The Missile Warning and Defender of the Year Award 2013

By Major Julie Roberge | May 09, 2014

The North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Missile Warning and Defender of the Year Ceremony winners were honored May 2 at the Mining Exchange Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. 

The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, with the mission of advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States and its allies against missile threats. The MDAA recognizes and honors  U.S. and Canadian military and Department of Defense civilians for their achievements and commitment to excellence in defense of the North American continent and formally recognizes exceptional-performing service members in the missions of missile warning and defense. 

The Award Winners are:                             

Military Missile Defender of the Year
Lt. Cmdr. Tim Ladowicz, NORTHCOM Chief, Current Operations Branch, Missile Defense Division

“I feel honored even to have been considered for this award. What this award does represent, to me, is the amount of work that our whole office puts in every day to keeping the nation protected from ballistic missile threats. Without the professionalism and expertise of those I work with, none of this would be possible,” said Ladowicz during the ceremony.

During this period, Ladowicz’ s assumed duties as the chief, current operations division and quickly took the operations to a new level.  His outstanding leadership, skill and ceaseless efforts contributed immensely to the homeland ballistic missile defense mission for USNORTHCOM.  His advanced understanding of the BMD system made him the ideal choice to lead the development and testing of the next generation of BMD software providing enhanced warfighter capability.  A multi-talented communicator, Ladowicz is the first choice to brief visiting congressional leaders, foreign high-level civilian and military leaders, as well as high-level U.S. military leaders. Ladowicz’s superior performance has left an indelible impression on USNORTHCOM’s BMD mission and shaped the future of capability to come.

Civilian Defender of the Year
Mr. Jeff Dillemuth, NORTHCOM Chief, Ballistic Missile Defense Integration and Synchronization Branch

"It is an honor to be recognized by the USNORTHCOM leadership for the job you are doing," added Dillemuth during his speech.

During this period, Dillemuth’ s outstanding leadership, skill, and ceaseless efforts were critical to USNORTHCOM’s homeland ballistic missile defense mission.  His outstanding communication skills made him the top choice to author critical presidential correspondence and brief USNORTHCOM’s mission capabilities to leaders in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. During period of crisis, he ensured USNORTHCOM was postured to defend the homeland by providing clear and concise readiness decision points for the commander.  He skillfully coordinated efforts with the Joint Staff and across combatant commands to synchronize critical mission assets and spearheaded the effort to revamp readiness postures to address evolving threats. Dillemuth’s sustained superior performance reflects great credit upon him and is in keeping with the highest standards of USNORTHCOM.

Missile Warning Professional of the Year
Lt. Col. Rickey McCann, NORAD Chief, Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment Branch

McCann distinguished himself during the past 12 months as a leading expert in the missile warning community and by his outstanding management of the integrated tactical warning and attack assessment command and control network. 

McCann has been key to warning system upgrades and improved missile threat characterization.  His foresight and leadership was recognized as crucial to the successful implementation of the missile warning end-to-end review findings and recommendations.  He continually improved general officer assessor training ensuring that the commander and his designees were fully equipped to assess global missile launches.  McCann has had an extremely positive effect on the integrated tactical warning and attack assessment command and control network – the front-end of missile defense – or the Department of Defense’s ability to detect, track and characterize global missile events. 

Missile Defense Career Achievement Award
Col. Fred Clarke, NORTHCOM Chief, Ballistic Missile Defense Division

As the chief of the ballistic missile defense division, Clarke contributed to the success of the directorate of operations which provides strategic guidance to plan and execute USNORTHCOM’s missions, including land, maritime and homeland defense air operations, as well as ballistic missile defense, information operations, nuclear command and control and defense support of civil authorities.

“This is quite an honor and I'm humbled for being chosen to receive this prestigious award,” said Clarke.  “I accepted the award on behalf of all the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guard, Marines, civilians and contractors who I owe a debt of gratitude for ensuring mission success throughout my career.  I'm also grateful to my wife and daughter for their unwavering support of service to the nation. I would also like to mention that we could not do the homeland defense mission as well without our Canadian partners.”