DA) civilian who demonstrates exemplary service to the Army and their local community.Although he did not win, Ostrowski was proud to be recognized for the prestigious medal. "I am very humbled, and shocked, by the experience," stated Ostrowski, an Army civilian since 1991. "To be honored by an organization that does such great work on behalf of the Soldier, and to be recognized by Detroit Arsenal leadership, like I said, it's just very humbling."Ostrowski manages a staff of more than 40 VEA associates. His professional areas of interest include systems engineering, embedded systems development, middleware, real-time data buses and software engineering. He was also recognized for his efforts in the local community as a youth sports coach and at his church.Ostrowski was named Army Civilian of the Year by the AUSA Arsenal of Democracy Chapter following his nomination by a Detroit Arsenal leadership panel with representatives from TARDEC, TACOM, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ground Combat Systems and PEO Combat Support & Combat Service Support. Ostrowski was then named the Army Civilian of the Year for the state of Michigan and the greater AUSA region, which automatically qualified him for the Cribbins MedalGeorge Patten, AUSA Arsenal of Democracy Chapter president, said that Ostrowski is being held up as a beacon for civilians across the TARDEC organization. "Chris is someone who the organization holds out as a model, saying 'We should act like this,'" he stated. "I knew what we were getting when I found out that Chris was nominated. The AUSA wants role models, and that's what Chris is."AUSA, which supports America's Army -- active, National Guard, reserve, civilians, wounded warriors, veterans and family members -- uses awards like the Cribbins Medal to recognize contributions to the Army at all levels. "We try to recognize people who do unheralded work," remarked Patten. "Maybe next year we get someone who has been doing yeoman's work on vehicles or adapting kits. We want to recognize people at various levels because winning this award is prestigious and motivational to the workforce."On Oct. 15, AUSA presented the Cribbins Medal to Alecia Grady, the Chief of the Armed Forces Community Services at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA.