Paige shares the praise with his staff

Emmett Paige Jr.: 'It's a big 'we' that wins awards.'

In retired Army Lt. Gen. Emmett Paige Jr.'s view, sharing a podium with former Rep. Jack Brooks is far better than getting 'browbeaten by [Brooks'] staffers when you have done your best on a program.'

But Paige, honored with Post Newsweek Tech Media's award as the Defense Department executive of the last 20 years, also saw the silver lining in working for better Defense Department communications under the glare of congressional oversight.

Brooks 'was good for us, although none of us felt that way at the time,' Paige said to audience laughter. Both men were honored at the Washington Hilton and Towers in the 15th annual Excellence in Government Awards ceremony, which celebrated GCN's 20th anniversary.

Paige, who enlisted in the Army in 1947, supervised the installation of the largest communications system ever in a combat environment as chief of the Army Information Systems Command in the 1980s. Today he is vice president of DOD operations at Lockheed Martin Corp.'s IT division.

'It's a big 'we' that wins awards, not a singular 'me,' ' Paige said. 'I look at every award that I get as an award not for me, but the things that I stand for.'

In an interview earlier in the evening, Paige urged Defense leaders to embrace network-centric warfare capabilities and put IT assets together to aid warfighters.

'It's a new concept,' Paige said. 'Once we understand what it means, we can pull the masses together. We come up with new buzzwords all the time'we need to teach people the fundamentals.'

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