NEWS | March 6, 2008

Best of the Best


Field Grade Officer of the Year
LCDR Lawrence Shaffield
(not pictured) -- As a Detachment OIC, Lieutenant Commander Shaffield led 36 joint personnel in research, analysis and production efforts which provided critical protection to USSTRATCOM information operations missions. He streamlined production efforts, dramatically improving efficiency of support to command partners providing strategic-level updates to the Command.


Reserve Field Grade Officer of the Year
MAJ Catherine Kassube
-- As the Chief, ITCC Contract Control Branch in J6, Major Kassube led a $3.5 million command replacement of 3,400 PCs. She provided oversight of the Information Technology Capabilities Contract, ensuring programming of $30 million of ITCC O&M funding resulted in no lapse in IT support; and identified and resolved $3.3 million worth of incorrectly paid invoices, uncovered over $113,000 in cost savings, and brilliantly managed costs for the FY07 budget under-run of $349,000, to ensure future capabilities mesh with available funding.



Company Grade Officer of the Year
Capt Raj Agrawal
(not pictured)-- As a Space Operations Duty Officer at the Joint Space Operations Center, Captain Agrawal led his team to Crew of the Quarter, designed the JFCC-Space weekly status of forces tool, pushed for and created a satellite C2 course, crunching an 18 month timeline to seven months. He expertly managed six ground radars, keeping CONUS incoming missile warning times at the highest possible level; he mitigated a critical hole in the US Nuclear Detection System capability which ensured comprehensive test-ban treaty monitoring, and he developed options to resolve a gap in Space Surveillance Network coverage.


Reserve Company Grade Officer of the Year
1st Lt. Kevin Johnson
-- As the Partnership Group Action Officer and Intern Manager for the GISC, Lieutenant Johnson managed and mentored two simultaneous multi-disciplinary graduate and undergraduate student teams that provided actionable recommendations on Tunnel Detection and Space Debris Elimination for the Commander in 120 days. As the GISC liaison to the Global Net Assessment team, he established a foundational command process; and he expertly managed a $350,000 IT suite and routinely brokers tech solutions for a 28 member division.




Senior Tier Enlisted of the Year
Senior Master Sergeant Andrew McCawley
(not pictured) -- As the Global Assessment Center Superintendent, Senior Master Sergeant McCawley served as the key J2 enlisted force manager for the Senior Intelligence Officer's $11 million General Defense Intelligence Program, managing 173 enlisted billets across the Command's Intelligence Enterprise. His skillful work with AFPC resulted in diverting 34 tech school graduates from J2 to DIA, raising DIA manpower by 20%. He led a 78 member team that formed the mainstay of the Global Assessment Center's 24/7 intel operations, ensuring global scale, sustained intelligence situation awareness for the Commander USSTRATCOM.


Reserve Senior Tier Enlisted of the Year
Master Sergeant George Purdy, Jr.
-- As the Voice Network Systems Craftsman for the 119th Command and Control Squadron, Master Sergeant Purdy displayed incredible technical expertise and leadership ability by supervising a 17 member team that installed over $2 million worth of communications equipment, including the on-time delivery of 11 highly-classified communications systems in an incredible seven month time frame, allowing USSTRATCOM and Tennessee state Air Operations Center essential missions to be conducted. He managed the installation of tens of thousands of feet of cable and a complex intrusion and fire detection system, ensuring a savings of well over $400,000 in contracting costs.



Mid-Tier Enlisted of the Year
Staff Sergeant Joseph Grupp
--As a Manpower and Personnel Systems NCO in J1, Staff Sergeant Grupp led the entire Information Technology effort for the recent J1 reorganization; he developed a knowledge management tool for tracking SES and General and Flag Officer training at the request of the Commander, and pioneered the first-ever USSTRATCOM joint accountability database, ensuring the Command's ability to maintain 100% accountability of all personnel, and was the Command's IT lead for the first NSPS compensation payout, ensuring over 1200 civilians in 12 pay pools were properly rewarded with zero errors.



Reserve Mid-Tier Enlisted of the Year
Petty Officer 2nd Class Caprice Houdek
-- As a Force Tracker Noncommissioned Officer in GSI, Petty Officer Houdek ensured the accurate status of our Intercontinental Ballistic Missile fleet through over 156,000 changes in status, our Submarine-launched Ballistic Missile fleet through over 3,000 changes all over the world, ensuring decision makers had the most up-to-date status at all times. She expertly processed and transmitted over 365 Nuclear Execution and Reporting Plan messages at a record-breaking 99% efficiency rate, and maintained current information on over 100 patrol orders monthly, ensuring Strike Advisors had the most current information.




Junior Enlisted of the Year
Senior Airman Vanessa Echevarria
-- The Air Force Element Commander's Support Staff Technician in J1, Senior Airman Echevarria took control of four different programs previously held by E-6s and E-7s. As the Trusted Agent for the Command's Demand Drug Reduction program, she ensured 100% compliance for over 1,800 personnel; her quality reviews of over 280 records ensured 68 errors were fixed for the Command's reenlistment program. She catapulted the fitness program to new levels through a 100% program audit, reduction of overdue testing by 27%, and a rewrite of the STRATCOM Instruction, all within two months, and she managed joint Awards and Decorations for over 4,000 members in 27 units.




Soldier of the Year
Staff Sergeant Gary Grabruck
-- As the NCOIC of the Integration and Knowledge Management Section of JFCC-GSI J3, Staff Sergeant Grabruck received the highest possible rating during his initial certification as a warning systems controller; he conducted 70 internal and 12 National-level exercises and 27 real-world missile events flawlessly. He formatted and synchronized USSTRATCOM Commander's data requests from the Global Operations Center to the Commander's Situation Room accurately and efficiently, and orchestrated over 150 secure VTCs for USSTRATCOM with other Combatant Commands, DoD agencies and Component Commands.



Sailor of the Year
Petty Officer First Class William Loggins
(not pictured)-- Petty Officer First Class Loggins is an outstanding sailor and the leading Petty Officer for GSI/J5. He is the focal point for all support, maintenance, and equipment refresh for four mission essential local area networks utilized in the production of the national nuclear war plan. Because of Petty Officer Loggins' outstanding military bearing and appearance, he is routinely called upon to represent the United States Navy as a member of USSTRATCOM's Joint Service Honor Guard.


Elite Guardsman of the Year
Senior Airman Daniel Anderson
-- As a Security Forces Fire Team Member, Senior Airman Anderson certified as a Security Controller well ahead of his peers; he dispatched forces to over 1,000 alarm activations, handled over 150 random antiterrorism measures, and apprehended two unauthorized individuals inside a restricted area ensuring airtight security for USSTRATCOM headquarters. As flight trainer for the security control center and response force, he led his flight to an impressive 100% pass rate.