From saving the Department of the Navy more than $3 million to delivering critical air traffic control equipment, two Marines were honored for naval acquisition excellence at a ceremony here Feb. 16.

The John Glenn squadron of the Marine Corps Aviation Association (MCAA) selected Lt. Col. Jason Maddocks as its 2011 Acquisition Officer of the Year and named Master Sgt. Chad Bigham as Acquisition Staff Noncommissioned Officer of the Year during the organization’s 7th annual award ceremony.

The squadron hailed Maddocks for his “exceptional leadership” while serving as the class desk officer and military deputy for the AV-8B Harrier Program Office (PMA-257) and his tenure as the MV-22 Osprey co-lead for the MV-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275).

Bigham was praised for his “solid managerial skills … and technical acumen,” while serving as the air traffic control management systems expeditionary fleet liaison for Naval Air Traffic Management Systems (PMA-213).

Rear Adm. Donald Gaddis, program executive officer for Tactical Aircraft Programs PEO (T), which has oversight of PMA-257 and PMA-213, said he was proud to join MCAA in applauding Bigham and Maddocks for their service.

“In the acquisition business, we are often focused on the day-to-day minutiae of getting the job done,” Gaddis said. “It is refreshing when our professionals are rewarded for their hard work. I am proud to have skilled professionals like Lieutenant Colonel Maddocks and Master Sergeant Bigham on the PEO (T) acquisition team because they epitomize the word excellence.”

Born in Orange, Calif., Maddocks’ accomplishments include saving the Department of the Navy $3.4 million in maintenance costs and leading the test and fielding strategy for the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile on Marine Corps Harriers, a critical requirement for aerial escort missions. Maddocks said the Acquisition Officer of the Year achievement is a “testament to the caliber of people on the teams that support the Harrier and Osprey.”

“It can be frustrating trying to get things done in this environment,” Maddocks said, “but my advice to others is to be as knowledgeable as they can about requirements, acquisition and funding and learn to be effective within the ‘system’ [versus] trying to circumvent it.”

A Garland, Texas, native, Bigham played a key role in the successful fielding of three final air traffic control systems valued at about $40 million.

He said he was humbled by the award, and credited “all the outstanding staff noncommissioned officers of the Marine Aviation Detachment who work hard every day in support of the Fleet Marine Forces.”

“We shouldn’t take what we do here in support of the program offices and the Marine Corps operating forces for granted,” Bigham said. “We work here as trusted agents on behalf of our brothers and sisters who are deployed in harm’s way. We are ensuring the most reliable and sustainable warfighting assets are provided to the forces to ensure our nation’s liberties.”

Maddocks and Bigham were among three Marines honored at the banquet. The John Glenn Squadron also selected Maj. Richard Rusnok, assigned to the F-35 Integrated Test Facility, as Test Pilot of the Year for his role in the successful embarkation and deployment of more than 250 people and 140,000 pounds of supplies and equipment with two F-35B test aircraft on USS Wasp (LHD 1).

They will now compete for the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ Award for Acquisition Excellence, one of 15 distinctions presented at the MCAA National Symposium and Reunion in May.

“Our awards program identifies and recognizes the ‘best of the