INDIAN HEAD, Md. – Recently retired Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division (NSWC IHD) employee Ralph Lee Gootee Jr. was presented with the Department of the Navy (DON) Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the third highest Navy civilian award, during an award presentation in Port Tobacco, Maryland, Nov. 10.
The Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award is presented to civilian employees in the DON for their meritorious service or contributions resulting in high value or benefits for the Navy or the Marine Corps.
Gootee, who served the command for 15 years, received the award for his leadership as NSWC IHD’s acting scientific and technical intelligence officer, senior intelligence officer, and senior intelligence oversight officer from January 2019 to July 2022.
Gootee was instrumental in developing intelligence oversight training, standard operating procedures, documentation and emergency action plans for the command’s facilities, intelligence network and information technology infrastructure. In managing the command’s Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) program, he worked with the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) to obtain approvals to initiate Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System accounts and issue public key infrastructures for NSWC IHD, Expeditionary Unit One (EXU-1), and the Chemical and Biological Incident Response Force. He also managed SCI and the Controlled Access Program security policy at operating locations NSWC IHD Picatinny Detachment, Picatinny, New Jersey and Yorktown, Virginia.
As a distinguished leader in the intelligence community, he collaborated across the warfare centers and throughout the Naval Sea Systems Command enterprise to ensure NSWC IHD complied with the necessary security to support their sensitive missions.
NSWC IHD Commanding Officer Capt. Eric Correll opened the ceremony and presented Gootee with his award, which commended his preparation of command facilities, networks and personnel for an influx of SCI during the COVID-19 pandemic. The award’s citation read in part: “Mr. Gootee’s efforts and deep concern for the warfare centers’ mission success, the warfighter and national security reflects great credit upon himself, Indian Head Division, the Department of Defense and the nation.”
Gootee received numerous awards during his career, including the Superior Civilian Service Award in 1999, the Superior Performance Award, ONI in 2004, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Meritorious Civilian Service in 2010 and the Central Command and the Global War on Terrorism Medal in 2010.
NSWC IHD — a field activity of NAVSEA and part of the Navy’s Science and Engineering Establishment — is the leader in ordnance, energetics and EOD solutions. The Division focuses on energetics research, development, testing, evaluation, in-service support, manufacturing and disposal; and provides warfighters solutions to detect, locate, access, identify, render safe, recover, exploit and dispose of explosive ordnance threats.