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LEAP award winners lauded at Pentagon ceremony

By C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Oct. 16, 2010) -- Practitioners of Lean and Six Sigma saved the Army $1 billion last year.

During a ceremony at the Pentagon to recognize winners in the 2010 Army Lean/Six Sigma Excellence Awards Program, or LEAP, Under Secretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal explained just how valuable practitioners of the manufacturing and business process improvement programs are to the Army.

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He said last year, those individuals, and thousands of others across the Army, produced for the Army $1 billion in cost savings and $3.3 billion in cost avoidances during fiscal year 2010.

The secretary said that in times budget cuts, military spending is under scrutiny.

"We're in the sights of the Army, in the sights of the Congress ... of the Office of Management and Budget -- in the sights of all these entities of ensuring we do a better job of managing ourselves and of being better stewards of the nation's resources," Westphal said. "All are calling for us to manage ourselves better, to be more innovative."

He said that the Army's Lean and Six Sigma practitioners are part of helping the Army be better stewards of the taxpayer dollars.

"Lean/Six Sigma professionals like yourselves are providing innovation, the business savvy, the continuous drive to improve the way the Army operates," Westphal told the award winners. "You're helping to transform our business practices, to free up resources so we can better equip and support the Soldier."

The secretary said he hopes to make the Army's business operations "as efficient as the warfighting side is effective"

"I challenge you to take on the culture of continuous process improvement and to continue to be an active participant in leading transformational change across our Army," Westphal said.

The winners of the 2010 LEAP Awards include:

-- Enterprise Level Project Sponsor Award: Assistant Secretary of the Army Financial Management and Comptroller

-- HQDA Level Organizational Deployment Award: Assistant Secretary of the Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology

-- AR 10-87 Level Organizational Deployment Award: Army Materiel Command

-- Subordinate Level Organizational Deployment Award: 21st Theater Sustainment Command

-- Enterprise Level Award (Master Black Belt): Program Executive Office, Combat Support and Combat Support Services

-- Enterprise Level Award (Master Black Belt): Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs

-- Non-Enterprise Level Award - (Black Belt): Army Communications-Electronics Life Cycle Management Command

-- Non-Enterprise Level Award - (Black Belt): 21st Theater Sustainment Command

-- Non-Enterprise Level Award- (Green Belt): Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command

-- Non-Enterprise Level Award- (Green Belt): Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems

-- Non-Gated Project Team Award: Tobyhanna Army Depot

-- Non-Gated Project Team Award: 21st Theater Sustainment Command

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