Ground Truth: Talent Management in Lean Times

Ground Truth: Talent Management in Lean Times

Lessons in working with what you have and building what you don’t by Kevin Guite The past several years have been a tricky time for hiring, developing and retaining good people. With less money to spend, less leeway to hire and yet urgent needs for specific knowledge, Army acquisition program managers have had to think creatively to train their workforces, leverage existing expertise across organizations and compete for the brightest young minds. It is those bright minds, after all, who keep the programs running effectively and on schedule to deliver products on time and within budget to the Soldiers who need them as fast as possible. The Army Acquisition Lessons […]

Building Credibility

Building Credibility

Program managers need the right mix of character and action to build a foundation of trust. by Col. Joel D. Babbitt Credibility gives authority and brings trust; it is the reward of good decisions, the product of consistent results and the currency that every leader deals in. If a program manager (PM) has credibility, people trust them to do what they say and then give the time, resources and the leadership support to do it. The opposite is also true. Indeed, as now-retired Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal noted, “Credibility equals freedom of action.” Credibility is especially key in the world of acquisition, where trust equals money, and a breach of […]

I3MP completes infrastructure upgrade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

I3MP completes infrastructure upgrade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

By Scott Sundsvold FORT BELVOIR, Va. – The Product Manager for the Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program (I3MP) completed the delivery of a state-of-the-art information technology capability modernization effort at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington, in early February. The modernizations enable JBLM to provide a secure suite of collaboration, real-time communications and supporting services to the Soldier and Army business user on any device, anywhere in the world. This modernization effort directly affected the Army network for the project’s core customers at the headquarters for JBLM, the Army’s I Corps and the Air Force’s 62nd Airlift Wing, in addition to the Madigan Army Medical Center and the JBLM Network Enterprise […]

N.J. Lt. Gov. visits where ‘engineering meets operations’

N.J. Lt. Gov. visits where ‘engineering meets operations’

By Kelly White, CERDEC Public Affairs JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – The lieutenant governor of New Jersey visited the U.S. Army Material Command’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, Ground Activity, or CGA, last month, to learn about the mission growth path. The CGA, which is part of CERDEC’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, or S&TCD, is on the cutting edge of supporting this generation and next generation’s operational gaps for training and cyber activities, something Lt. Gov. Kimberly Guadagno wants to support from outside the wire. “To support the Army’s active duty component, the state has the ability and purview to help quality of life issues that […]

Faces of the Force: Clinton Spratley

Faces of the Force: Clinton Spratley

Command/organization: Aircraft Survivability Equipment Project Management Office, Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors Title: Lead systems engineer Years of service in workforce: 10 Years of military service: 3 DAWIA certifications: Level III in systems engineering; Level II in program management Education: Completing a dual MBA and master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering, Auburn University (expected December); B.S. in physics, Baylor University Seeking heat at the ACAT I level by Ms. Mary Kate Aylward Clinton E. Spratley spent three years on active duty with the Air Force before lending his engineering background to the Army’s efforts to improve aircraft survivability. After leaving the Air Force, he joined […]

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: How to Manage a Swarm

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: How to Manage a Swarm

Our interview for the April – June Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre—he’s a Ranger vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who is now a robotics expert at the Center for a New American Security—covered so much good material, but we didn’t want to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here’s Scharre on how to manage a swarm. Scharre: [You could see] area coverage in this way where there are super rules—like don’t get too close or too far away from other agents. And that uses a swarm of agents to cover an area. Those sort of work for all sorts of military problems, whether it’s reconnaissance or […]

Leader development program offers unique experience for civilians

Leader development program offers unique experience for civilians

By Tara Clements FORT BELVOIR, Va. (April 25, 2014) – Five members of the 2014 Competitive Development Group/Army Acquisition Fellowship (CDG/AAF) were recognized at a graduation ceremony April 18, marking their completion of the three-year developmental program that provides expanded training through a series of educational, leader development and broadening assignments for members of the Army acquisition workforce. “This is a great day to celebrate achievements in the Army,” said Craig Spisak, director of the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center (USAASC) and host for the ceremony. Spisak was a member of the very first CDG/AAF program, and recalled his experiences from nearly 20 years ago. “In April 1997, I got […]

Collaborative Autonomy: A Tactical Offset Strategy

Collaborative Autonomy: A Tactical Offset Strategy

ARL intelligent systems S&T is leading to a tactical offset strategy for operations in a range of challenging settings. by Dr. Brian M. Sadler The desire for a third offset strategy has been a major focus of DOD science and technology (S&T) discussion for the past few years. While the Navy and Air Force primarily face issues related to large-scale, extended-range operations, the Army must address a different set of long-term challenges in complex operational scenarios. These notably include megacities and other perplexing domains such as subterranean and jungle environments. It is not difficult to envision a megacity in a developing nation facing a quicksand of natural disaster, failing infrastructure, […]

Faces of the Force: Tara Clark

Faces of the Force: Tara Clark

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama TITLE: Ballistic missile defense project manager YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 14 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in facilities engineering EDUCATION: MBA, The Citadel; B.S. in mechanical engineering, Geneva College; Professional Engineer – Pennsylvania and certified Project Manager Professional AWARDS: Huntsville Center Project Manager of the Year; Achievement Medal for Civilian Service; Europe District Hero of the Battle; Certificate of Achievement, NATO Special Operations Headquarters Project Delivery Team; Certificate of Achievement, Interagency and International Services Project Delivery Team; Certificate of Achievement, Phased Adaptive Approach Romanian Planning Charrette A CAREER MARKED BY BIG TRANSITIONS By Susan Follett In her 14 years of working […]

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Humans Out of the Loop

Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre: Humans Out of the Loop

Our interview for the April – June Critical Thinking with Paul Scharre—he’s a Ranger vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan who is now a robotics expert at the Center for a New American Security—covered so much good material, but we didn’t want to leave it on the cutting room floor. Here’s Scharre on humans out-of-the-loop. Army AL&T: What work is being done on armed unmanned systems (without a human in the loop)? Scharre: There’s a very robust discussion going on internationally and within certain sectors of the U.S. defense community, particularly among lawyers, about this idea of autonomous weapons that would do targeting on their own and are […]