The National Defense Industrial Association presents its 2023 James Shields Lifetime Achievement Award to COL Richard G. Palaschak, USA (Ret), in recognition of his commitment to the advancement of our national security, a lifetime of service in the Munitions Industrial Base, and dedication to making sure our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines have the tools they need to succeed.

COL Palaschak has embodied Jim Shields’ spirit, attitude, and dedication to the Munitions Industrial Base over the course of his 50+ year career in the munitions industry. He spent 29 years in the Army where he served in Vietnam, as Commander of the Lake City Ammunition Plant, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Conventional Ammunition, Chief – Ammunition Program, Management Division, U.S. Army Material Command, and finally as Deputy Commander, Armaments Research Development, and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal.

Following an extremely distinguished military career, he accepted a very challenging position as the first head of the Munitions Industrial Base Task Force in 1993. In this role, he directed a comprehensive study of the munitions industrial base. Over the next serval years, he briefed members of congress and personally testified before congressional committees on the industrial base. COL Palaschak was able to get $1B put back into the munitions industry, not only rescuing the industrial base, but also helping to prepare the U.S. for our post 9/11 fight. He retired from the MIBTF in 2015 after 22 years and a combined 51 years of service.