After 20 years of active duty service, former submarine service officer Paul Quinn ’90 decided to begin his civilian career at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division after personally experiencing the command’s responsiveness and impact to his needs as a warfighter.
“The quality of workmanship I was provided, as well as the analytical quality, really impressed me,” said Quinn, recounting his first interaction with NSWCDD employees while on active duty. “When I retired, I knew I wanted to come back and work at Dahlgren. The people especially were incredibly responsive to fleet needs.”
Ten years after making that decision, Quinn won the Department of the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service award for his responsiveness to the fleet’s requirements and “exceptional leadership and commitment to the Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile Program,” according to the award citation.
The program is one of the three parts of the Navy’s nuclear deterrent for the United States. Quinn acts as the program director for the different strategic systems projects at NSWCDD.
“This program is very different than other weapon system development programs because it’s actively doing its job today,” said Quinn. “I personally believe that this program has stopped the spread of world wars on a global scale since the concept was first introduced in the post-World War II era. I feel like I’m actively saving lives in my day-to-day job.”
NSWCDD is one of two warfare centers with programs under the overall SLBM program. “Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division is associated with the hardware portion of the program. At Dahlgren, we have a primarily software and analytical background,” said Quinn.
The SLBM program at NSWCDD performs software development for the current system and for the not-yet-commissioned newest submarine class: The U.S. Navy’s Columbia Class submarine and the British Royal Navy’s Dreadnought submarine.
“Mr. Quinn’s emphasis on innovation in program management has led to significant successes providing new capabilities to the warfighter,” according to the award citation. “Quinn was the thrust behind Dahlgren Division adopting development process and methods. His dedication to technical excellence, leadership, and mentoring reflect great honor on himself, Dahlgren Division, and the United States Navy.”
“I’ve always felt it’s important to be a positive influence on the community of people we work and live with every day,” said Quinn. “I see this award as an affirmation of that effort. This award is just as much a testament to my team, as much as me, of what we’ve been able to achieve together.”
In addition to his team, Quinn credits his father, Cecil; wife, Debby; and daughter, Caitlyn, for motivating him.
“This award shows me I’m setting a good example for my daughter. I want the future that she lives in to be a bright one. It inspires me to continue to do all I can to positively impact the community and workplace.”
Caitlyn is also a NSWCDD employee, recently transitioning to a full-time position after her involvement in the Department of the Navy Pathways Internship Program.
Pathways is a program designed to provide degree-seeking students with early exposure to public service, educational experience enhancement, and possible financial aid. Within four months of degree completion, most interns receive a career appointment.
Caitlyn says her dad encourages her to keep doing her best. “He is a very forward-thinking person, and I think that’s really rare nowadays. He strives to make everything he touches just a little bit better,” she said. “This award shows that his hard work and dedication are really paying off. I’m really proud and honored that he got this.”
Quinn is one of 90 individuals and 39 teams honored with various awards.
Editor’s Note: This article was provided by Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications.