The U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) Senior Test Officer, John Dougherty, was knighted by Brig. Gen. James Gallivan, ATEC’s Commanding General, into the honorable Order of Saint George with the Noble Patron of Armor Award Oct. 22 at the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) Headquarters.
“This journey began in 2007 when I was assigned directly to the M1 Abrams tank group,” said Dougherty. “I know a few Soldiers who have received the Order of Saint George but I was not aware of any Civilians who have received this award.”
Gallivan, who is an active member of the Order of Saint George, served as the Master of Ceremony and expressed the significance of receiving this prestigious honor regardless of the current COVID environment.
“This team is working with more tasks than time and people in a COVID environment. By the way, that hasn’t stopped operations since day one [of the pandemic],” said Gallivan. “The fact that amongst all of that, ATC felt it was important to devote time to stop and request that a colleague gets recognized, coming together in a responsible COVID way, tells me that this team is most of all committed to the people that define our organization.”
Created in 1986, the Noble Patron of Armor Award was created to honor exceptional supporters of the armor force. Nominees are submitted by current/active U.S. Cavalry and Armor Association members and winners must exemplify qualities that significantly contribute to the morale and welfare of the soldiers of Armor and Cavalry units and organizations.
The U.S. Army recognized Dougherty for his superior support of the M1 Abrams developmental testing, fire control expertise, and admitted him into the order as a distinguished knight.
Order of Saint George member, ATEC Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Graves, assisted in the ceremonial knighting portion of the ceremony.
“Our Civilian counterparts are the continuity of what we do and without them we cannot continue to move modernization forward,” Graves said. “This ceremony is a great opportunity to present a prestigious award to such a deserving person who significantly supports the M1 Abrams program.”
Dougherty’s professional career began thirteen years ago when he graduated from Wilkes University with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He immediately accepted an offer at ATC as a test officer assigned as to support the M1 Abrams program where he continues to lead this team of testers to many program successes.
Col. John Hall, ATC Commander, provided opening remarks during the ceremony in the glass atrium among Dougherty’s masked family, friends, and co-workers. Hall expressed his appreciation of Dougherty’s unwavering dedication to the mission.
“John is a wonderful example of the professionals who work at ATC to serve and support our warfighters every day. Our warfighters are safer and more lethal due to John and his team's efforts,” said Hall. “It is only appropriate he be recognized by the armor community for his contributions. I am very proud of him!”
Dougherty continues to support ATC developmental testing and is considered a fire control system subject matter expert. He oversees M1 Abrams development and production in support of several Program Manager Offices. He continues to lead the M1 Abrams test efforts at ATC where he conducts safe and effective testing for design upgrades and subsystem integration for the M1 Abrams Family of Vehicles.
Dougherty is very excited to be receiving this award but quickly passes the credit of his success to his teammates. “I am most appreciative of the Civilians and contractors I work with every day,” Dougherty expressed. “Executing tests cannot be done alone and they are all critical to accomplishing our mission.”