News: MCRC civilian receives commanding general’s highest award
Story by Lance Cpl. David Flynn
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. - The iconic image of a Marine recruiter in dress blues makes it easy to forget the nearly 300 civilians of Marine Corps Recruiting Command working just as hard behind the scenes to take young adults from the couch to the yellow footprints.
One of those civilians was recently honored for her service to MCRC and the recruiting mission.
Elizabeth Montalvo, deputy assistant chief of staff G-1, MCRC, was awarded the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award Feb. 11.
“She is extremely dedicated to her job,” said Vickie Hall, management support coordinator, MCRC. “She looks at the whole picture; how things will affect individuals as well as the command.”
“Her drive to keep MCRC ahead of the curve with all the changes to the civilian manpower management systems made her stand out,” said Lt. Col. Jasper Senter, Marine Corps Administrative Analysis Team, Manpower and Reserve Affairs. “I wouldn’t have been as successful at what I was doing without her.”
Senter, MCRC’s former assistant chief of staff G-1, recommended Montalvo for the award, which according to Manpower Management Division Military Awards Branch is the military equivalent of the Legion of Merit.
According to Kimberly Sylke, Civilian Personnel Programs Civilian Workforce Management Branch, Manpower and Reserve Affairs. to receive the NMCA, the achievements or service must "be truly exceptional when measured against the position requirements of the individual and should far exceed the contributions and service of others with comparable responsibilities." It is the third highest award for civilians in the Department of the Navy and the highest award that the commanding general of MCRC could have given.
The award highlights Montalvo’s continued dedication to the Marine Corps. She served in the Marine Corps for 23 years, retiring as a major before assuming her current duties.
Montalvo received this honor for her efforts in seamlessly leading
MCRC’s transition from the General Schedule to the National Security Personnel System and back to the General Schedule pay system. These systems are used to determine pay and performance standards for Department of Defense civilian employees.
The NSPS replaced General Schedule in 2008. On Oct. 29, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2010, repealing NSPS and paving the way for the return of its predecessor.
“My team created the process to do the transition,” said Montalvo. “The challenge was to make sure the transition didn’t cause any disruption in pay or the careers of the people who work here.”
The law mandated that the transition did not result in employees making less than they did under NSPS.
To ease the transition, the Interim Performance Management System was developed by the Department of the Navy and implemented in May of 2010.
Implementing the system involved developing spread sheets and online training tools to prepare workers for what was to come. After creating the tools, it was Montalvo’s job to get MCRC civilians up to speed on the transition.
“I went to the recruiting regions and districts to educate everyone about the transition,” said Montalvo.
Because MCRC was so successful in transitioning from GS to N.S.P.S, it was the first command to implement the IPMS.
“The transition was made in record time and with no loss in pay,” said Montalvo.
“She stayed out in front of all the changes encompassing the civilian manpower management programs,” said Senter.
Despite her accomplishments and recognition, Montalvo remains humble and focused on her mission.
“It’s a privilege to work alongside Marines,” said Montalvo. “I don’t do it for awards.”