ATC technical director earns Hollis Award

Aberdeen Test Center technical director, John R. Wallace, holds the Walter W. Hollis Award he received from the National Defense Industrial Association at the 32nd Annual National Test and Evaluation Conference in San Diego, California, March 7, 2017. | U.S. Army photo

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, or ATEC, employee received the Walter W. Hollis Award from the National Defense Industrial Association, or NDIA, during the 32nd Annual National Test and Evaluation Conference in San Diego, California, March 7.

John R. Wallace, from ATEC’s Aberdeen Test Center, or ATC, received the award given to individuals who have made outstanding lifetime achievements and contributions in the field of defense test and evaluation, or T&E.

Wallace, who has held ATC’s most senior civilian position as technical director since 2004, received the prestigious award for his leadership, technical expertise, and 49 years of federal service dedicated to ATC’s T&E mission.

Wallace was recognized for his many significant contributions, which include leading the development of a unique data acquisition system called the ‘Black Box’; developing a partnership with the Test Resource Management Center to develop cutting edge data analysis and serving as a key leader in the development of body armor methodologies.

President and CEO of NDIA, Craig R. McKinley, commended Wallace during the award ceremony for the impact his efforts will have on ATC, the Army and DOD for years to come.

“Mr. Wallace truly embodies the meaning of the Walter W. Hollis Award,” McKinley said. “His exceptionally outstanding service and myriad of contributions, coupled with a tireless devotion to duty, a strong love for this country, the Soldiers who protect it and the civilians who work to protect Soldiers’ lives, have made ATC the Army’s most diverse and highly skilled test center and we are proud to honor his many accomplishments.”

As technical director, Wallace leads a diverse workforce of 1,552 military, civilian and contract employees and manages 66,000 environmentally sensitive acres of land, which includes 160 firing ranges, an operational airfield, rail complex, environmental chambers, ammunition plants and other unique simulators and facilities valued at over $2 billion. He also manages an annual budget of approximately $300 million.

ATC’s chief of staff, Heather L. Hilton, who has worked with Wallace since 2008, said she considered any interaction with him as an opportunity to develop not only as an employee and a leader, but as a strategic thinker.

“Mr. Wallace continuously challenges us to not approach our mission with a limited aperture but to have it wide-open and consider not just the technical components, but the people, the budget, and the long-range impacts as well,” Hilton said. “His passion and commitment to the test and evaluation mission and the Army is unwavering and sets the standard for all Army professionals.”

The ATEC executive technical director and Senior Executive Service member, Robert M. Miele, who was in San Diego to represent the Army and ATEC at the T&E conference, was also on hand to see NDIA present Wallace with the Hollis Award.

“I was honored to be present while Mr. Wallace was recognized for his lifetime achievements with such a notable award,” Miele said. “John is truly deserving of this award and I am so very proud to have him on our ATEC team.”

Miele, who has worked with Wallace for the past 10 years, expressed how grateful he was for the counseling and mentoring he has received from Wallace over the years and praised him for always being a model for others to emulate and a champion for his people at ATC.

ATC’s commander, Col. Morris L. Bodrick, said Wallace’s recognition symbolizes his unwavering commitment to innovation and readiness.

“His work over the past 50 years can be seen across this test center in its emerging and sustaining test capabilities and its people,” Bodrick said. “His willingness to share his knowledge through his development of engineering professionals is remarkable.”

“He is truly the consummate professional and well deserving of the Walter W. Hollis Award.”

The Walter W. Hollis Award, a crystal globe of the earth that sits on an engraved pedestal, is presented annually by NDIA’s Test and Evaluation Division in recognition of dedicated and long-standing service in T&E. Walter W. Hollis, also known as the “Grandfather of Test and Evaluation” was the former deputy undersecretary of the Army for Operations Research whose distinguished career in T&E spanned more than five decades.

The U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command is the only organization in DOD where all three elements of T&E—operational, developmental and evaluation—have been unified into one command to harness integrated testing.

By Sandy Gibson, Army Test and Evaluation Command