ARA’s John S. Wilcox Receives 2015 Presidential Rank Award


John WilcoxThe White House Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management have awarded John S. Wilcox, head of the Emerald Coast Division of Applied Research Associates, Inc., with the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive. The nation’s highest civil service award, the Presidential Rank Award is presented annually by the President to a select group of career employees for notable achievements and effective leadership of federal programs.

Wilcox is formerly a member of the U.S. Air Force Senior Executive Service and Director of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. While at AFRL, he led a staff of more than 500 scientists and engineers in developing air-launched conventional munitions technology. His federal career includes selection by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to be the Executive Chair for Weapons Science & Technology for the Five Eye Nations, and he was the U.S. Air Force’s senior representative to the Joint Weapons Community of Interest for collaborative research and engineering at the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Prior to his appointment to the Senior Executive Service in 2002, Wilcox served on active duty in the Air Force for more than 25 years, retiring as a colonel. He joined ARA in September of this year.

We are honored to have John on our team, and that he chose to join ARA as he embarks on his private sector career. I’m sure that he will continue to demonstrate his passion and commitment to excellence at ARA as he did in public service, and he will continue to deliver outstanding leadership and technical achievements as we solve problems of national importance for our customers.

ARA’s Emerald Coast Division leverages experimentation, computer science and analysis to generate models and simulations of weapons effects. The models and resulting analyses support development and acquisition and operational use of systems for the warfighter. Wilcox is a certified Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering professional and is also certified in Program Management and Test and Evaluation.

Established by Congress in 1978, the Presidential Rank Awards Program recognizes select members of the Senior Executive Service for exceptional performance over an extended period of time and Senior Level Scientific and Professional employees with a sustained record of exceptional professional, technical, and/or scientific achievement at the national or international level. Winners are chosen through a rigorous selection process: they are nominated by their agency heads, evaluated by boards of private citizens, and approved by the President. Only five percent of the Senior Executive Service is eligible to receive the rank of Meritorious Executive.   

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About Applied Research Associates, Inc.
Applied Research Associates, Inc. is an international research and engineering company that provides technically excellent solutions to complex and challenging problems in the physical sciences. Our mission is to deliver in-depth and diversified research, engineering, and technical support services. We have a broad range of technical expertise in biomedical engineering, defense technologies, civil engineering, computer software and simulation, systems analysis, and environmental technologies. For more information, visit or join the conversation on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.