2023 Hall of Fame Inductees


Colonel (Retired) James F. Costigan served as the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) Military Deputy for Operations and Support from 2005 until 2007 with his retirement after 27 years of military service. Colonel Costigan reported directly to the Commanding General and Civilian Deputy for all CECOM operations and support for over 10,000 personnel across the Army in every combatant command. Most notably, Colonel Costigan played a central role to planning and coordinating the execution of the Commanding General’s strategic vision for the once-in-a-generation Base Realignment and Closure relocation of CECOM and C5ISR mission partners from Fort Monmouth, NJ to Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. He led the planning team that established both a workforce transition and a facilities development plan for over two billion dollars in resources. During his tenure, Colonel Costigan oversaw the Lifecycle Management Command (LCMC) transformation to streamline the way commanders in the field get what they need in terms of CECOM support from the C5ISR enterprise. He developed a strategy to operationalize the CECOM LCMC construct which enabled closer coordination and communication with Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology) organizations, to include Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications-Tactical. This created a single-entry point for units-deployed worldwide seeking C5ISR support. It further facilitated the sustainment of multiple rapid C5ISR fieldings and sustainment plans during OIF and OEF, to include Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T). Through the stand-up of a C5ISR “Battle Update” forum, he implemented a system that dramatically increased C5ISR community responsiveness to war-time mission requirements from CECOM, PEOs, and industry mission partners.


Mr. Stephen D. Kreider served more than 40 years as a career Military Officer and member of the Senior Executive Service. Mr. Kreider’s diverse career is indicative of his unique ability to drive collaboration and coordination to streamline the delivery of effective modernized aircraft survivability, electronic warfare (EW), biometrics and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance capabilities for the Army. As Commander of U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground, Mr. Kreider had the vision to create the Joint Experimentation Range Complex which has been the foundation of EW testing and validation of all systems since 2003. During his tenure as the Acting Director and Deputy Director for Future Combat System Combined Test Organization, and finally as Director for Combined Test Organization, he designed and established the Network Integration Event (NIE) which was the premier C5ISR system testing event prior to Project Convergence. As the PEO for Intelligence Electronic Warfare and Sensors from 2012-2016, Mr. Kreider realized numerous accomplishments of the organization due to his ability to create a construct that would allow for increased cohesiveness with aligned Army organizations. In particular, he organized a series of home-on-home engagements bridging the gap between requirements, Science and Technology (S&T) and acquisition personnel within the Aviation, Army G2/Intelligence Community emerging EW communities. Utilizing a vision to realign the organization to make it more effective and efficient, he emphasized the need for synergy with the S&T community as well as with the Army Centers of Excellence.


Mr. Steven Pizzo began his career at Fort Monmouth in 1986 and served until his retirement in 2011. Beginning as an Electronics Engineer assigned to the Center for Electronic Warfare/Reconnaissance Surveillance and Target Acquisition (EW/RSTA), one of Mr. Pizzo’s first assignments was to develop an improved signal recognition capability for the Guardrail Common Sensor (GRCS) system. Additionally, he conceived and implemented the Stratomist program, the first tactical, programmable, and distributed radio frequency test transmitter for field testing and training with over 400 units employed around the world. He is recognized within the research and development community as one of the Army’s preeminent systems engineers for Special Electronic Mission Aircraft and highly complex airborne Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) systems. Mr. Pizzo received the Army’s Greatest Invention of the Year Award in 2009, the Association of Old Crows (AOC) Joint Service Award in 1999, the AOC Radio Frequency Award in 2008, the AOC Army Service Award (as a member of the man-portable direction finding system known as Versatile Radio Observation and Direction (VROD) team in 2016, the AOC Electronic Attack Award in 2017 (as a member of the VROD Modular Adaptive Transmit (VMAX) Soldier-worn electronic attack system for dismounted operations team), and the AOC Test and Evaluation Award (as a member of the Stratomist Team) in 2018. He received the Army Product Manager of the Year Award for GRCS in 1998, the Defense Acquisition Executive Achievement Award (also for GRCS) in 2000 and multiple Commanders Awards for Civilian Service.


Mr. Edward J. Plichta is a nationally renowned inventor and subject matter expert with over 40 years of experience in chemical engineering, material science, research and development, strategic technology planning, and management in the field of power and energy technologies, power management and environmental control systems. His employment with the Army began in 1980 until his retirement in 2019 with the Command Power and Integration Directorate of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command C5ISR Center. His work has tremendous recognition within the DoD, industry, and academia, both domestically and internationally. He served as principal inventor of the high-voltage stable electrolytes that enabled the first practical development of the lithium-ion battery and the resulting successful use worldwide for commercial and military applications. Mr. Plichta was the principal researcher on the highest known energy density electrochemical cells, lithium air and lithium sulfur for advanced Soldier power and expeditionary energy. These two chemistries provided up to six-times higher energy density than available in commercial batteries and exceeded the Army’s requirements for Soldier power for FORCE 2025. He was also the principal inventor of the Charger-On-the-Move to provide for forward field charging of rechargeable C4I batteries. Mr. Plichta has primary and co-authorship on over 50 scientific publications, over 40 U.S. and international patents, and two book chapters. He received the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) Platinum Level Innovator Achievement Award in 2013, the Industry Achievement Award in partnership with SAFT Space and Defense in 2009 and has 52 Individual Suggestion/Invention Awards from 1985 to 2011.


Mr. Frank W. Zardecki provided 60 years of government service, from 1966 until his retirement in 2022, to the Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD), the U.S. Army Communicatons-ELectonics Command, the C5ISR Community and the nation, and was recognized as the “Expert and Leader” in the Army’s organic industrial base. Progressing through the depot ranks from electronics-mechanic helper to Deputy to the Commander, Mr. Zardecki was a driving force in establishing TYAD as the premier electronics depot in the Department of Defense and the major employer in the Northeast. Mr. Zardecki’s development and mentoring of the TYAD workforce stand as a testimony to his vision and leadership in preparing the depot for its future missions. His investment in the depot workforce in increasing the depth and breadth of its leadership’s expertise has ensured that TYAD is postured to lead the DoD organic industrial base for years to come. Mr. Zardecki recognized during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom that the Army required enhanced maintenance and repair capabilities not only forward in theater but throughout its global presence. Mr. Zardecki’s vision and forward thinking led to the expansion of the TYAD global enterprise from facilities in Northeast PA to over 70 additional forward repair sites at deployed and installation sites. The scope of TYAD work expanded to support the network of systems and tactical command posts as the Army continues modernization. This transformational initiative was the driving factor in reducing C5ISR weapon system downtime thereby improving materiel and unit operational readiness.