Army Engineers honored at annual conference

By Jonathan Austin, Army News ServiceFebruary 23, 2024

Top Army engineers were recognized at the 38th Annual Becoming Everything You Are (BEYA) Conference recently in Baltimore.

The Army’s involvement in BEYA includes STEM outreach and engagement to recruit students interested in pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in either uniformed or civilian positions serving the country.

The conference, known traditionally as the Black Engineer of the Year Awards, serves as a celebration and acknowledgement of Army engineering.

Maj. Gen. Jeth B. Rey, the director of the Network Cross Functional Team within Army Futures Command, was the recipient of the 2024 Army Stars and Stripes Award at a Feb. 16 banquet and ceremony.

Maj. Gen. Jeth B. Rey
Maj. Gen. Jeth B. Rey (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Rey is responsible for the continuous improvement of network, command, control, communications and intelligence in the Army to enable mission command across the tactical network.

Rey, who grew up in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, enlisted in the Army in 1983 and rose through the enlisted ranks for nine years as a Signal Soldier.

“Over the course of 40 years, I was able to work hard, pay for my educational degrees, develop specialized skills, and have an opportunity to rise to senior leadership,” he said.

Rey says his Army career has been committed to one core philosophy: "The Army's most important resource is its people.”

He is quick to tout the life lessons and opportunities in the Army.

“As a teenager, I knew I had to take a chance to be responsible for my destiny. I joined Navy JROTC and then the Army under the motto ‘Be all you can be.’ I started as enlisted, then transitioned to become a warrant officer, and was mentored to become an officer in the United States Army,” he said.

In 1994, Rey was the honor graduate at Warrant Officer Candidate School, and in 1996 he received his commission from the Army’s Officer Candidate School as the Distinguished Honor Graduate. He commissioned into the Army Signal Corps.

“The Army has offered me unlimited possibilities, and I believe today’s students have the same chance I did, or an even better chance, to find those opportunities with the military. I am glad to be able to continue to connect with young people who want to make a difference,” Rey said.

Rey has earned three master’s degrees, including telecommunications management, national security studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Rey previously served as the director of command and control, communications and computer systems, J6, United States Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, where he was responsible for the implementation and management of the command’s global communications, cybersecurity and computer networks.

Joseph Giunta Jr. , the executive director and senior contracting official for the major contracting center, Army Contracting Command-Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, was the recipient of the Stars and Stripes Senior Executive Service Award.

Joseph Giunta Jr.
Joseph Giunta Jr. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Giunta spearheaded the integration of cutting-edge tools and systems to enhance the contracting capabilities of Army Contracting Command-Redstone Arsenal. He was a key leader in the Joint COVID Response Division, which awarded more than 8,700 contracts valued at $73 billion, providing 2.2 billion oral COVID-19 vaccine doses and a billion at-home COVID-19 test units.

Giunta expanded contract opportunities for small businesses, minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses, and built a workforce that is both diverse and united in purpose, emphasizing strong partnerships that facilitate collaboration and cooperation.

“Mr. Giunta's commitment to diversity and inclusion is unparalleled. He has been a personal advocate for advancing diversity within the contracting and acquisition community,” wrote Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, the Army Contracting Command commanding general, in her endorsement for the award.

“As one of my top Senior Executive Service members, Mr. Giunta embodies the highest standards of leadership and has proven himself to be an exceptional role model and mentor to those around him,” Beeler wrote.

Giunta took part in the annual Stars and Stripes Mentoring Sessions at the weekend conference, where Baltimore-area high school students met with senior military and federal government leaders to discuss career opportunities.

Giunta spent 20 years in uniform as an Army tanker before his 19 years as a government civilian employee. That life experience allowed him to speak to the students about both sides of service.

“It was great to see the interest from such younger kids. I don’t think they realized the opportunity they have to serve.”

Giunta is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the Defense Systems Management College.

Mark Beattie
Mark Beattie (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Mark Beattie, deputy to the commander, U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command, was the recipient of the Stars and Stripes General Service Employee Award.

Beattie is the manager for command projects, brigade staff offices, operations, contracting and technical programs with USAISEC at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

According to his nomination statement, Beattie advocates for STEM education across a diversified community by recognizing and rewarding employees’ achievement, while also providing one-on-one mentorship to engineers and scientists in the command.

He began his civil service with the Army in 1989, serving as an electronics engineer in the Transmission Systems Engineering Evaluation Facility at Fort Huachuca. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts; a Master of Science degree in telecommunications from Southern Methodist University; and a master’s in strategic studies from the Air War College.

Other Army award categories and winners include:

BEYA Professional Army Awards

Chad Nash, chief, Quick Reaction Capability branch, Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Outstanding Technical Contribution in Government Award

Lt. Col. Michael Pope, deputy commander, Army Corps of Engineers, Professional Achievement in Government Award

Andrea Williams, chief, operations division, Army Corps of Engineers, Career Achievement in Government Award

Tony Harris, systems engineer, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Analsyis Center, Community Service in Government Award

Modern-Day Technology Leader Award

Rhonda Tiffany Barnes, chief, business management division, Army Materiel Command

Valdez Blackwell, design and construction project manager, Army Corps of Engineers

Karon Carter, civil engineer, Army Corps of Engineers

Robens Cyprien, electronics engineer, Army Information System Engineering Command

Diandre Jacob-Sampson, lead database administrator, Army U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command

Cpt. Terry Lee, brigade engineer, Army Corps of Engineers

Aisha Mims, lead software sustainment engineer, Army DEVCOM Armaments Center

James C. Molet, ICS group leader, Army Research and Development Center

Maj. Sheena Rubin, marketing officer, Army Enterprise Marketing Office

Richard Thomas, area engineer, Army Corps of Engineers

Carlos Whetstone, civil engineer, Army Corps of Engineers

Roger Wilson, navigation manager, Army Corps of Engineers

Clare Yang, electronics engineer, DEVCOM

Lt. Col. Erika Zimmerman, chief of research and innovation, multicultural marketing manager, Army Enterprise Office

Science Spectrum Trailblazer Award

Dax Cadet, lead, experimental team, DEVCOM

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Trevor Gayle, construction engineer technician, USARPAC

Victoria Moore, associate technical director for information, Army Corps of Engineers

Samuel Stidwell IV, research architect, Army Corps of Engineers

Curtney Walters, civil engineer, Army Corps of Engineers.