WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 29, 2010) -- Army employees who received the Presidential Rank Award Monday saved the service an estimated $4 billion with efficiencies and advanced technology in such areas as infrared sensors and tactical software.

Secretary of the Army John McHugh presented 26 career executives and senior professionals with the Presidential Rank Award, the most prestigious recognition afforded to Army civilians, during a ceremony at the Women In Military Service for America Memorial.

"We are truly, truly fortunate to have such wonderful civilians, such highly accomplished individuals helping to lead the Army during what I know we all understand are very, very challenging times, and times of great change," McHugh said.

McHugh said the Army's success is due "in no small measure" to the civilian awardees -- who work in such fields as contracting, procurement, research, installation management and Iraqi reconstruction and training -- and that their efforts have resulted in a "more efficient and cost-effective" Army.

"Combined, their efforts netted the Army almost four billion dollars in savings and cost avoidance," McHugh said. "And among the awardees are the innovators of important and crucial technologies: improved rotary-wing aircraft control, improved infrared-sensor technology, and cutting-edge tactical software, to name only three. As I said before, this is undoubtedly an incredibly influential and impressive group."

The awards are divided into four categories: distinguished executive, distinguished senior professional, meritorious executive and meritorious senior professional. Awardees received a framed certificate signed by President Obama at the ceremony.

One member of the group, Kwong-Kit Choi, was awarded the distinguished senior professional rank for his work in quantum well-infrared technology, which is applied to night vision, missile guidance and projectile defense for the Army.

Choi said his work has increased the quality of night vision while making it more affordable and available enough "to fill the entire Army."

Anthony Lisuzzo, the director of the Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command, was the recipient of the meritorious executive rank. Lisuzzo called his job, which has included the fielding of more than 30,000 electronic countermeasure systems to protect Soldiers from improvised explosive devises, "instant gratification."

"You're playing with the next generation of capabilities and technologies and ensuring that they support our Soldiers," Lisuzzo said of his job.

Awardees, who must be nominated by the secretary of the Army, evaluated by boards of private citizens and approved by the president, received between 20 and 35 percent of their base pay in addition to the framed certificate.

The 2009 Presidential Rank Award recipients include:

Distinguished Executive Rank

Aca,!Ac Mr. Patrick J. Fitzgerald, auditor general, U.S. Army Audit Agency
Aca,!Ac Joseph Lannon, director of the Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center; Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.
Aca,!Ac Levator Norsworthy Jr., deputy general counsel for acquistion, Office of the General Counsel
Aca,!Ac Tracey Pinson, director of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Office of the Secretary of the Army
Aca,!Ac John Shipley, associate director for Technology Applications/director for Special Programs, U.S. Army Aviation and missile life Cycle Management Command, Fort Eustis, Va.
Aca,!Ac Earl Stockdale, chief counsel, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Aca,!Ac Larry Stubblefield, deputy administrative assistant to the secretary of the Army
Aca,!Ac James Faust, assistant deputy chief of staff, G-2, HQDA

Distinguished Senior Professional Rank

Aca,!Ac Kwong-Kit Choi, senior research scientist for Physical Sciences, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, Md.
Aca,!Ac Mark Tischler, senior research scientist, Rotorcraft Flight Dynamics and Control, U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command, Moffet Field, Calif.

Meritorious Executive Rank

Aca,!Ac Pamela Blechinger, director of operations, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Analysis Center, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Aca,!Ac Lloyd Caldwell Jr., division programs director, U.S. Army Engineer Division, North Atlantic Programs Directorate, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Hamilton, N.Y.
Aca,!Ac Ms. Kathryn Condon, executive deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command, Fort Belvoir, Va.
Aca,!Ac James Dalton, chief of engineering and construction community of practice, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Aca,!Ac John Dugan (retired), deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Life Cycle Management Command, Warren, Mich.
Aca,!Ac Russell Hall, regional director (Northeast), U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Fort Monroe, Va.
Aca,!Ac Barbara Heffernan (retired), director of resource integration, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management
Aca,!Ac Anthony Lisuzzo, director, Intelligence and Information Warfare Directorate, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth, N.J.
Aca,!Ac Thomas Mathes Sr., executive director for product development, U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, Warren, Mich.
Aca,!Ac John Pellegrino, director, Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Adelphi, Md.
Aca,!Ac Craig Schmauder, deputy general counsel for installations, environment and civil works), Office of the General Counsel
Aca,!Ac Matthew Scully Jr., deputy chief of staff, G-8, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Va.
Aca,!Ac Scott Welker, deputy to the commander, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island, Ill.
Aca,!Ac Gary Winkler, program executive officer, Enterprise Information Systems, Office of the Secretary of the Army

Meritorious Senior Professional Rank

Aca,!Ac Jaques Reifman, senior research scientist for advanced medical technology, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Md.
Aca,!Ac James J. Valdes, scientific advisor for biotechnology, U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.