DAHLGREN, Va. — Karen Wingeart — the 2016 Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Women Moving Forward Award winner — does it all.
“She's the subject matter expert when it comes to Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) systems for Ship Self-Defense Systems,” said NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Thomas Moore while announcing the award via his All Hands communiqué to NAVSEA employees based at Navy warfare centers and shipyards across the country, April 2.
“She teaches at her church,” the admiral wrote, adding that Wingeart, “takes part in Swim Across America which brings together swimming groups to help raise money to fight cancer, volunteers at a food bank, is a triathlete, a Navy Reservist, a mother and a mentor.”
The Women Moving Forward award recognizes the contributions of individuals who promote equal opportunity in the workforce and continually make significant positive impacts to the command's mission and readiness.
Moreover, the award encourages women to advocate for growth and development opportunities in employment; and recognizes individuals who demonstrate the professional, community and leadership values that inspire others to strive for excellence in pursuit of their goals and help others.
Currently, Wingeart serves as a systems engineer and technical program lead for CEC integration on Ship Self Defense System platforms and DDG-1000 at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.
She was involved in the USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) integration efforts, representing CEC as the lead system engineer on the Track Management Focus Area Team. “It was a team collaboration effort,” said Wingeart. “I am especially fortunate to have worked with a talented and supportive engineering team within my branch and across Dahlgren. This has allowed us to identify issues and address them to meet integration and test events.”
In her 20-year Navy career — 11 years on active duty and nine years in the reserves — Wingeart served as a surface warfare officer as well as a meteorology and oceanography officer. Career highlights include instructor duty at the U.S. Naval Academy, a deployment to Kuwait, sea duty aboard USS Barry (DDG 52), and various operational meteorology and oceanography shore assignments in Hawaii.
Wingeart — secretary for a booster club supporting high school sports teams — and her husband believe in giving back to the community, even on vacation. For the last three years, the whole family has been part of the sandwich making crew for the Charlotte, N.C., food bank over the Thanksgiving holiday. In addition to teaching catechism on Sundays, Wingeart leads the music portion of Vacation Bible School in the summer.
The Women Moving Forward Award supports NAVSEA initiatives to increase the representation of women in the workforce and in leadership positions.