A Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic program manager was recently awarded the Spirit of Service Award from the Department of Defense.
Albert “Terrance” Garrick, a member of NIWC Atlantic’s Joint Force Mission Systems (JFMS) team, received the award, signed by Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, on June 21.
In the citation, Esper recognized Garrick for his “display of honor, integrity and excellence through outstanding support as a public servant to the Department of Defense.”
“Your commitment to our nation demonstrates the extraordinary contributions an individual can make, in the pursuit of serving others,” Esper wrote.
As Deputy Program Manager for the Tactical Defense Space Reconnaissance Program (TacDSR), Garrick lives and works in the National Capital Region (NCR) in support of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), where, when he’s not busy providing support to the warfighter, he spends his free time helping others.
“When I retired from the Army after serving for 20 years, I knew I had acquired a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience to share with the community,” said Garrick. “I’m grateful for what I’ve been given, so I decided to find ways that I could give back.”
In the last year, Garrick volunteered nearly 300 hours in support of different community organizations throughout the NCR, including at homeless shelters, local schools and his church.
“I was just doing what I love to do — providing support for both our military and the community,” Garrick said.
Garrick’s volunteer work includes providing meals for families at homeless shelters in Baltimore and surrounding areas. Through his support, these shelters were able to feed hundreds of families on Thanksgiving Day in 2019.
During the holiday season, Garrick also purchased and delivered more than 300 gifts to children, including winter coats, toboggans, sweaters, socks and oral health-care kits to help them make it through the winter. Along with these necessities, he also delivered 60 turkeys.
Garrick spearheaded efforts at his church to launch a Boys-to-Men mentoring program, which connects 40 young men, ranging from the ages of 12 to 21, with positive male role models who encourage and empower them to develop productive decision-making and coping skills, as well as meaningful social and emotional connections.
Garrick was instrumental in establishing scholarships for seniors at his local high school, where he mentored and challenged each of the students to better understand how their skills and talents could positively change the world. He also planned, organized and executed the school’s first back-to-school program, for which local businesses donated more than 400 backpacks to under resourced youth in the area.
In his written nomination of Garrick, Army Lt. Col. Boone Spencer, chief of NRO’s MID Operations Support Group, recognized Garrick for demonstrating the values of the DoD in his commitment to making significant and compelling philanthropic contributions to the community.
“He truly believes in helping and motivating others to be the very best by achieving their personal goals and developing life skills, which positively impacts the communities within our great nation,” Spencer wrote.
Michael Harkins, lead for the JFMS team, lauded Garrick for his commitment to public service and for enhancing the quality of life for youth and their families.
“His volunteer efforts truly demonstrate a selfless spirit, and his enthusiasm and dedication have won the respect of our team members and customers alike,” said Harkins. “That spirit of service and engagement, and his undying loyalty, is why he is most deserving of this award.”
As a part of Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, NIWC Atlantic provides systems engineering and acquisition to deliver information warfare capabilities to the naval, joint and national warfighter through the acquisition, development, integration, production, test, deployment, and sustainment of interoperable command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, cyber and information technology capabilities.