Following a series of substantial contributions to the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, Austin Swift with USAMRDC’s U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense was honored as USAMRDC’s Employee of the Quarter on September 28.
“It is nice to be recognized while at the same time knowing it’s also a reflection of all the outstanding Soldiers, NCO’s, officers, civilians, and contractors who work with me,” said Swift, who – while spending his entire career with USAMRDC – began serving as USAMRICD’s Facility Agent Accountability Officer just last year. “The Warfighter and Nation at large benefits from the collective efforts of the USAMRDC team in researching and developing effective medical countermeasures and therapeutic treatments.”
Swift’s notable professional efforts across the past quarter include teaming with the Laboratory Services Department in April to stand-up a brand new facility while additionally and simultaneously restructuring all policies and standard operating procedures for said facility. According to USAMRICD leadership, this admittedly challenging effort was made even more so due to the potentially serious and adverse health effects of the chemicals involved, the complexity of the various applicable laws and regulations, and the substantial financial risk of moving hundreds of thousands of dollars of expensive instrumentation from one building to the other; all tasks that required intricate coordination with USAMRICD's Safety, Surety and Environmental Regulatory Compliance Office and the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Technical Escort Service, among others.
“His actions are exemplary and greatly enhanced USAMRICD's ability to accomplish its mission,” said USAMRICD Research Support Division Chief Col. William Culp in his nomination of Swift for the award, further nothing that, overall, Swift coordinated the movement of more than three million dollars’ worth of equipment during the establishment of the new facility. “His communication and coordination style is exactly what is needed to be successful in a complex environment, [he is] a true team player.”
“Making the final move has been rewarding and while I’d like to think I made it happen, the truth is there were many others involved,” said Swift. “I appreciated Col. Culp’s commitment to see it through to completion and am confident that the new surety facility will be a useful asset to our research staff for many years to come.”
Swift’s work in the establishment of the new facility alone – specifically located in building E-2900, E Wing on the USAMRICD grounds – resulted in the Institute having one hundred percent of its workforce in one, single building for the first time since 2015. The move further resulted in increased safety, efficiency and overall communication for the researchers and support staff. By completing the move ahead of schedule, Swift saved the federal government 85 thousand dollars in maintenance contracts and other fees.
Additionally, Swift spearheaded the revision and ultimate streamlining of a slew of internal processes and policies over the course of the quarter for the sake of both compliance requirements and for the ease of his fellow staffers.
Said Swift, “[The] most rewarding part of my position with USAMRDC is working alongside other[s] … to solve problems which we all hope will ultimately deter the offensive use of chemical weapons by a foreign adversary or terror group.”