FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – The tradition of recognizing outstanding talent has not been hampered by the disruptive nature of the pandemic that has gripped the world stage as the Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command Headquarters picked their top civilian performers, during the 2020 Civilian of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the Year virtual ceremony, Feb. 2, 2021.
Selected as the NETCOM headquarters Most Valuable Player for 2020 was Dylan Baker, who works in the G5 as both a strategic planner and requirements manager for NETCOM’s Equipment Review and Validation Board (ERVB).
Selected as the NETCOM headquarters Civilian of the Year for 2020 was Justin Gault, who works as an Information Management Officer in the NETCOM G6.
“This has been an extraordinary year with some extraordinary challenges in many corners of this command, and all of you have risen to the occasion” said NETCOM Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett, during her opening remarks.
“The fact that we continue this [recognition program] and supervisors continue to put forth the personnel on their team who excel at what they do, and to reach this point where we recognize the Civilian of the Year and the MVP from among all of the submissions, I think is more important this year than any of the past years given what we have had to deal with.”
Speaking about how this command is unique in the fact that it is representative of a village, Barrett said the talents brought by the people being recognized at the ceremony are similar to the oil of an engine that has to keep it running. “There are so many people that come together across this command to make things happen, and you can see this in the submissions of the honorees that we have … because they are coming from all walks of the command.
“I know for a fact that Army Senior Leadership knows what NETCOM delivered during this past year,” said Barrett, as she talked about the great talents of those who were being recognized. “This is an amazing group of professionals, with amazing experience, amazing expertise, and really amazing purpose.”
Barrett ended her remarks by saying the board had a very difficult decision selecting the top civilians because those competing were all fantastic at their job, but she said that is a good problem to have, and she was glad the competition made it hard on the selection committee.
Competing for Most Valuable Player of the Year were 1st Quarter MVP Robyn Collier, a Management Analysist in the G7; 2d Quarter MVP Shawnee Carlile, a HR specialist in the G1; 3d Quarter MVP Dylan Baker from G5; and 4th Quarter MVP Julie Cunningham a G8 Budget Analyst. (The MVP award is for junior civilians in the grade GS11 and below.)
Competing for the Civilian of the Year were January Civilian of the Month Krystal Hutchins, from G8; February COM Brittany Arvizu from G1; March COM Michele Fackrell from G8; April COM Sheldon Smith, an IT Specialist with the G6; May COM Anthony Tarquinio, from G3; June COM Teresa Zelazny, NETCOM G8; July COM Klinton Smith, from G6; August COM Justin Gault also from G6; September COM Albert Adams, NETCOM ECED; October COM Tiran Johnson, a computer engineer from G3, November COM Veronica Cunningham an HR specialist from G1; and December COM Randall Austin, from the command’s cybersecurity directorate. (Civilians of the Month are GS12 and above.)
Justin Gault, the 2020 Civilian of the Year said he has been an Army Civilian since August 2018 after joining NETCOM in early 2017 as a Contractor. “The most rewarding part of my job is the direct and immediate ability to assist people get past their technology woes or concerns,” said Gault. “There are few positions that allow you to see your efforts materialize instantly but also build up to significant efforts that assist the user population at large.
“At times, given how fast technology can evolve or dissolve it can be challenging to keep up with the operational pace,” said Gault. “Ensuring everyone is up and running as quickly as possible is always a challenging but rewarding part of the job.”
As far as advice to others, Gault said “I would tell people to trust in themselves and put their best foot forward every single day of the week. There is always going to be a natural ebb and flow to working in an Army environment but as long as a person is giving their full effort then they can rest easy knowing that they are making a difference.”
Dylan Baker, the 2020 Most Valuable Player of the Year said he joined NETCOM in Dec. 2018 as an Intern in the G5.
“I work with a lot of great people; everyone on the team is friendly and helpful,” said Baker as he explained the challenges of the job.
“The landscape can shift pretty rapidly at times, and there will always be unforeseen delays, so those are significant challenges to fight through.”
Baker’s concluded with good advice to all. “Look for opportunities to help your teammates, and ask for help when you need it. Also, take advantage of training opportunities that interest you.”
“The dedication, passion, and professionalism demonstrated by our teammates proved the NETCOM civilian workforce is a mainstay of our command’s efforts,” said NETCOM Deputy to the Commanding General, Patrick Dedham, the command’s senior civilian, as he provided closing remarks during the ceremony.
“Each one of our Civilian of the Year and MVP of the Year nominees have made great strides in helping lead the way to successful accomplishment of the NETCOM mission, and it is a very challenging mission that we all strive to complete every day,” said Dedham. “All of you are winners for this great command, so thank you very much for all you do every day.”
For more information about NETCOM visit: https://www.army.mil/Netcom