Acquisitions expert Etherton bestowed NDIA’s Gold Medal for service

Jon Etherton receives NDIA's Gold Medal Honor for service from Board Chairman Arnold Punaro.

ARLINGTON, VA -- Jon Etherton, who served seven years as a senior fellow for the National Defense Industrial Association, was awarded the organization’s Gold Medal to honor his work with NDIA for better and stronger acquisitions in the federal and defense space, the trade group announces. 

Etherton, who is retiring, received the award Thursday, April 29, at NDIA’s Arlington, Virginia, headquarters, from President and CEO Hawk Carlisle and Board Chairman Arnold Punaro. He specialized in acquisitions and was recognized for his “selfless sharing of his deep acquisitions expertise, innovative thinking and drive to improve outcomes for both industry and our warfighters,” helping to further NDIA’s mission in defense and national security, his citation states.

Among his many contributions, Etherton directed and co-wrote NDIA’s 2014 acquisition reform white paper, “Pathways to Transformation,” which served as the basis for the House Armed Services Committee’s four-year acquisition reform strategy. His recommendations led to the Sections 809 and 813 panels and myriad legislative actions. Supporting NDIA’s acquisition policy efforts as an expert speaker, writer and presenter led to a follow-on acquisitions white paper on the planning, programming, budgeting and executions process. 

“Working with NDIA has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my 40 years of professional life,” Etherton said. He thanked NDIA for its support in creating “a fully transparent, deliberative process forming recommendations in the enormously complex are of acquisition reform that was open to participation by all the stakeholders in the defense community.”

“This NDIA ‘way’ was embodied in our 2014 recommendation and in those of the recommendations enacted in Title VIII of the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act,” Etherton said. “The Section 809 and Section 813 reform panel legislation that were closely aligned with NDIA 2014 report recommendations reflected this approach. We are already seeing the NDIA efforts bearing fruit in the way we tackle some of the most challenging acquisition policy issues, such as regulatory implementation of intellectual property legislation.”

Without the continuing and focused support of NDIA, “I do not believe that we would be seeing this transformation in the policies and processes around how our defense community provides critical capability to our warfighters,” Etherton said.

“NDIA was so fortunate to have Jon as a teammate in its pursuit of acquisitions reform,” Carlisle said. “The depth and breadth of his knowledge in this field is unmatched, and he advanced our efforts to success and then some. Jon is not just a team player but also a friend, and we wish him the best in his retirement.”

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About NDIA

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA and its members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training, and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations, and events. For more information, visit