Maxwell civilian nominated for DOD award

by Tech. Sgt. Sarah Loicano
Air University Public Affairs

8/15/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- An Air University civilian employee has been nominated for the 58th annual Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award.

Dr. Grant Hammond, deputy director of the U.S. Air Force Center for Strategy and Technology and professor of international security at the Air War College, was nominated as the Air Education and Training Command candidate in recognition of his work during the past decade. He will be competing against two other Air Force civilians. The award is the highest honor given by the secretary of defense to career civilian personnel. It is presented in an annual ceremony to a small number of DOD civilian employees whose service reflects exceptional devotion to duty and extremely significant contributions of broad scope to the efficiency, economy or other improvements on the operation of DOD.

The Center for Strategy and Technology is responsible for conducting alternative futures studies to look at emerging strategic landscapes and developing technologies 15-to-25 years in the future, a mission that makes it unique in Hammond's viewpoint.

"Technology and technological change is obviously an aspect of the evolution of war and warfare and impinges on strategic choices that nations have as they evolve," said Hammond. "We get to do interesting work thinking about how the future might unfold, what alternative futures might come to pass. We don't do predictions or forecasts, but rather look at what things seem to be most important at multiple futures, compare them, and if you find the same issues, choices, technologies and strategies come into play, then those are things you ought to start thinking in earnest about."

During his 24-year Air Force career, Hammond has written several books, taught at the Air War College, spoken at various command and staff colleges and war colleges as well as military and civilian audiences in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, the Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The award nomination culminates the last 10 years of Hammond's work experience. Most recently, he was selected to lead Blue Horizons, the Air Force chief of staff-directed study on future missions and enabling technologies, and served as dean at the NATO Defense College in Rome.

Hammond describes his professional and academic interests as eclectic and diverse; he is currently working on a book on crisis-decision making in the Nixon administration and another one on the revolution of security affairs.

Additionally, Hammond is focusing his attention on rapid technological change and the needs of a 21st century Air Force. Ultimately, Hammond believes the world is facing a unique and transformative period of rapidly accelerating technological change and the globalization effect he termed "glocal."

"The World Wide Web didn't exist in 1993 - that's only 20 years ago. We have created a virtual environment and we are learning how to learn, live, love, work and fight in a virtual as well as a physical world," he said.

"We are fighting and working in cyberspace so these are massive changes that effect societies, economies and policies. The pace at which things are moving is increasing dramatically and everybody is in this together. The impact of change that we experience is happening more rapidly, the effects are likely to spread globally. We talk about globalization, but increasingly things are glocal. Global events have local effects, and local events can have global impact."

Prior to entering service with the DOD, Hammond was chairman of the International Studies Department at Rhodes College, Memphis, Tenn., and served as executive officer at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Despite his numerous accomplishments, Hammond remains humble and unassuming, particularly about the odds of being selected as the overall winner.

"I suppose it's a nice thing, it is not necessarily deserved. There are 186,000 civilian employees in the Air Force, 2 million in DOD, so whoever gets this award is a very, very, very small representation of a much larger group of people, most of whom are just as dedicated, just as hard-working and just as deserving," he said.

"It is an anomaly to me that this has happened, and I find it rather amazing that somebody coming out of AU whose professional career is dealing with ideas is competing with people who manage multi-million dollar budgets and tens of thousands of people."