NAVAIR

NAVAIR engineer named recipient of Blacks in Government Military Meritorious Service Award

Ben Yearwood, NAWCAD Lakehurst Aircraft Wiring Support Equipment Commodity/ Peculiar Support Equipment Team lead, received the Blacks in Government (BIG) Military Meritorious Service Award during the BIG 39th Annual National Training Institute in Atlantic City, New Jersey Aug. 22. (Photo courtesy of Blacks in Government)

Ben Yearwood, NAWCAD Lakehurst Aircraft Wiring Support Equipment Commodity/ Peculiar Support Equipment Team lead, received the Blacks in Government (BIG) Military Meritorious Service Award during the BIG 39th Annual National Training Institute in Atlantic City, New Jersey Aug. 22. (Photo courtesy of Blacks in Government)

Aug 31, 2017

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The 2017 Blacks in Government Military Meritorious Service Award recipients at the 39th Annual National Training Institute in Atlantic City, New Jersey Aug. 22. (Photo courtesy of Blacks in Government)

The 2017 Blacks in Government Military Meritorious Service Award recipients at the 39th Annual National Training Institute in Atlantic City, New Jerse ...

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – A Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) engineer was recognized by the National Blacks in Government (BIG) organization as a recipient of the BIG Military Meritorious Service Award.

Ben Yearwood, Aircraft Wiring Support Equipment Commodity/ Peculiar Support Equipment Team lead under the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst, received the award during the BIG 39th Annual National Training Institute in Atlantic City, New Jersey Aug. 22.

“Mr. Yearwood has achieved notable accomplishments that have served to improve the federal service environment within NAWCAD,” said Kathleen P. Donnelly, director of the NAVAIR Support Equipment and Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Department (SE/ALRE). “His dedication to supporting the fleet and SE/ALRE mission, while also supporting programs to make the federal workforce fairer and more rewarding for all people is truly admirable.”

The BIG award honors service members and Department of Defense civilian employees who support the DOD mission or overseas contingency operations, or who embody the qualities and core values of their organization.

Yearwood and his team are responsible for developing peculiar support equipment for all U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviation platforms to support their aircraft wiring systems.

“We like to say the aircraft wiring system on an aircraft is like the central nervous system in a person,” said Yearwood. “It’s the system that gets all the signals to everything so that the whole body can function – or that the whole aircraft can function – as it’s supposed to function.”

Yearwood’s team is responsible for the entire lifecycle of aircraft wiring support, from design, development and acquisition to providing in-service support of hundreds of aircraft wiring support equipment end items.

“During Ben Yearwood's 35-year-career, he has shown exemplary work ethic and leadership, winning numerous awards,” said Gabrielle Korosec, NAWCAD Lakehurst Common Avionics Support Equipment Branch head.  “He has worked diligently to build a strong team of engineers to support every aircraft's wiring needs.”

Beyond his primary duties, Yearwood spent many years of his career supporting diversity and education programs within and outside of NAWCAD Lakehurst.

Yearwood was an active member of the NAWCAD Lakehurst recruitment team, traveling to recruitment fairs and conducting interviews at colleges with high minority populations.

He became an advocate for New York City schools, including his alma mater Polytechnic Institute of New York (now New York University Tandon School of Engineering), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Yearwood also has a Master of Science in Systems Management from Capitol College.

“Ben is passionate about his work and relays this energy to newly hired engineers as well, generating a reliable, skilled and knowledgeable team,” said Korosec.

Yearwood recalled one of his favorite memories recruiting at a school in New York City shortly after 9/11, when almost all the other companies were packing up to leave and the NAVAIR booth still had a long line of students.

“It was their patriotism. I was so happy to interview them and take those resumes. It was a great experience,” said Yearwood.

Yearwood supported the NAWCAD Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program as an EEO Counselor and as a Black Employment Special Emphasis Team member and leader, coordinating Black History Month and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observances, and youth community outreach events.

“We weren’t trying to do this for awards. It was just what we believed in. Somebody invested in us and we just wanted to continue to do that,” said Yearwood.

He also served as an active member and president of the Cedric Shields Memorial Navy Chapter of BIG (Region II). The chapter’s focus was supporting the advancement of youth in the local community, which included organization of local and regional public speaking competitions.

“I’m just very grateful for the recognition,” said Yearwood. “I don’t think I did anything particularly more special. We had other leaders … and other people were involved. But maybe this is just an acknowledgement of all our work and they let me be standard bearer. I appreciate that.”

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