REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Ten Army Materiel Command employees from across the enterprise have been named AMC Employees of the Quarter for the second quarter, fiscal year 2021, representing a diverse and talented workforce of logisticians, contracting officers, engineers and program managers.
AMC’s Employee of the Quarter program recognizes civilian and military employees whose outstanding and innovative contributions made a direct positive impact on the command's mission goals during the quarter. While the award recognizes only one employee from AMC’s 10 major subordinate commands, several awardees say the individual award also validates the successful work of employee teams.
Expressing appreciation for the recognition, Jessica Blain, a logistics management specialist for the Aviation and Missile Command, said she is one member of a “great group of professionals who work tirelessly to support the warfighter and to be good stewards of taxpayer money. I take pride in what I do and the people I work with daily.”
That sentiment was echoed by Maj. Jeffrey Bess, whose work as a contracting officer with the Army Contracting Command provided the opportunity to support the White House initiative to build COVID-19 testing capability. “ACC-Rock Island (Illinois) put together an all-star team for this requirement. I am grateful to play a minor role, and for the opportunity to learn, grow and execute alongside a team of contracting professionals,” he said.
For William Adamson, a contracting officer representative and a recently promoted Operations Chief for the Logistics Readiness Center at Army Sustainment Command’s Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, the award also recognizes a team of 26 employees who maintained the arsenal’s Central Shipping Receiving Point operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We continued to work every day during the pandemic. We had to keep operations going because our shut down would have brought base operations to a screeching halt. Everything we do supports everybody on the installation,” he said.
Besides outstanding work performance, the Employee of the Quarter award also recognizes outstanding efforts to develop and foster a culture of achievement and productivity; contribute to a positive work environment; increase retention and improve employee engagement to positively impact overall morale.
In her work for the AMCOM Logistics Center, Blain identified and solved a vulnerability with the unmanned warehouses at Fort Greely, Alaska, where supplies and equipment are stored.
“While they are climate controlled, if the heating fuel ran out or if any part of the heating system failed, the equipment and/or other supplies would be at risk to the harsh Alaskan winters, which not uncommonly can reach -40 degrees or colder,” Blain explained. “I thought of a solution and took the initiative to have our facility maintainer install warning lights that would alert employees passing by when the internal temperature of the building fell below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.”
The warning lights were installed at no cost to the Army and the warehouses were added to the existing light monitoring route used for base housing.
“While it may have seemed like overkill to a few people in its initiation, the system worked as designed twice this past winter and alerted employees to a failure in the heating system, saving valuable supplies and equipment,” she said.
The accomplishments of Bess and Adamson were both tied to the nation’s defense against the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a contract specialist, Bess coordinated and led an industry day in a virtual environment that allowed 245 vendors to showcase their COVID-19 testing capabilities for use by elementary grade students, with the goal of validating low infection rates, re-opening schools nationwide and ensuring students have access to in-person education as directed by President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers.
“The Department of Health and Human Services contacted ACC-Rock Island in mid-February to support the White House initiative,” Bess said. “We were charged with getting an award in less than 100 days, despite only having a conceptual strategy with many specifics unknown, undetermined or ill-defined. The effort was valued at more than $650 million.”
The industry day took place on March 4 via Microsoft Teams due to the urgency of the requirement and COVID-19 restrictions, he said. Vendors provided white papers articulating their capability to meet testing requirements prior to the industry day.
In overseeing a five-year, $11 million contract that maintains Army warehouse operations, and shipping and receiving at Detroit Arsenal, Adamson worked with the contractor’s employees to put in place COVID-19 restrictions that kept mission essential warehouse operations from shutting down.
“We couldn’t afford to let our operations close down because of the affect it would have had on all installation operations,” Adamson said. “We did have some COVID cases at one point. But we worked through that by shifting operations from the warehouse to the maintenance bay so that the warehouse could be sanitized.”
AMC’s Employee of the Quarter program goes beyond the individuals recognized to impact organization-wide and to influence other process improvement activities, Blain said.
“Highlighting the work being done AMCOM-wide and AMC-wide can act like an idea sharing platform to give others inspiration of how to implement process improvements in their area of expertise,” she said. “Essentially, good work being done in one area or on one task, can result in countless good work being done enterprise wide.”
Adamson said such recognition is a morale boost for the entire warehouse team at Detroit Arsenal. “It lets employees know that our leaders are paying attention and appreciating the work done where the rubber meets the road. It shows they are noticing our hard work,” he said.
In an Army where People First is a top priority, recognition programs are proof that leadership wants to reward mission-oriented employees, Bess said.
“People are the Army’s number one resource. Leaders must put in the time to illuminate their workforce’s accomplishments, and retain the very best talent,” he said.
AMC’s Employees of the Quarter for the second quarter of fiscal year 2021 are:
• Zinnah Hellmann, General Engineer, Army Materiel Command, for maneuvering through a myriad of complex challenges to successfully identify, validate and prioritize facilities infrastructure projects critical to Organic Industrial Base mission success.
• Maj. Jeffrey Bess, Contracting Officer, Army Contracting Command, for leadership and professionalism that directly impacted ACC’s ability to improve contracting requirements.
• Jessica Blain, Logistics Management Specialist, Aviation and Missile Command, for implementing a low cost, self-motivated project which saved equipment and mitigated risk.
• William Adamson, Logistics Management Specialist, Army Sustainment Command, for his significant role in preventing a shutdown to the Central Shipping Receiving Point operations during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic.
• Lawton Crentsil, Computer Engineer, Communications-Electronics Command, for providing technical expertise to engineer, furnish, install, secure and test a solution to modernize the U.S. Army network infrastructure at Bagram Air field, Afghanistan.
• Terrence Callaghan, Safety and Occupational Health Specialist, Chemical Materials Activity, for his attention to detail and diligent efforts resulting in the daily execution of mission essential tasks and contributed to the continued health and safety of his fellow co-workers.
• Terry Stringfellow, Management and Program Analyst, Installation Management Command, for his expertise and overall can-do spirit that has had a lasting positive impact on all future Soldiers, Civilians and Family members.
• Tyler Harper, Safety Engineer, Joint Munitions Command, for contributions in developing explosives safety site plans for the plant and other installations, ensuring ammunition and explosives operations are carried out safely and efficiently.
• Thomas Mitchell, Program Management Analyst, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for leading multiple strategic and campaign planning efforts for the Command.
• Jerrid Spinks, Country Program Manager, Security Assistance Command, for setting the standard for Letters of Offer and Acceptance development and consistently exceeding the 85 percent metric.