COY Award Presentation.jpg

The Fort Drum garrison command team congratulates the 2022 Civilian of the Year recipients following an awards ceremony Feb. 9 at the Training Support Center. The winners, from left, are Terri Spencer, Amanda DeLisi and Alex Avery. A fourth recipient, Scott Strife, was unable to attend the ceremony. (Photo by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)

Fort Drum civilian employees recognized
for exceptional performance, selfless dedication

Mike Strasser

Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Feb. 9, 2023) -- Members of the Fort Drum garrison workforce who went above and beyond in support of Soldiers, families and civilians were recognized Feb. 9 during the Civilian of the Quarter / Civilian of the Year awards ceremony at the Training Support Center.

Col. James Zacchino Jr., Fort Drum garrison commander, said that the ceremony is not only a celebration of exceptional service by civilian employees but also a chance to thank them for their selfless dedication to the Fort Drum mission.

“Today’s ceremony is a special event for our Fort Drum community, but most significantly for our civilian workforce,” he said. “The 30 Department of the Army civilians that we recognize as Civilians of the Quarter and the four exceptional Civilians of the Year have impressively contributed to the success of their team, their command and Fort Drum.”

Zacchino said that the efforts and achievements of the awardees affects the lives of everyone who lives, works and recreates at Fort Drum.

“Your contributions are inspiring, and they make an impactful difference in quality of life and the readiness of our installation, our Soldiers and our families to meet our nation’s call,” he said.

In the past year, more than 100 civilian employees were recognized during the quarterly award ceremonies. From the pool of nominees, one employee from each of four categories is selected as Civilian of the Year.

Nominees are evaluated by a panel of directors and installation leadership, and scored on specific performance criteria, to include complexity of tasks performed, customer service, support to mission and innovation in the performance of their duties.

In addition to an award plaque and photo with the command team, Civilian of the Year recipients receive a monetary award, a special parking permit and reserved parking at their place of business and at other facilities, as well as invitations to special events.

The Fort Drum garrison command team recognized the 2022 Civilian of the Year awardees for each of the following categories:

General Schedule 1-8

Amanda DeLisi, a civilian pay technician with the Directorate of Resource Management, was named Civilian of the Year in the GS 1-8 category. DeLisi is responsible for responding to payroll inquiries from garrison employees, using the utmost discretion and attention to detail while simultaneously ensuring every customer’s questions are thoroughly researched with a positive resolution. She receives, reviews, uploads, and tracks all the specialty leave categories to include advanced, paid parental, restored, and donated leave.

In the past year, DeLisi reviewed 662 in-processing forms the past year for all new hires and transfers while entering all employee data into the Defense Payroll Civilian System (DCPS) prior to payroll processing. Her actions resulted in all employees' records being updated accurately and on time.

Additionally, DeLisi implemented the biweekly Conversion of Hours report, which has reduced the number of invalid transactions on an employee’s time card as well as minimizing hours being converted to other paid leave or non-pay. This type of initiative helped in catching leave/pay issues before payroll ran and further reduced undue hardship to employees not only in the garrison, but for division and tenant civilian employees as well.

General Schedule 9-12

Scott Strife was named Civilian of the Year in the GS 9-12 category. As the Northeast Region Network Enterprise Center's (NER-NEC) technical and policy specialist on the Assured Compliance Assessment System, Strife is primarily responsible for monitoring Information Assurance Vulnerability Management (IAVM) compliance on the DoD Information Networks – Army (DoDIN-A).

His expertise has been demonstrated and recognized numerous times over the past year, most recently during the Fort Drum 2022 Defense Information Systems Agency’s Command Cyber Readiness Inspection (CCRI).

Strife’s detailed and in-depth technical knowledge, experience, and day-to-day engagement with Fort Drum unclassified and classified Assured Compliance Assessment Solution (ACAS) environment and unclassified Program Managed (PM) systems ensured that all systems within scope of this complex, multi-faceted and highly detailed cybersecurity inspection were evaluated and configured for compliance prior to the inspection. This resulted in “Fully Compliant” ratings for both the unclassified and classified environments.

Strife also was instrumental in creating an automated spreadsheet to aid in identifying and reporting the status of “Top Ten” systems and vulnerabilities. He designed a new weekly report, replacing several individual PDF files into one spreadsheet, where the analyst can add essential information concerning the specific vulnerability. This spreadsheet combines ACAS scan data for the top 10 most vulnerable systems and vulnerabilities in the Northeast Region (NER). This high-level information is used by senior leadership to make strategic decisions directing vital cyber specialists to secure the network.

He is described as having superb technical skills, which are bolstered by a dedication and drive for technical excellence and selflessness.


Terri Spencer, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation support services division chief, was named Civilian of the Year in the Supervisor category. Spencer served as the catalyst for Fort Drum’s Department of Defense STARBASE Academy, which opened within 15 months of the DoD initial visit and site assessment. Fort Drum STARBASE is the first and only academy in New York state, and the second to launch at an Army installation.

Spencer committed many hours in addition to her normal duties to coordinate and collaborate assistance from garrison directorates to open the STARBASE Academy in record time commensurate with the beginning of the 2022-23 school year. To date, 10 North Country school districts have committed to participating in the STARBASE Academy, and more than 68 classes have been scheduled. Assuming an average of 25 students per class, the STARBASE Academy will enrich nearly 1,700 5th grade students by the end of the school year.

Wage Grade

Alex Avery, an engineering equipment operator with the Directorate of Public Works, was named Civilian of the Year in the Wage Grade category. Avery was instrumental in the successful completion of the Range 23 Moving Armored Target Project as part of Public Works’ in-house workforce. The project consisted of a complete replacement of two 1,100 foot berms, each constructed of 113 concrete panels weighing 22,000 pounds each.

Avery’s efforts provided a huge impact to the successful training environment for the 10th Mountain Division (LI) by ensuring this critical training infrastructure was put back into operation in record time, with an estimated savings of $2.2 million in potential contractual costs. 

Avery worked as part of the ground crew for an 80-ton crane setting the 226 concrete panels and installing nearly a half mile of railroad track to within a fraction of an inch to engineered drawings. As an equipment operator on this project, he was required to work on steep slopes and near vertical edges to complete earth work for this project while remaining conscious of safety for himself and fellow workers. As part of the DPW Roads and Grounds Section, Avery has proved to be dependable and performs to the highest standards, whether the task is snow removal or road repairs. His attention to detail and overall drive for success has proven to be instrumental in the overall DPW mission.

The following employees received recognition for their contributions during the first quarter of 2022:

General Schedule 1-8

Brandi Barker, U.S. Army Dental Activity; Jenny Brown, Directorate of Public Works; Daniel Dusablon, Directorate of Public Works; Sarah Edgell, Directorate of Human Resources; Marshall Eves, Office of the Staff Judge Advocate; Carol Parks, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity; Jennifer Richardson, Directorate of Human Resources; Rickhi Seemungal, Directorate of Emergency Services; and Laura Spicer, 1st Brigade Combat Team.

 Laura Spicer was awarded Civilian of the Quarter in the GS 1-8 category.

General Schedule 9-12

Nathan Alicie, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; Robert Bebelheimer, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity; Michael Green, Army Field Support Battalion; Jeffery Hannon, 10th Mountain Division Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP); Diane Hupko, Directorate of Human Resources; Gilbert Mansil, 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade; Barbara Pillans, Directorate of Resource Management; and Kate Reinsburrow, Directorate of Human Resources.

Barbara Pillans was awarded Civilian of the Quarter in the GS 9-12 category.


Chanel Huntsman, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity; and Kenneth Teske, Directorate of Emergency Services.

Chanel Huntsman was named Civilian of the Quarter in the Supervisory category.

Wage Grade

Rodger Fuller, Army Field Support Battalion; Timothy Garnsey, Directorate of Public Works; Joseph Graves, Directorate of Public Works; Edgar Hallsworth, Directorate of Public Works; Reginald Kinsey, U.S. Army Medical Department Activity; Roland Nauta, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; Corey Parsons, Directorate of Public Works; Donald Patton, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; Justin Wagoner, Directorate of Public Works; and Chad Williams, Directorate of Public Works.

Corey Parsons was awarded Civilian of the Quarter in the Wage Grade category.

“It’s no secret,” Zacchino said. “Our Army civilians at Fort Drum are what makes Fort Drum a phenomenal place to work, an extraordinary place to call home, an outstanding place to train and, overall, an exceptional place to enjoy life.”