Lab engineer Scott Couture has received an award for Meritorious Civilian Service from the U.S. Air Force for his work as principal adviser for Nuclear Plans and Policies to the Under Secretary of the Air Force.
Under Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning presented the award to Couture during a Lab ceremony on Friday, Oct. 24.
"Scott has done a good job of teeing up the Air Force for the future," Fanning said.
Couture, who works in LLNL's Weapons and Complex Integration Principal Directorate (WCI), was selected as the principal adviser to the Under Secretary of the Air Force for Nuclear Matters in 2012 and served in that capacity from May 2012 until May 2014.
"I have to give a lot of credit to my wife, Donna, for letting me uproot her so that I could take advantage of this great opportunity. The Air Force constantly reinforces that you can have the best technology in the world, but it's the people that make the U.S. Air Force the best in the world. The fact that Mr. Fanning took time out of his very busy schedule to recognize my service is further reinforcement that putting people first is more than a slogan to him."
Couture was raised as the second of five "Air Force brats" in the family. His father retired as a senior master sergeant. He joined Navy ROTC in high school, was company commander his senior year and was headed to the Navy Nuclear program until he was derailed by the vision test.
He remained interested in nuclear science and technology and worked at the Y-12 Plant in Oak Ridge as a co-op student while pursuing an engineering degree at Virginia Tech. He worked at Y-12 in precision machine tools, robotics and automation.
He started at Lawrence Livermore in 1992, working in robotics for nuclear waste handling, then precision machine tools for the National Ignition Facility, before joining WCI. In WCI, he worked on weapons surveillance, annual assessment and plutonium shipping containers.