POSITION: Branch Chief, Contract Pricing
UNIT: Army Contracting Command
TOTAL YEARS OF ARMY SERVICE: 5
AWARDS: DA Achievement Medal for Civilian Service
EDUCATION: J.D., University of Baltimore; B.S. in business administration, University of Denver
Making the most of mentoring opportunities
By Susan L. Follett
After 20 years in the private sector as a litigator and consultant in telecommunications, Roderick Redman decided to look for a position that offered a more equitable work-life balance along with the opportunity to use his skills and experience. That exploration led him to the Army Contracting Command, where he currently serves as branch chief for contract pricing.
He recently marked five years in government service, making him a relative newcomer to the field. “There are a lot of very bright people working for the government, and I’ve been really impressed by the level of expertise, particularly at the senior levels,” he said.
Redman has taken full advantage of the leadership development opportunities offered through the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center’s Director, Acquisition Career Management Office, completing a year-long fellowship program at the Partnership for Public Service and participating in the pilot Army Mentoring Program, where he’s mentored by Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Procurement Harry Hallock.
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have such a knowledgeable mentor,” said Redman. “He’s a down-to-earth, personable, likeable guy who’s been a tremendous resource. Participating in the program has given me an insider’s view of government leadership within the Army. For me, as someone who’s new to government service, it has been fascinating.”
FOTF: What do you do and why is it important to the warfighter?
REDMAN: My team and I ensure that the government gets the most value for its acquisition dollar. The more value we can obtain on each purchase, the more equipment and support we can ultimately provide to our men and women in uniform.
FOTF: What’s the biggest challenge you face? How do you overcome it?
REDMAN: Getting everyone on the same page is our biggest challenge. We have a lot of different skill sets and training levels, and there’s a wide variety of operations for which each person is responsible. With that much variation, it can be tough to make sure we’re all reading from the same sheet of music. We overcome it with a lot of team-building—that’s something we focus on almost daily. It also takes a lot of people skills and informational acumen, as well as a willingness to engage with other team members as a teacher and as a student.
FOTF: What are some of the milestones you’ve achieved?
REDMAN: I am a senior fellow at the Partnership for Public Service and a graduate of the Advanced Acquisition Program at the Naval Postgraduate School. I am Level III certified in contracting and Level I certified in program management, and a grateful participant in the pilot Army Mentoring Program.
FOTF: What sparked your interest in those programs? What have you learned from your involvement?
REDMAN: The fellowship opportunity appealed to me because I was interested in finding out about building leadership across different government agencies and seeing what leaders across the federal government had in common with one another. Our group met seven times over the course of the year-long program and I was able to meet some very interesting people. During the process of applying for that program, I indicated I’d also be interested in participating in a mentoring program but there wasn’t a formal program in place at the time. Once the pilot program began, [the program directors] came looking for me, and I was glad to sign up.
The main thing I’ve learned is that you get out what you put into these programs. Unless you dedicate the time, resources and energy into participating, you won’t get the full benefit. The second thing I’ve learned is the importance of listening: There’s a wealth of information out there if you really pay attention—to what’s not said as well as what is said. It’s impressive what you can learn.
FOTF: What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army Acquisition Corps?
REDMAN: The Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) is a dedicated group of acquisition professionals. It’s important to associate yourself with professional organizations that maintain high standards for your career field, and provide for opportunities to grow and learn from one another. As a lawyer and a business professional with more 20 years of experience in the private sector, I can truly appreciate the value of professional stewardship offered by the AAC and its talented membership.
- “Faces of the Force” is an online feature highlighting members of the Army Acquisition Workforce. Produced by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center Communication Division, and working closely with public affairs officers, Soldiers and Civilians currently serving in a variety of AL&T disciplines. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.
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