HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The National Association of Ordnance Contractors honored William Sargent, director of Ordnance and Explosives at the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, with the NAOC Lifetime Leadership Award at their 2018 Membership Meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida, Dec. 5.
NAOC represents and promotes the interests of its members and the public in all aspects of military munitions response services. The membership of NAOC promotes efficient, quality project execution and safety for both the workforce and the public.
The 2018 Membership Conference provided an opportunity for munitions and environmental contractors and Government personnel to interact and discuss current policies, initiatives and issues.
Each year, the NAOC recognizes industry and government personnel for their efforts to improve the Military Munitions Response Program and their continued participation and support of the partnership between industry and the government.
“It was a big surprise. I was eating hors d'oeuvres, minding my own business sitting in the corner and was asked to come up front,” Sargent said. “I was presented with the Lifetime Leadership Award. I wasn’t expecting anything like that.”
Sargent, who has been with the Huntsville Center since 1994, came from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Alaska District, having served in that same district as a U.S. Army officer until 1992. Sargent stayed on with the district as a civilian until 1994 and then transferred to the Huntsville Center to become a part of the foundation of the emerging ordnance program. He will be retiring from federal service this month.
During his time here at the Huntsville Center, Sargent has had many opportunities to speak at NAOC conferences and events and spoke highly of the organization, its mission and its member contractors.
NAOC’s founding members were unexploded ordnance service companies. Their membership has expanded to include companies that provide and perform ancillary services to include geophysical services, detection equipment, analytical laboratories, regulatory support and related environmental/engineering services.
When asked what he was most proud of during his time at Huntsville Center, Sargent said, “I was able to stand up the OE’s international operations division which is now a critical asset to the Corps of Engineers and enhances our ability to project contingency-wise around the world.
“We have built the contracts. We now have the capability,” Sargent explained. “People from all over the world call us and we are the only entity within USACE that can deploy and do land mine and ordnance clearance in a hostile contingency environment.
“We have a lot of unique challenges come through the ordnance directorate,” Sargent continued. “I’ve been able to get with the contractor community and they have been able to put together the right teams and produce the solutions the customer needs.
“So it’s a great relationship we have had with them. We wouldn’t be anything without our contractors.”
When asked what his next step after retirement would be, Sargent, whose wife Carol has recently retired from the Huntsville Center as well, didn’t hesitate with his response.
“I’m going to the farm,” Sargent said. “I have a hundred pecan trees. I work on cars. I have a wood shop and I do furniture repair. And then my wife and I want to travel and just enjoy things.
“My wife said she’s going home. And I’m right behind her.”