The Defense Department’s chief information officer, John Sherman, today recognized more than a dozen individuals and teams who contributed in exceptional ways to the advancement of the DOD’s information technology goals during 2023. 

Joining Sherman in recognizing top performers within the department’s information technology enterprise was Anne Neuberger, the deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technologies. Neuberger provided important context that explained why those being recognized are critical to the nation’s security.

“I cheer the work that these awardees do,” Neuberger said. “The president tracks national cybersecurity closely because he’s aware of the capabilities of our adversaries. This is a group who knows better than anyone the sophistication of Chinese capabilities … you know better than anyone that the data in our networks is ripe with intelligence value. So, the president tracks national cybersecurity, particularly the efforts of DOD, because of the need for the U.S. to project power around the world.” 

Right now, Neuberger said, there are a number of conflicts going on around the world where the United States plays a role. She said that might involve a carrier in the Middle East or support to Ukraine in its battle against Russia’s invasion.

“The role of DOD is a global role,” she said. “As a result, the president tracks the work you do each and every day defending DOD’s networks, defending and protecting the people who put their lives at risk and the sacrifices both our civilian and our military personnel — but particularly our military personnel and our families — face every time military folks are on deployment.” 

Neuberger said that in their day-to-day work, the DOD military and civilian personnel involved in optimizing and protecting DOD’s cyber enterprise should know that their work is both being watched and appreciated. 

“Every day when you sit in your cubby, know the president is tracking your work; know the nation’s security relies on your work; and know we are all deeply grateful for the work you do each and every day,” she said.

As part of the 2023 DOD Chief Information Officer Annual Awards for Information Technology and Cyber Excellence, both teams and individuals were either named recipients of awards or for honorable mentions. Those honored include:

Individual Awards 

  • Patrick Light, Missile Defense Agency 
  • Navy Cmdr. Christopher Gregory, U. S. Navy 
  • Navy Lt. j.g. Scott Tollefson, Joint Staff 

Individual Honorable Mentions 

  • Navy Capt. Donna Poulin, Defense Health Agency 
  • James Evans, Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation 
  • Erica Thomas, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller) 
  • Marine Corps Capt. Alexander Parades, U. S. Marine Corps

Team Awards 

  • Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center, Information Technology and Cybersecurity Department Team, Department of the Navy 
  • 22nd Communications Squadron, Cyberspace Operations Flight, United States Air Force

Team Honorable Mentions 

  • Advanced Enterprise Capabilities Division Team, United States Air Force 
  • Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability Program Team, Defense Information Systems Agency 
  • Department of Defense Information Networks Inspection Analysis Tool Team, U. S. Cyber Command 
  • Joint Service Catalog Team, Defense Finance and Accounting Services 
  • 17th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Cybersecurity Team, U. S. Space Force 
  • MyPay Fraud Prevention Team, Defense Finance and Accounting Services 
  • Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations Group, Defense Cyberspace Operations Division Team, U. S. Marine Corps 

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