Tailored training

Tailored training

USAMMDA’s highly specialized workforce needs training to match its mission. It’s getting it, thanks to DAWDF funding. by Ms. Kathleen L. Berst and Ms. Judy L. Holian As the premier developer of world-class military medical capabilities, the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is responsible for developing and delivering critical products for the nation’s military forces. USAMMDA requires a particular type of workforce to accomplish this mission, with skills not only in acquisition but also in very specialized areas of medical product development. These highly skilled personnel enable USAMMDA to supply products that protect and preserve the lives of warfighters worldwide. The products include drugs, […]

Faces of the Force: Michael Doney

Faces of the Force: Michael Doney

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Project Manager for Distributed Common Ground System – Army; Program Executive Office for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors TITLE: Product director, Machine Foreign Language Translation System YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 33 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in program management and engineering EDUCATION: M.S. in engineering management, George Washington University; B.S. in civil engineering, Virginia Tech AWARDS: Meritorious Civilian Service Award; Superior Civilian Service Award; Commander’s Award for Civilian Service (multiple); Achievement Medal for Civilian Service (multiple)   Product director puts translators in Soldiers’ pockets by Mary Kate Aylward “There will never be enough human linguists to meet the Army’s varied translation requirements.” That’s the problem Michael Doney’s team works to […]

Zero to full manpower in 8 hours

Zero to full manpower in 8 hours

Predictive Resource Staffing Models make staffing a program office easier and faster. A model for the program management community is available now; models for contracting, R&D, T&E and logistics are in development. by Ms. Rebecca Meyer You’ve just been selected as the program manager for an up-and-coming system. Congratulations! Its capability promises to revolutionize the way the Soldier operates on the battlefield. It checks all the buzzwords: Lean Six Sigma, cost efficient, auditable. There’s just one problem—a program management office (PMO) has not yet been established to carry out the mission, and you’ve been charged with developing the workforce requirement. Where do you start? How many people will you need? […]

Center of the storm

Center of the storm

‘Trail bosses’ in evolving NIE, JWA seize the chance to grow professionally as their roles expand in planning and executing the large-scale exercises. by Ms. Nancy Jones-Bonbrest The Army’s Network Integration Evaluations (NIEs) and Joint Warfighting Assessments (JWAs) were meant to be fluid and flexible, adaptable to current demands. In keeping with that design, both events are undergoing sweeping changes that will improve the integration of emerging technologies and meet the call for readiness in an ever-changing global threat environment. As the Army shakes up the process, the people who conduct the NIEs and JWAs are also adapting their roles and responsibilities—and making the most of the opportunity to burnish […]

Then and Now: Not Your Daddy’s (or Granddaddy’s) Tactical Vehicle

Then and Now: Not Your Daddy’s (or Granddaddy’s) Tactical Vehicle

JLTV, Army’s and Marines’ newest wheeled asset, follows in the venerable tracks of Jeep, HMMWV Mr. Robert Coultas Over the past few decades, the character of military conflict has changed substantially as “front lines” and “rear areas” have blurred into a single, full-spectrum operational environment. That increasing complexity is reflected in the tactical vehicles that commanders need to address that spectrum of operations. When the Army looked to replace the venerable Jeep, the July-August 1981 issue of RD&A magazine, Army AL&T’s predecessor, described the new vehicle it sought to acquire, the High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), this way: “The HMMWV will be diesel powered and have an automatic transmission. It […]

Riding the Experience Curve

Riding the Experience Curve

There’s a proven way to drive down defense acquisition costs, and it works especially well for the complex, high-tech platforms prone to big cost overruns. You’ve heard of it: the learning curve. It drives down defense acquisition costs the old-fashioned way. by Mr. Sudhakar Arepally Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs waited 108 years to finally win the World Series championship in 2016. It has not been that long—30 years or so—since the Army launched a major combat ground vehicle program, but the drought is conspicuous and frustrating nonetheless. The Army’s “Big 5”—the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Bradley fighting vehicle, the UH-60 Black Hawk, the AH-64 Apache and the […]

Building A Better Mirror

Building A Better Mirror

Crunching data provides clearer image of organizational diversity. by Mr. Thom Hawkins You can never be sure, when you look in a mirror, that what you see is what other people see. For an organization, measuring diversity can elicit the unsettling images of a funhouse mirror, and standing too long in front of the mirror that makes us look tallest or laugh the hardest will not reveal how we truly look. So, how do we know if our ideas of diversity mirror those of others? How can we create the healthiest, most genuinely and appropriately diverse workplace possible? What is the right mirror to use? According to U.S. Equal Employment […]

Faces of the Force: Shannon Western

Faces of the Force: Shannon Western

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Mission and Installation Contracting Command – Fort Lee, Virginia TITLE: Quality assurance specialist YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 10 YEARS OF SERVICE IN MILITARY: 19 (6 on active duty and 13 in the Army Reserve) DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level I in quality assurance EDUCATION: B.A. in contract management and acquisitions, Strayer University AWARDS: Afghanistan Campaign Medal (one campaign star); NATO Afghanistan Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; Army Certificate of Achievement; National Defense Service Medal; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon; Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device THE SECRET TO LONGEVITY by […]

Been There, Done That: Want A High Return?

Been There, Done That: Want A High Return?

Invest in more business education for PMs, and reap returns in the short term—good products at an appropriate price—and long—repaired credibility for defense acquisition. by Robert F. Mortlock, Col., USA (Ret.) “I don’t care how much it costs, we need it now!” At the height of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, getting the warfighter the capabilities they needed as rapidly as possible was always the top priority for the defense acquisition community—and who could argue against it? Delivering effective, suitable warfighting equipment as fast as possible was the focus—often at the long-term expense, literally, of the services’ and DOD’s budgets. Maintaining the focus on urgent needs was possible because […]

On The Right GTRAC

On The Right GTRAC

Fielding the Global Combat Support System – Army posed formidable training challenges. The product management office opted for a slow-and-steady approach that introduces users to the new logistics software over 150 days. by Antonio Ocasio The Global Combat Support System – Army (GCSS-Army), an Acquisition Category I major automated information system program and the largest logistics software implementation in military history, is well on its way to completion. GCSS-Army is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that facilitates near real-time management of all the Army’s sustainment missions. It replaces current tactical logistics management information systems, including the Standard Army Retail Supply System, Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced and Standard Army […]