By ASAALTJanuary 5, 2024

AND THE AAE AWARD GOES TO: The 2023 Army Acquisition Executive (AAE) awards for excellence in leadership will be presented during a ceremony in January 2024. (Image by tomertu, Adobe Stock)
AND THE AAE AWARD GOES TO: The 2023 Army Acquisition Executive (AAE) awards for excellence in leadership will be presented during a ceremony in January 2024. (Image by tomertu, Adobe Stock) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON (Dec. 15, 2023) – As the Army accelerates modernization, the spotlight continues to shine on the Army Acquisition Workforce’s (AAW) steadfast dedication and commitment to transformative change. These game-changing contributions will be celebrated in the Pentagon at the 2023 Army Acquisition Executive’s (AAE) Excellence in Leadership Awards ceremony Jan. 9, 2024.

Leading the celebration will be the Honorable Douglas R. Bush, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology (ASA(ALT)). During the ceremony, Bush will honor AAE award winners, emphasizing their indispensable role in delivering the cutting-edge capabilities critical to Army transformation.

“The real driving force behind Army modernization is an exceptional team of skilled professionals leading the charge for acquisition excellence,” said Bush. “Our people are the architects of our success, and I am privileged to lead them in ensuring that our Soldiers have the most technologically advanced capabilities needed for mission success.”

New Award Categories

In alignment with the AAW’s commitment to transformation, this year’s ceremony will introduce four new awards: Test and Evaluation Professional of the Year, Test Organization of the Year, Engineering and Technical Manager of the Year, and Digital Transformation Manager of the Year. These new awards underscore the strategic importance of these fields in shaping the Army’s future force.

A Decade of Excellence in Acquisition Writing

The ceremony also marks the 10th anniversary of the Major General Harold “Harry” J. Greene Awards for Acquisition Writing. Winning authors will be honored during the ceremony, and their works will be featured in a special Spring 2024 Army AL&T magazine supplement.

Honoring Lifetime Achievement in Contracting

A poignant moment this year will be the posthumous presentation of the Lifetime Achievement in Contracting Award to the late Bryan R. Samson. His legacy, spanning over 30 years of service, continues to inspire the AAW community.

“Bryan R. Samson’s dedication and leadership have left an indelible mark on the Army contracting enterprise, showcasing the transformative power of steadfast commitment and innovation,” said Megan Dake, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for procurement. “His legacy tells a story of dedication, innovation and unwavering commitment to excellence. That spirit will live on forever in our acquisition community.”

As the deputy to the commanding general and senior civilian leader of Army Contracting Command (ACC), Samson’s leadership was instrumental in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, establishing the Expeditionary Contracting Command (ECC) and enhancing the Army’s contracting capabilities in expeditionary operations.

For more information about the Army Acquisition Awards, visit https://asc.army.mil/web/acquisition-awards/.

A complete list of the 2023 honorees is outlined below:

2023 AAE Awards

Acquisition Career Support Professional of the Year
Kelly Gorman, Army Contracting Command (ACC), New Jersey

Defense Exportability and Cooperation Professional of the Year
Rebecca Bowen, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports and Cooperation, ASA(ALT)

Business Operations Professional of the Year
Ryan V. Lasecki, Program Executive Office (PEO) for Ground Combat Systems

Logistician of the Year
Chia (Jeff) Lee, Joint PEO for Armaments & Ammunition (JPEO A&A)

Product Management/Product Director Office Professional of the Year (O5 Level)
Chad D. Young, PEO for Ground Combat Systems (GCS)

Project Management/Project Director Office Professional of the Year (O6 Level)
Michael D. Sprang, PEO for Combat Support and Combat Service Support

Contracting Professional of the Year
Michelle Talbot, ACC Rock Island

Barbara C. Heald (Deployed Contracting Civilian) of the Year
Thomas W. McKendry, ACC Rock Island

Outstanding Grants or Agreements Professional of the Year
Stephanie Wilson, ACC Rock Island

Construction Services Contracting Professional of the Year
Jeffrey Wyant, Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District

Test and Evaluation Professional of the Year
Jonathan Biffle, PEO for Missiles and Space

Engineering and Technical Management Professional of the Year
Monica Griffin, PEO for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors

Digital Transformation Professional of the Year
Tilghman Turner, Army Redstone Test Center, Army Test and Evaluation Command

Innovation in Contracting Strategies Individual or Organization
Aviation & Missile Technology Consortium, Other Transaction Agreement Contracting Team

Product Management/Product Director Office Team of the Year (O5 Level)
Foreign Military Sales, Poland Program Office, PEO GCS

Project Management/Project Director Office Team of the Year (O6 Level)
Project Director Towed Artillery Systems, JPEO A&A

Test Organization of the Year
Army Operational Test Command, Air Missile Defense Test Directorate, Army Test and Evaluation Command

Contracting Unit/Team of the Year
ACC Redstone Arsenal Team, Missiles and Space Directorate

Lifetime Achievement in Contracting
Bryan R. Samson, ACC

2023 Major General Harold J. “Harry” Greene Writing Awards:

Acquisition Reform

• Winning Piece: “Rethinking Acquisition from Left of Requirements: DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center’s WILE-E (Warfighter Innovation Leveraging Expertise and Experimentation) Pilot Project.
Authors: Dr. Alan Samuels, Dr. Jennifer W. Sekowski and Dr. Brian B. Feeney, Army Combat Capabilities Development Command.
• Honorable Mention: Joseph R. (Bo) Taylor III, PEO, Missiles and Space, for “Cybersecurity in a Rapid Capabilities Environment.”

Future Operations

• Winning Piece: “Playing ‘Small Ball’: How the Defense Department Will Win Against Future Known and Unknown Biological Hazards.”
Author: Lt. Col. Edwin L. Kolen, JPEO for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (CBRND).
• Honorable Mention: Caitlyn Hall, Army Aviation and Missile Command, for “Army Facilities Components System – A New Standard for Contingency Bases in Future Operations.”


• Winning Piece: “Technologically Advanced Response System to High Consequence Biological Threats.”
Authors: Dr. Christopher G. Earnhart and Dr. Lana A. Hopkins, JPEO CBRND.
• Honorable Mention: Bonnie Evangelista, Office of the Secretary of Defense Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office, for “Shop ‘til You Drop: Introducing the Tradewinds Solutions Marketplace.”

Lessons Learned

• Winning Piece: “Operationalizing Discovery: Lessons Learned from a DEVCOM Science Advisor.”
Author: Lt. Col. John M. Williams II, PEO for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation.
• Honorable Mention: Robert H. Sullivan, Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, for “Lessons Learned: The Need for Best Practices for Coding Diagnostics and Troubleshooting in Army Technical Publications.”