By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (May 31, 2012) -- Two Army civilians and one Army officer were honored at the Pentagon, May 31, for their efforts to strengthen and streamline the Army's civilian workforce.
"The Army works well when the civilians and military are working together as a team," said Undersecretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal.
The awards, Westphal said, are but one way to illustrate the value added the civilian workforce brings to the nation. "We must ensure that we continue to make that case that we are trying to be on the edge of innovation and creativity," he said.
Nancy A. Lane, director for the North Central Region of the Civilian Human Resources Agency, office of the deputy chief of staff, Army G-1, earned the William H. Kushnick award. The award recognizes achievement by Army employees engaged in the administration of civilian personnel programs.
Lane was recognized, in part, for developing recruitment strategies and tracking tools for the Integrated Disability Evaluation System and the Army Substance Abuse Program counselor efforts.
"I am extremely humbled and honored, and it came as a complete surprise to me," said Lane of the award. She said she has worked with and respects many who have earned the award in the past.
Col. Christopher B. Carlile, commander, Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas, was the recipient of the John W. Macy Jr. award. The award recognizes those who demonstrate effective leadership of civilian employees, which has additionally resulted in material improvements in areas that include mission support, military-civilian teamwork or customer service.
Carlile earned recognition for work at the depot that, among other things, led to a streamlined, horizontally integrated organization that yielded $400 million more in revenue with more than 600 fewer employees than what was originally authorized.
The Nick Hoge award was given to Ursula L. Burkhalter, human resources specialist, United States Army South, office of the deputy chief of staff, Army G-1.
"I was a little bit nervous; very excited, very honored," said Burkhalter of the award. "It's a wonderful award. When I wrote the paper I had no idea I'd make it this far."
Burkhalter's essay, "Workforce Development: Innovation Measures for Mission Readiness During Transformation," earned her the award. She said drawdowns in the civilian workforce prompted her paper about innovative measures in workforce development.
"We talk about functional and technical training for employees, and we talk about leadership training, and we do all the right type of competency training," Burkhalter said. "But we don't always focus on the individual, and their personal needs and their personal aspects, and how we inspire people to become engaged and motivated."
While working on a project for workforce development, her former mentor at the Army Installation Management Command asked her to take a portion of her project and turn it into a paper for the Nick Hogue award.
Army civilians represent 60 percent of the generating force and fill "critical leader and manager positions that ensure global delivery of mission-critical enabling capabilities to the operating force," said Anthony J. Stamilio, the deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
"Civilian experts design, develop, operate and manage the processes that articulate our requirements and generate and manage those resources and deliver human capital and material to meet the Army mission needs," Stamilio said.
The Army's operation depends on the civilian corps, and the award recipients, Stamilio said, are "role models for exceeding performance expectations, for their sustained accomplishments and caring leadership, and for thinking through and presenting solutions to some of our toughest problems relevant to the civilian personnel management and administration systems."