JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Nov. 9, 2020) – Oscar Bocanegra, Director of the Civilian Human Resources Directorate, was presented with the William H. Kushnick Award by Richard Beauchemin, Chief of Staff, and Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command, during a virtual ceremony on Nov. 9.
The Kushnick Award recognizes the most outstanding singular achievement of an Army employee in civilian personnel administration. Bocanegra distinguished himself in 2019 by ensuring the effective recruitment, retention, and management of the Medical Command’s 39,000 strong Civilian Corps.
“Perhaps the most critical contribution were his efforts during the historical transformation of the Military Health System (MHS) with Army G-1 Civilian Personnel, the office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civilian Personnel, Civilian Human Resources Agency, and Navy and Air Force Civilian Human Resources that ensured the transfer of personnel associated with the transfer of Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) to DHA was properly executed within statutory requirements,” said Beauchemin.
“Bocanegra’s guidance and efforts ensured the best interest of the MHS and its beneficiaries, as well as protected the employee employment rights and entitlements. He went above and beyond, accepting difficult and complex assignments, constantly challenging himself to improve programs and processes, said Beauchemin.
The basis for selection is a specific contribution in the field of Civilian human resources administration during the calendar year, and a record covering the career spectrum that reflects highly effective personal career development, executive or technical ability, exemplary performance, and a demonstrated potential for higher level work.
Bocanegra has proudly served the DOD for over 20 years as a Civilian Human Resources professional at the installation, processing center, major command, and joint command levels both in the U.S. and overseas while working in the Departments of the Army and Air Force.
He was introduced to federal civil service during his senior year in high school, through the “Grow Your Own Program,” which was a partnership between Del Rio High School and Laughlin Air Force Base. The program allowed select seniors to spend four hours each day visiting the local Air Force Base to learn about aircraft maintenance technical orders and obtain hands-on experience with mechanics on the flight line.
Using the experience gained during this program, he obtained employment as an Aircraft Mechanic. Bocanegra later accepted a change to lower grade to transition to the Civilian Human Resources field as an Assistant, and after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, he entered the Air Force Civilian PALACE Acquire Intern Program.
Over the years, Bocanegra has progressed through different assignments, working as an action officer, team lead, supervisor, and chief consultant positions at the Randolph Air Force base Personnel Center, Stuttgart Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, U.S. Forces Korea, and U.S. Africa Command.
“This is a big deal for me and thank you for the opportunity and for looking out for me. While we were focused on the town halls telling employees that we were looking out for them and that they are out top priority, I realized that both you and TSG were in the background looking out for me. I will never forget this great award and everything you have done to support us,” said Bocanegra.
“Being a part of MEDCOM and working in support of the transition of Army MEDCOM employees to the Defense Health Agency (DHA), he has been able assist in the largest MHS transformation, since 1973. This is a change has affected approximately 600 civilians or 50% of the MEDCOM workforce at the command headquarters levels. The transformation affects approximately 30,000 Army MEDCOM employees at the medical facilities,” said Beauchemin.
“His remarkable and rapid rise through the ranks, volunteering to serve in challenging positions of increased responsibility both in the United States and abroad, is a testament to his admirable abilities, self-improvement, career development, dedication to our country, and work ethic,” said Beauchemin.
Dingle closed with, “There is not much more I can add, chief so eloquently described your ability to execute you duties above and beyond the highest standards. You are the high bar and an example of what professional excellence in your profession looks like. You are our 911 and 411 person when it comes to personnel. From the bottom of my heart, and from the entire command, thank you for your professionalism and leadership.”
The William H. Kushnick Award was established in 1968 by a group of citizens who had served on the staff of the Secretary of War during World War II, and is now sponsored by the Army Civilian Personnel Alumni Association, an organization of former and current Army civilian personnelists.