Civilian earns top honors for security assistance work

By Tim HansonJanuary 25, 2024

Honorable Douglas R. Bush (left), the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, along with Lt. Gen. Robert M. Collins (right), Military Deputy/Director, Army Acquisition Corps, present Mr. Thomas McKendry (center) the 2023 Barbara C. Heald award during the Army Acquisition Executive’s Excellence in Leadership Awards ceremony Jan. 9, 2024 at the Pentagon.
Honorable Douglas R. Bush (left), the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, along with Lt. Gen. Robert M. Collins (right), Military Deputy/Director, Army Acquisition Corps, present Mr. Thomas McKendry (center) the 2023 Barbara C. Heald award during the Army Acquisition Executive’s Excellence in Leadership Awards ceremony Jan. 9, 2024 at the Pentagon. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

Thomas McKendry, a contracting officer supporting U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, was recognized as the Army’s top deployed contracting civilian Jan. 9 at the Pentagon.

McKendry was presented the 2023 Barbara C. Heald Award by the Honorable Douglas R. Bush, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, during the Army Acquisition Executive’s Excellence in Leadership Awards ceremony.

“To be honest, I was quite honored just to be nominated, and subsequently, very surprised to find out that I was the winner,” said McKendry.

McKendry was part of the ACC-Rock Island team supporting the Office of the Program Manager-Saudi Arabia National Guard. McKendry was working as the administrative contracting officer for a foreign military sale, multi-year aviation training and support services contract for the Ministry of the National Guard.

“I was responsible for all post-award contracting actions and assisted with performance oversight,” he explained.

He was also the lead contracting officer for the G-21 contract, the software system that the Ministry of the National Guard uses for electronic tracking of all logistics and training metrics.

When talking about the business of contracting, teamwork is the driving force for a successful contract, McKendry said, whether in the initial stages of defining the requirement, awarding the contract, or administering the contract.

“No one can be successful working in a vacuum. Without the outstanding leadership of my supervisor, Ms. Christine Berry, my teammates Ms. Linda Matos and Mr. Mohamad El Masri, the hard working and dedicated staff of the Office of the Program Manager-Saudi Arabian National Guard, and in conjunction with the outstanding employees at the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, I would not have been able to accomplish the success that I was able to achieve,” said McKendry.

Office of the Program Manager-Saudi Arabian National Guard remains a critical element within USASAC and has considerable impact on the global economy and stability of the Middle East by continuing to manage the Ministry’s modernization program, said Col. Michael J. Trotter, OPM-SANG Program Manager. The program’s mission is made possible by many contract teammates within Army Contracting Command.

“The importance and the significance of what Tom does for our mission and our partner cannot be overstated,” said Trotter. “The consistent contract work is one aspect, but the real value to the partner is working toward and realizing localized contract actions that are driven by Saudi Vision 2030. Tom is truly deserving because he was able to bring vast contract experiences to help bring conceptual ideas and initiatives to realization.”

The Army Acquisition Executive’s Excellence in Leadership Awards recognizes the performance of individuals who have clearly demonstrated exceptional mission accomplishment, selfless service to the U.S., extraordinary and uncompromising professionalism, and a true commitment to the personal and professional growth of others.

“With all the great contracting personnel stationed around the world who are doing such great work on behalf of the Army, I really felt humbled to receive this prestigious award,” said McKendry.