Thomas Coradeschi has been named the Army Acquisition Executive's (AAE) 2017 Science and Technology Professional of the Year.Coradeschi is the Chief, Systems Engineering and Technology Integration Division, within the Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems (PM MAS). PM MAS is an organization under the Program Executive Office Ammunition at Picatinny Arsenal.The AAE Excellence in Leadership Awards were presented during a ceremony on Jan. 18 at the Pentagon. This year's honorees represent excellence across such fields as missile defense, workforce development, rapid fielding, logistics and Soldier equipment.The AAE awards recognize acquisition community members whose performance and contributions directly reflect outstanding achievements in support of the Soldier and in transforming the Army.Bruce D. Jette, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, or (ASA(ALT)), hosted the awards ceremony, which was also attended by Mark T. Esper, Secretary of the Army, and Jeffrey S. White, principal deputy to the ASA(ALT).Coradeschi's team is responsible for systems engineering for the development of small, medium and large caliber direct fire ammunition. The office leads and supports development efforts throughout the ammunition development process, which includes leading preliminary design reviews, system requirement reviews, and critical design reviews.The reviews are crucial gates for proceeding to current test programs for these munitions, which are used by warfighters, Coradeschi said."There's a very disciplined process for how you get through technology development, through product development, then production operations and fielding. So essentially we're building the discipline into each of these stages so that when the product managers go through the developmental process they have a greater likelihood of success," Coradeschi said."It's painful to do, but by going through that discipline you're better positioned to achieve success," he said. "It creates a disciplined decision on whether the program is ready to proceed."Coradeschi won the award for implementing a system requirement review for the 7.62 mm XM1158 Advanced Armor Piercing program, preliminary design review (PDR) for the 40 mm High Velocity M918E1 and 40 mm Low Velocity M781E1 Target Practice -- Day/Night/Thermal cartridges, and a system functional review and PDRs for the XM1147 120 mm Advanced Multi-purpose program.Not only do the reviews encompass multiple ammunition calibers and milestones, they also span different contract types and variations of technical complexity.For instance, the 40 mm day/night trainer contracts were fast-paced contractor competitions, and the XM1158 is a developmental program with the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), an Army research and development center at Picatinny, serving as the vendor that will take the program from testing to production."So when you look at it, there's work going on in all three product portfolios, but the work going on is also of three different natures--in terms of how long the development timelines are and who's doing the work," Coradeschi said.
"And we treat them all the same as far as expectations. What needs to be demonstrated is the same, this is when you need to be ready to go to design review, and these are the things we're going to be ready to evaluate as a panel."Although Coradeschi was proud to accept the award, he stressed that it was a team effort."I'm honored and flattered, but all I was doing was representing PM MAS, and our teams from ARDEC and ARL (Army Research Laboratory), and industry teams who make this happen. It's a lot of work, a lot of effort, but we get good products out of it at the end of the day," he said."Being able to put materiel into the hands of warfighters, you get a huge feeling of satisfaction in doing that. We don't want to send our Soldiers into a fair fight, we want to send our Soldiers into an unfair fight where we have the advantage."