Story by Matt Gonzales on 08/22/2019Arlington, Va.Marine Corps Systems Command recognized three individuals for their excellence and innovation in the acquisition, fielding and support of systems and equipment Aug. 15 during the second annual Marine Corps Ground Acquisition Award Dinner.
The honorees received the Andrew J. Higgins, Eugene M. Stoner or Donald Roebling Award for Acquisition Innovation and Excellence. Higgins, Stoner and Roebling were responsible for the design, development, production and sustainment of critical systems that have enhanced the Corps, including the M16 rifle, Higgins Boat and the Amphibious Tractor.
"Tonight is a special night," said Brig. Gen. A.J. Pasagian, MCSC commander. "We're recognizing three individuals who have exhibited exceptional work ethic and dedication in supporting our Marines."
Maj. Richard Beeson received the Andrew J. Higgins Award, presented to a Marine Corps officer. Beeson demonstrated superior leadership and technical acumen as the project officer of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Common Handheld Early Capability Release and the Raid Force Equipment Suite Programs.
His leadership and technical expertise contributed to the research, development and fielding of two urgent command and control capabilities that will directly increase the lethality of the MAGTF down to the squad level.
Beeson's efforts will also provide a host platform for other tactical applications that can support various operational and functional domain requirements, and enhance command and control for dismounted forces.
"Mr. Andrew Higgins was a fiery, innovative and forward-thinking leader who forever changed amphibious warfare strategy," said Beeson. "It's a testament to the great team I've had the privilege to lead and the outstanding leadership that has mentored me at MCSC that an award bearing the Higgins name would be bestowed upon me. I will do my utmost to live up to his acquisition prowess."
The next recognition, the Eugene M. Stoner Award, went to Master Gunnery Sgt. Armando Quintanilla. Quintanilla exemplified acquisition leadership as the project officer for the Vehicle Automated Diagnostic System and General Purpose Tools.
He directly improved the organic maintenance capabilities of various ground weapons systems managed by seven program offices across MCSC and Program Executive Officer Land Systems. Quintanilla's efforts helped ensure the Amphibious Combat Vehicle and Joint Light Tactical Vehicle were properly supported upon fielding.
"It is an absolute privilege and honor to represent the Eugene M. Stoner Award," said Quintanilla. "I am proud to serve and hope that this award will shine light on our Marine Corps Ground Maintainers who are in the fight every day."
Peggy Smith accepted the Donald Roebling Award, which distinguishes a civilian acquisition specialist. She exhibited acquisition innovation and excellence as the assistant program manager of Contracts for Infantry Combat Equipment.
When protests associated with the Plate Carrier Generation III occurred, Smith's research and collaboration with the Office of the Counsel saved the program several months of work, maintaining the initial delivery schedule. She also helped procure a lower-weight helmet for the Enhanced Combat Helmet, saving the Corps millions of dollars.
"It truly is humbling to receive this year's Donald Roebling Award for Acquisition Innovation and Excellence," said Smith. "While this may be an individual honor, I share this award with my Program Manager Infantry Combat Equipment teammates, all of whom play a vital role in the acquisition process. Their dedication to our missionand, ultimately, the young Marine in the fieldinspires me on a daily basis to do my best in supporting PM ICE and the Marine Corps."
On Aug. 20, these individualsand other award winnerswere also recognized at the Acquisition Excellence Awards aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico. While the Corps praised the work of several acquisition professionals, the entire MCSC workforce plays a crucial role in supporting the warfighter.
"Everyone here is either a Marine or a friend to the Marines," Lt. Gen. William Faulkner, president and chief executive officer of the Marine Corps Association and Foundation, and host of the dinner, said to the crowd. "Thank you all for what you do."