NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering leader was recognized at the Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit April 26.

Dr. William Lewis, the director for the Aviation Development Directorate, received the Army Aviation Association of America Joseph P. Cribbins Department of the Army Civilian of the Year Award.

According to AAAA, the award is presented annually to the DAC who has made an outstanding individual contribution to Army aviation during the awards period.

"Being recognized by your peers, for an award such as this, is a huge honor," said Lewis. "But so much of what we do is a team sport. This recognition isn't about me getting an award, it's about acknowledging the great things my team is doing and the remarkable achievements we have made together. Knowing that what we're doing is significant to the aviation community and to the Army is what means the most to me."

As the director for ADD, Lewis manages and directs the execution of the Aviation Science and Technology program at AMRDEC including basic research, applied research and advanced technology development. He provides direct leadership of the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, the Aero Flight Dynamics Directorate and the Aviation Systems Integration Facility and responsible for the Army's multi-million dollar aviation S&T program.

He performs these duties while being the Office of the Secretary of Defense lead for rotorcraft technology.

Keith Darrow, acting director for the Aviation Engineering Directorate, explained that Lewis has earned a reputation as an expert in the aviation community.

"Dr. Lewis is a technical leader with the knowledge and experience of an operational master Army aviator," Darrow said. "He is actively involved in all aspects of the Army Aviation S&T portfolio, from strategic vision through task execution. Every year, he leads these communities to success, but this past year was particularly eventful and exciting to those who hold Army aviation most dear."

Lewis has built a career in the aviation field spanning more than 40 years. Lewis graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1975, completing flight school in 1978. After receiving his Master's degree, Lewis went through Test Pilot School. He has held a variety of positions that have given him a well-rounded perspective in the field including an Army aviator and experimental test pilot, an instructor and educator, a chief engineer on the RAH-66 Comanche, a director of the Aviation Engineering Directorate and now ADD's director.

His current focus has been advancing vertical flight technology.

"With every assignment, I have always wanted to leave an organization in a better condition than what it was when I started," said Lewis. "My interest in aviation has given me a unique perspective. I have always tried to challenge myself with each assignment. I've thrived in an environment with high standards and expectations and also really enjoyed learning about advanced technologies. I'm happy to say, 'I really enjoy what I'm doing'. This work doesn't feel like something I have to do, but more, I get to do this."

During the summit, Lewis was also inducted into the Gold Honorable Order of St. Michael.

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U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.