PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- An Army Contracting Command-New Jersey employee was recognized as an Honorable Mention finalist for the Elmer B. Staats Young Acquisition Professional Award at the National Contract Management Association's World Congress in Washington, D.C.

Albert A. Rinaldi, a contracting officer and group manager at ACC-N.J., Picatinny Arsenal, was the only finalist from the Department of the Army.

According to the NCMA website this award, presented in July, recognizes professionals with between five and 10 years of civil or military service in the contract management profession who have made a noteworthy contribution to contracting operations and acquisition policy plus demonstrated personal and professional growth.

"I feel incredibly honored to have been ACC-N.J.'s nominee and the only representative of the Department of the Army," said Rinaldi.

"This honor is a direct result of the dedication and professionalism of all of the teams I worked with. The efforts of the teams of specialists and (procuring contracting officers) were instrumental to my development and success. Ultimately, I view this honor as an accreditation to them."

Rinaldi said finding the balance between meeting contracting goals and requirements, while getting the best value for the taxpayer, is sometimes difficult but crucial to how the Army does business.

According to his nomination letter, Rinaldi supported the program manager, Towed Artillery Systems, through the execution of the life cycle sustainment contract for the M777A2, Joint Army/Marine Corps LW155 Howitzer.

The letter states his efforts led to the successful execution of an acquisition strategy that resulted in an award term contract between government and industry that allows for up to 10 years of contractual coverage.

"Mr. Rinaldi demonstrates a high level of professionalism and has distinguished himself as a knowledgeable and dedicated contracting officer," said Paul Milenkowic, ACC-N.J. executive director.

"As a result of his efforts, the Program Executive Office for Ammunition adopted the use of the acquisition approach as a model for those programs entering into the sustainment phase of the acquisition life cycle. This program has been a tremendous success story for ACC, PEO Ammunition and the Department of the Army."

During the same period, the nomination states Rinaldi, dedicated to continuous self-improvement, prepared to take the NCMA Certified Federal Contracts Manager exam this summer.

At the World Congress he sat for and achieved the NCMA's Certified Federal Contracts Manager Certification.

This annual award is presented in honor of Elmer Boyd Staats, a former Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office who served as a public servant for more than 70 years.

"It's important to take an interest in what you are buying," Rinaldi added.

"Ask the technical people for a program description, or take an opportunity to see what you are buying in person, if possible, or research it on your own if necessary."

"Also, actively participate in (integrated process teams) and meetings. I have always believed that people work hardest when they feel they are involved. Finally, never think you know everything. Our job is incredibly complicated and things are always changing. Come in to work looking to learn something new or take on a new challenge."