REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. –
After a year like no other, many are looking for something to celebrate and the coordinators of the Ernest A. Young Awards are ready to do just that as they prepare for the 2021 logistics award.
Established in 1991 by what was then known as the U.S. Army Missile Command’s Missile Logistics Center, the annual event recognizes excellence in the field of logistics. The award is named for Ernest A. Young, a former director of the logistics center and deputy to the commanding general.
The award honors individuals who make significant contributions to the logistics community, according to U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Logistics Center Human Resources Division Chief Lisa Thomas.
“In the beginning, we only gave out one award,” Thomas said. “Then in 2001, [the leadership] decided to widen the award so they established two categories — professional/technical and management/executive. We give out two now and it allows more people to have an opportunity to receive this prestigious award.”
Individuals nominated for the management/executive category must hold a management position during the period of duties covered by the nomination. Additionally, AMCOM Logistics Center Programs Branch Chief Allison Riddle said winners traditionally have advanced or supported the logistics mission significantly, have accomplished exceptional achievements and provide outstanding leadership over their programs.
“Their reputation in the logistics community should also be significant,” Riddle said. “The judging panel looks for someone whose history reflects a pattern of excellence.”
Criteria for the professional/technical level award is focused on the performance of duties and how the individual developed or improved a method or procedure that affected the logistics mission. Nominees in this category must hold non-managerial positions during the period of duties covered by the nomination.
“They should be an inspiration to others because of the type of technical work they do,” Riddle said. “The panel looks for logisticians who shine above the rest and have made an impact.”
She said the call for 2021 nominations will take place during the late summer, but encourages logisticians to start thinking of employees to nominate now.
“It is an award focused on how a person has impacted the overall mission, or achieved something that was above and beyond in their performance,” she said. “They really pushed the mission in a direction that had tangible results or maybe even a legacy of results.”
The winners are projected to be announced at a ceremony held in the fall, which Young attends each year.
As a 2009 recipient of the award, Bill Andrews remembers being a junior Army civilian logistician and looking up to Young early in his career.
“I came in as a supply intern in 1984 and I got to work for him for several years,” Andrews said. “He was a real mentor to many of us. Mr. Young would bring us together and have mentoring sessions. He would encourage us to take Army training, leadership training, further our education and take challenging assignments. We looked up to him as one of our first mentors at a very senior level.”
Andrews said he usually attends the ceremony and enjoys catching up with Young before and after the event. He said Young is always interested in the background of the new logisticians.
“He’s always very curious about the new people at the table — where they come from, what their background is, how they got there and why they’re interested in supporting the Army,” Andrews said.
Andrews retired in 2016 after serving 32 years as an Army civilian and said winning the Ernest A. Young Award was one of his proudest achievements.
“I have won numerous awards throughout my career and this one is more meaningful to me than any of the others, because it recognizes the contributions of a career logistician in honor of Mr. Young and the example that he set,” he said. “It was really humbling to receive that.”
The 2020 Ernest A. Young Award ceremony was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ALC Executive Director Brian Wood announced the winners in a note to the workforce March 26.
Marsha Bailey was selected as the recipient of the management/executive category and Thomas Fitzgerald was selected as the recipient of the professional/technical category. Both Bailey and Fitzgerald work in the AMCOM Logistics Center Aviation Directorate.
Riddle said the 2021 data call for nominations will go out in July.