DOD recognizes Army scientist

September 14, 2016

By Joyce M. Conant, ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • Army scientist Pauline M. Smith received the excellence award for her contributions to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics), Tactical Warfare Systems, Land Warfare and Munitions, while on a one-year detail from June 2015 to May 2016.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Sept. 14, 2016) -- The Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence is an award of the United States government presented by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for civilian service. The award is given to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the mission of the Department of Defense.

Army scientist Pauline M. Smith received the excellence award for her contributions to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics), Tactical Warfare Systems, Land Warfare and Munitions, while on a one-year detail from June 2015 to May 2016.

Jose Gonzalez, deputy director, Land Warfare and Munitions, within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics nominated Smith for the award for her assistance with program oversight of major defense acquisition programs.

"Ms. Smith is recognized as a leader in the department's mobile land-based anti-ship capability and counter unmanned aerial systems. Her unique knowledge and technical skills were extremely beneficial to the organization," Gonzalez said. "While in the office, she planned and led major studies that culminated in formal reports to Congress — and, she worked exceptionally well with high-ranking civilian and military personnel and in situations requiring a high degree of professionalism, diplomacy and sound judgment."

Gonzalez said her unique ability to serve as a bridge between key stakeholders in the OSD, the military departments and the joint staff was critical to resolving issues and developing solutions for the department.

Before the detail, Smith was deputy branch chief at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, Coatings, Corrosion and Engineered Polymers Branch at APG. She was also the technical liaison officer to U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, where she leveraged current and relevant external science and technology efforts with industrial partners and academia to support Soldier S&T requirements. Smith has covered several areas in the material science spectrum since joining ARL in 1998.

Smith said that working at the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense provided her the opportunity to broaden her "spectrum of knowledge" and "strategic vision" and has proved to be extremely beneficial.

"The experience has been incredible," she said. "The opportunity was a one-in-a-lifetime experience to learn about congress and the other services, including future research directions and creating paths to collaboration that create meaningful hand-offs to transition partners that directly benefit the warfighter."

Smith, who is from Jamaica West Indies and lived in Louisville, Kentucky, before moving to Maryland for work, said she is thankful for the opportunities and believes more ARL researchers should pursue developmental opportunities.

"I am deeply honored to be nominated for this prestigious award and to join past recipients who I have long admired and respected. It means that hard work really pays off and also encourages me to continue my professional pursuits. I am hopeful that such awards will attract more ARL researchers to pursue leadership development opportunities," she said.

Smith currently serves as the ARL liaison to Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) in Crystal City, Virginia.


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: September 14, 2016