Critical thinking, personal excellence nets PMA-290 team lead PSM 2022 SECDEF Award
For Matthew Cosgrove, winner of the 2022 Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) Product Support Manager (PSM) of the Year (Major Defense Acquisition Programs/Acquisition Category I Program) Award, it’s all about professional and personal accountability and a shared understanding of a common goal.
Cosgrove, PSM for the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft Program Office (PMA-290), was recognized at an awards ceremony Aug. 2 for his contributions to delivering aircraft readiness, controlling cost within affordability caps, promoting industry competition and innovation, and implementing effective product support strategies.
“It’s a great day when I have the privilege to honor those who support the tenets of the National Defense Strategy,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Product Support) Lisa P. Smith said at the ceremony. “Your accomplishments are impressive and reflect well on the Department of the Navy (DoN) and on the product support community.”
Specifically, Cosgrove was commended for his logistics and sustainment support of three type/model/series (TMS) aircraft: P-3C Orion, EP-3 Aries II and P-8A Poseidon, including Joint Program Office and Foreign Military Sales fleets for 16 international partners and a variety of sensor packages. He led his team to achieve significant accomplishments in 2021, including a 98% mission completion rate, as well as an 86% improvement in full mission capable and a 109% improvement in mission capable (MC) aircraft. These improvements exceeded MC requirements for all three TMS aircraft.
Smith also commended Cosgrove for mentoring junior employees.
“When a weapons system is just a thought and an idea, we must also ask how we will sustain it and focus on designing for sustainment,” she explained. “You are passionate about the workforce and your community. You recognize that even though we have technology, it’s important to ‘pass the baton’ to those who will follow. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.”
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Sustainment), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development and Acquisition Erica Plath also acknowledged Cosgrove’s selection. “Your work is not only determining the way for the Navy, but also shaping sustainment now and in the future,” she said. “I applaud all the great work you have done.”
Cosgrove also received a DoN Meritorious Civilian Service at the ceremony.
“These awards are indicative of the model leadership that Mr. Cosgrove exhibits on a daily basis. He continually challenged and led his team to unprecedented increases in tactical air and training squadron readiness using innovative product support strategies while driving down costs,” said Interim Naval Air Systems Command Sustainment Group Director Ann Wood.
Cosgrove was selected to serve as the PMA-290 PSM in July 2020. His innovation and commitment were quickly recognized when, in 2021, the P-8A Sustainment and Readiness Team received the inaugural DoN Acquisition Excellence Awards “Sustainment Team of the Year” and the Naval Air Systems Command Commander’s Award for Best Improvement in Full Mission Capability Readiness.
During the award period, Cosgrove and his team reduced planned maintenance interval repair turnaround times by 40%, reduced supply support delivery time by 86% and realized $650 million in cost avoidance for depot airframes and $840 million for depot engines. In parallel with these efforts, Cosgrove directed a review of all scheduled maintenance, resulting in the elimination of 260 tasks and more than 13,800 maintenance man-hours per aircraft over its service life. His guidance and approach to product support planning and execution reduced provisioning timelines, decreasing non-mission capable for supply rates by 36%.
“My three years as the PSM in PMA-290 have been the most challenging so far in my career,” Cosgrove reflected. “My goal is to be great at what I do — to be technically sound and to be the best I can in my current position. Critical thinking forces me to look at a challenge from multiple perspectives, truly understand the situation, anticipate the questions my leadership will have and proactively attempt to provide the necessary information to make decisions that improve capability, availability and affordability.
“Executive communication is also important,” he added. “No matter how effective of a PSM I am, if I cannot communicate key information and the related impacts, then I will be limited in my value to the team.”
One of his proudest moments, Cosgrove said, was being recognized by fleet supply officers in an H-60 Priority Assist Message for his business acumen, timely delivery of parts and commitment to excellence.
“As a Navy civilian, I have the utmost respect for those who serve our country,” he explained. “Recognition from my ultimate customer means the most to me. It’s an honor to be called ‘shipmate.’”
He credited his team’s knowledge, collaboration and dedication to winning the award. “I must trust my assistant program managers, logistics (APMLs) and delegate to them with clear direction on what I expect. I empower them, provide them ‘top cover’ as needed and hold them accountable for outcomes. They are the true keys to a successful product support program. I am tremendously thankful to have an amazing team of APMLs and logisticians that do the really difficult work every day.”
His family, Cosgrove said, completes the picture of his career. “I take great pride in what I do and what we do at NAVAIR, but I am first and foremost a proud husband and father,” he said. “When I am working to support the women and men who are risking their lives to keep us safe at home, I remember that my family comes first. That helps me reach a balance. I like the motto, ‘mission first, family always.’”
Cosgrove’s approach to success is to learn continuously, grow and add value, no matter the circumstances. “Do your job to the best of your ability,” he explained. “Treat every day like a job interview. If you do that, and work with mentors who know you and your goals, then the numerous opportunities that NAVAIR has for its employees will be opened to you.”
Cosgrove, along with the other 2022 PSM Award winners, will be recognized at the 2023 Office of the Secretary of Defense PSM Workshop Sept. 19-21, 2023.