Robert L. WoodsBy Robert L. Woods
Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)/Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)

In honor of Public Service Recognition Week, May 7-13, I thank all of you who have answered the call as public servants and chosen to serve our Navy and Marine Corps team.

Celebrated annually since 1985, Public Service Recognition Week is a time when our nation recognizes individuals, throughout all levels of government, who have devoted their talents to the public sector. The Department of the Navy is made up of a diverse mix of individuals who serve in a variety of roles – active duty and reserve Sailors and Marines, civilians, and families – to ensure that we remain competitive and successful in operations.

The civilian workforce is absolutely vital to the Navy and Marine Corps team. As Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson stated in the recent Navy Civilian Workforce Framework, you “offer unique technical expertise, continuity of knowledge and experience, and diversity of thought and perspective.” Your contributions, dedication and service to our nation are invaluable to its defense.

You are as diverse as the jobs you perform, providing expertise and services that help enhance our warfighting capability, ensure resiliency and support families. While I could go on about the extraordinary service you display on a day-to-day basis, I believe that it is better to allow a few of you to explain in your own words why you have pledged yourselves to serve our Navy and Marine Corps team. Thank you to all of you. Your work does not go unnoticed, and I am proud to serve with each of you.

Emily Antos
Lead engineer, PMW 240 Sea Warrior Program’s Mobility Program

Emily Antos, an engineer assigned to Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, discusses Navy software applications with an interested visitor in the Navy Information Warfare Pavilion at the Sea, Air and Space exposition (SAS). (U.S. Navy photo by Rick Naystatt/Released)
Emily Antos, an engineer assigned to Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic, discusses Navy software applications with an interested visitor in the Navy Information Warfare Pavilion at the Sea, Air and Space exposition (SAS). (U.S. Navy photo by Rick Naystatt/Released)

 

“I enjoy this position because I get to work directly with Sailors to improve ease of access to their career needs. While most Sailors carry personal Apple or Android devices, it’s a great method for our team to serve up content and alleviate their dependence on desktop access to complete simple tasks, such as take a required training. The daily impact and overall response has been extremely positive and the team continues to develop apps based on the need of the warfighter.”

Aaron Burmeister
Engineer, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command

Aaron Burmeister, a SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific engineer, tests the functionality on a Prototype Autonomous Amphibious Vehicle Test Fixture. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Aaron Burmeister, a SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific engineer, tests the functionality on a Prototype Autonomous Amphibious Vehicle Test Fixture. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

“Serving as an [research and development] engineer for the U.S. Navy is exciting, challenging and fulfilling for me. I get to work with some really creative people, to invent new types of unmanned systems that will help our warfighters get the job done and get home safely. Accomplishing this, while being responsible with taxpayer’s hard earned dollars, is my goal.”

Flora “Mackie” Jordan
Body Armor and Load Bearing Equipment team engineer, Marine Corps Systems Command

Flora Jordan led the technical effort to develop the next generation of body armor for the U.S. Marine Corps at Marine Corps Systems Command. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Flora Jordan led the technical effort to develop the next generation of body armor for the U.S. Marine Corps at Marine Corps Systems Command. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

“For me, the focus of my work is about serving those who serve this country and making sure that whatever I do represents them and their needs. Anything that can be done to make their mission a little better, easier, safer is worth the struggle (hiking with body armor through the Panama jungle in August for example) and is the best kind of challenge. It is the best part of my job and I feel really fortunate to have been given the opportunity to do what I am doing.”

David Kotick
Principal
modeling and simulation engineer, Naval Air Warfare Training Center

David Kotick served as the technical lead for two Live Virtual Constructive training exercises and demonstrations, which furthers the Navy’s ability to provide training for warfighters. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
David Kotick served as the technical lead for two Live Virtual Constructive training exercises and demonstrations, which furthers the Navy’s ability to provide training for warfighters. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

“Ever since I began working in the training domain, I have seen the need for and have been driven to facilitate and develop technical solutions that allow our Sailors and warfighters to maximize their skills and improve fleet readiness.”

Dr. Christin Murphy
Research scientist, Naval Undersea Warfare Center

Christin Murphy, PhD, a research scientist at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island, who works on the development of bio-inspired underwater sensor systems based on research on the hydrodynamic detection abilities of pinnipeds. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Christin Murphy, PhD, a research scientist at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island, who works on the development of bio-inspired underwater sensor systems based on research on the hydrodynamic detection abilities of pinnipeds. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

“My work looks to animal systems for inspiration for new technology. Through this bio-inspired research approach, I aim to apply the advantages achieved over millions of years of evolution to a fast-paced innovation environment. My goal is to help make the best science and technology available to the fleet. Along with my colleagues in the bio-inspired research group at [Naval Undersea Warfare Center (HQ & Div Npt)], I aspire to utilize these successful principles found in nature to design, innovate and deliver undersea sensing technologies and information processing systems to the U.S. Navy.”

Dwayne Nelson
Engineer,
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
Winner of the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) Community Service Award

Dwayne Nelson, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division engineer, observes as a student solders an electrical component to a circuit board for a science, technology, engineering and math project. Nelson was awarded the 2017 Black Engineer of the Year Community Service Award for mentoring students. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
Dwayne Nelson, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division engineer, observes as a student solders an electrical component to a circuit board for a science, technology, engineering and math project. Nelson was awarded the 2017 Black Engineer of the Year Community Service Award for mentoring students. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)

 

“Giving back and empowering people to reach their full potential is vital to stimulating enthusiasm about STEM. Every step, no matter how large or small, helps strengthen the arduous efforts in sustaining monumental, long-term, positive change within our communities.”