WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, along with Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry O. Spencer, unveiled the “Innovation Award” named in honor of Spencer during a ceremony in the Airman’s Hall at the Pentagon on June 29.
The award, conceptualized by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, is intended to annually recognize Airmen who come up with creative and efficient ways to save money and time.
“The award is new, but what’s not new is the laser focus on innovation and the passion that General Spencer has brought to us in many ways,” James said. “General Spencer has put much of his personal time into innovation and efficiency.”
According to James, the programs championed by Spencer, the Every Dollar Counts campaign and the Airman Powered by Innovation website, are working so well that the Air Force is saving more than $35 million annually.
“As I have traveled the Air Force, I see it working,” James said. “I see that Airmen are finding new, innovative and cost-saving ways to get our mission done.”
Not only did Spencer champion the ideas of innovation and saving with the programs, he also spent time personally responding to emails and hosting video teleconferences with Airmen around the world.
“The real innovation is out in the field, and we need to cultivate those ideas and encourage those Airmen,” Spencer said. “There are great ideas out there and we owe it to our Airmen to listen to them.”
The Gen. Larry O. Spencer Innovation Award will be awarded for the first time July 23 at the Pentagon.