Team is theme at ANMC awards ceremony

Anniston Army Depot, Ala.--The leadership of Anniston Munitions Center, a tenant activity here, acknowledged the efforts of more than 200 people at its quarterly recognition ceremony Wednesday.

Lt. Col. Garry McClendon, ANMC commander, hosted the ceremony at the depot's Physical Fitness Center the same day his organization hosted a visit by Brig. Gen. William Phillips, commanding general of the Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command and the Program Executive Officer Ammunition.

Phillips presented ANMC with the Superior Unit Award, something he said very few organizations ever receive. "This is a really big deal," he said. "General (Benjamin) Griffin (commanding general of Army Materiel Command) wanted to make sure you were recognized."

McClendon said he likes to recognize the employees because they work hard to accomplish the mission in the safest way possible. "And it doesn't hurt to do this in front of all these other folks so that they see what a great organization this is to work for," he added.

Unlike previous ANMC recognition ceremonies, McClendon acknowledged more than just his employees this time. Players in the Spartan missile motor burn operations, which occurred here June through November 2007, were also recognized for their role in the unique mission.

The last of the 22 Spartan rocket motors, which had been in depot storage for almost 32 years, was successfully destroyed on Nov. 10, 2007. Because these rocket motors had exceeded their shelf life and were no longer usable, there was a hazard for further deterioration.

The team was presented with a piece of metal from a burned Spartan, which was mounted to a plaque that will hang in the ANMC headquarters building.

"We need to make sure all of our missions are as safe as the one we just completed," said McClendon.

Phillips, who was on the installation to receive an ANMC operations update and tour the facilities, said safety is a matter important to everyone. "We are all safety officers," he said. "If you see a co-worker doing something unsafe, correct it."

The brigadier general told of the dangers that ammunition handlers face. He told of one Soldier who loaded ammunition into a Bradley tank and was killed because he was not following proper safety procedures. And he had more stories like that one where people were injured or died because they weren't careful.

"What you do is dangerous," said Phillips. "Don't get complacent."

McClendon recognized others on his ANMC team for accomplishments in other areas such as retirement, Lean Six Sigma, Employee of the Month, leadership, and the Commander's Award for Excellence.

"No other depot does it any better than you do," Phillips told the crowd. "It's important we go through a recognition ceremony like this because of all your hard work on the ground to get the job done."

Tolbert awarded by AMC

The chief of ANMC's maintenance division, Clifton Tolbert, was presented the Louis Dellamonica Award for Outstanding U.S. Army Materiel Command Personnel of the Year Award for 2006.

This award was one of only ten presented throughout the Army.

"He gives more than he gets back," said Phillips of the honoree.

The certificate of achievement, signed by Griffin, said Tolbert "serves as an inspiration to others and his accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself, the U.S. Army Materiel Command, and the Department of the Army."

"I take ammo very seriously," said Tolbert. "The Soldiers' lives depend on it."

Tolbert, who retired from the Army as a first sergeant, began working at ANMC in 1978 as a temporary preservation packager. His wife, Janice, and son, Duane, were at Wednesday's ceremony to participate in the occasion.

He thanked his ANMC team for the high-level achievement. "This is our award, not just my award," he said.