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CIO Recognizes Top Tech, Cyber Performers Across Defense Department

By C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Dec. 09, 2022) -- The Defense Department's chief information officer and the commander of U.S. Cyber Command teamed up today to recognize more than two dozen individuals and teams who contributed to the advancement of department-wide information technology goals.

Among the areas those individuals and teams excelled in are cybersecurity; information enterprise; cloud computing; electromagnetic spectrum superiority; command, control and communications; electronic records management; and Section 508 compliance efforts.

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John Sherman, the DOD's CIO, said the work department personnel do within the information technology realm, including the work done by those recognized, is ultimately to support the warfighter. 

"When we talk about computing and data and information, this is really about decision advantage -- so our warfighters can stay one step ahead of those who would seek to challenge us on a battlefield, currently now in places like Syria, or potentially in the future in places like the Western Pacific or Eastern Europe," Sherman said. "That's why we come to work and do what we do every single day, and work through these very hard technical problems." 

Those being recognized, Sherman said, have helped the department solve some of these hard technical problems, and have been recognized for approaching problems differently.

"[They] are making sure, as the United States military, we're staying ahead of those potential challengers," Sherman said. 

Army Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, who serves as both the commander of U.S. Cyber Command and as director of the National Security Agency, said those recognized contribute to his own organization's ability to do their work. 

"The awardees today represent the department's top talent as we're driving towards a data-centric organization that is continually leading innovation, Nakasone said. "As the DOD data strategy recognizes, data really is a strategic asset, like a weapon system that can create and maintain battlefield advantage -- information that is accurate, timely and certainly actionable. Your work to support the warfighter and senior policymakers and intelligence leaders allows my command, U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, to use data and information to rapidly drive operational effects at speed, and scale." 

Nakasone said as the Defense Department, and agencies such as the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command work to meet the challenges posed by strategic competitors such as China, their work is focused on supporting the core principles embodied in the National Defense Strategy: integrated deterrence, campaigning and building an enduring advantage.

"The command and NSA can only meet these long-term objectives with your continued innovation," Nakasone said. "Thank you for what you've done. Thank you for what you will do. And thank you for the future that you're going to bring to our department." 

As part of the 2022 DOD Chief Information Officer Annual Awards for Cyber and IT Excellence, both teams and individuals were either named recipients of awards, or for honorable mentions. Those honored include: 

Individual Awards

-- Army Maj. Robert Killian, Army National Guard 

-- David Tucker Sr., United States Army 

-- Air Force Staff Sgt. Sandra Blakeslee, National Security Agency 

Individual Awards Honorable Mentions

-- Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brian Henson, United States Air Force 

-- Kenneth Fort, Missile Defense Agency 

-- Air Force Master Sgt. Sebastian Zelazny, Air National Guard 

-- Christopher Denfeld, Defense Information Systems Agency 

-- Michael St.John, United States Army 

Team Winners

-- Army Food Management Information System Modernization Team, Defense Finance and Accounting Service 

-- Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office Software Team 

-- Deputy Chief of Staff G-6 Cyber Directorate Army, Project Sentinel RMF 2.0, United States Army 

-- Deputy Chief of Staff G-6 NC4SI Army 365 Fusion Cell Team, United States Army 

-- Defense Industrial Base Vulnerability Disclosure Pilot Team, United States Air Force and Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency 

-- Department of the Air Force Customer Relationship Management MyFSS Team

Team Honorable Mentions

-- 10th Medical Group Information Systems Team, United States Air Force 

-- Defense Finance and Accounting Service - Microsoft Azure Migration Team 

-- Defense Finance and Accounting Service - Joining Artificial Intel Team 

-- Ukraine Supplemental Funds Reporting Team, Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) 

-- Satellite Terminal (transportable), Non-Geostationary (STtNG) Team, United States Navy 

-- 508 Information Technology Accessibility Management Team, Defense Intelligence Agency 

-- Torch Team, Defense Intelligence Agency 

-- TARDyS3 Software Development Team, Defense Information Systems Agency 

-- J6 Joint All Domain Command and Control Team, Joint Staff 

-- Cyberspace Mission Support Team, Missile Defense Agency 

-- Special Operations Forces Cross Support Element Team, Special Operations Command

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