WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Six Army Materiel Command employees are among the 21 honorees who received Presidential Rank Awards during an annual ceremony hosted recently by Secretary of the Army Dr. Mark Esper at the Pentagon.

"This award is the most prestigious recognition afforded to civilian career executives and senior professionals. It represents the very best," Esper said of the recipients. "There is a common theme among them. Each has made an extraordinary contribution to the readiness of our Army, to the readiness of our forces, to the readiness of our units."

Executive Deputy to the Commanding General of Army Materiel Command Lisha Adams sponsored eight of this year's 21 honorees. She assisted Esper in presenting the awards.

"I was so proud to stand with the Secretary of the Army while he honored six Army Materiel Command employees with the prestigious presidential rank award," Adams said. "While this award speaks volumes for each of them personally, it is also a cumulative win for our organization to have this diverse group of dedicated leaders so committed to our mission and our people."

Army Materiel Command's Presidential Rank awardees are:
• Bruce West, an Army Research Laboratory senior research assistant for mathematical sciences in Durham, North Carolina: Distinguished Senior Professional Rank Award
• Sue Goodyear, Army Materiel Command deputy chief of staff for resource management, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama: Meritorious Senior Rank Award
• Bill Marriott, Aviation and Missile Command deputy to the commander, Redstone Arsenal: Meritorious Senior Rank Award
• John Shipley, Aviation and Missile Command Special Operations Directorate director for special programs, Fort Eustis, Virginia: Meritorious Senior Rank Award
• Bryon Young, former Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen executive director, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland: Meritorious Senior Rank Award
• Ananthram Swami, senior research scientist for network science at the Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, Maryland: Meritorious Senior Professional Rank Award

In addition, Adams sponsored two recipients who are former Army Materiel Command employees. They are: Joseph Corriveau, former Edgewood Chemical Biological Center director, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and now Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory director, Corps of Engineers, Hanover, New Hampshire, Meritorious Senior Rank Award; and Thomas Russell, former Army Research Laboratory director, Adelphi Laboratory Center, Maryland, and now deputy assistant Army secretary for research and technology, Washington, D.C., Meritorious Senior Rank Award.

The Presidential Rank Award honors high-performing senior career employees for "sustained extraordinary accomplishment." Government executives are nominated by their agency senior leadership, evaluated by citizen panels and designated by the President. Winners of these awards are deemed to be strong leaders, professionals or scientists who achieve results and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service.

The Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive and of Meritorious Executive are the first and second highest annual awards for career senior executive service members. The senior professional rank awards are the highest awards for senior level scientific career professionals.

The awards emphasize the critical role the civilian workforce has in ensuring the Army's readiness through implementing reform and building efficiencies that save time, money and manpower, Esper said, which is "absolutely essential if we are going to make the leap to the next generation and modernize our force."

Collectively, the group of awardees have saved thousands and thousands of man hours and billions of dollars, allowing those resources to be reallocated to higher priorities that will make the Army more lethal and ready, Esper said. They have reformed business practices, streamlined acquisition programs and improved accountability; modernized their fields by achieving scientific breakthroughs; and made significant process in strengthening relations with allied partners.

"They consistently demonstrate strong leadership, high standards of integrity and a relentless commitment to public service," Esper said. "As the Army remains engaged in operational requirements around the world, they provide the stability and continuity and professionalism that is necessary to keep our Army running."