Faces of the Force: Cynthia Smith

Faces of the Force: Cynthia Smith

Position and Unit: Contracting Officer, Contracting and Acquisition Management Office, Army Contracting Command-Redstone Years of Service in Workforce: 12 DAWIA Certifications: Level III in contracting and purchasing; Level I in program management Education: M.S. in management with a concentration in contracting and acquisition management, Florida Institute of Technology; B.S. in organizational management, Oakwood University; associate degree in computer information systems, Faulkner University Awards: U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command FY12 Competition Award for Outstanding Achievement; Secretary of the Army Excellence in Contracting Outstanding Unit/Team Award; Outstanding Performance Award for participation in the Small Business Innovative Research Program ‘The best decision I ever made’ By Susan L. Follett […]

Faces of the Force Profile: Brian Benis

Faces of the Force Profile: Brian Benis

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: PEO Missiles and Space, Lower Tier Project Office (PATRIOT) Title: Hardware engineer DAWIA Certifications: Level III in engineering, production and quality management; Level I in program management Years of Service in Workforce: 29 Education: B.S. in mechanical engineering, University of Arizona Awards: Order of Saint Barbara; Achievement Medal for Civilian Service Sustaining a signature system By Mary Kate Aylward Brian Benis has been taking things apart for as long as he can remember—a clock radio here, a desktop fan there—because he was curious about how they worked. That lifelong fascination earned him his mother’s constant refrain of, “You’d better put that back together before your dad comes home!” but […]

Faces of the Force: Ralph Kaminski

Faces of the Force: Ralph Kaminski

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground TITLE: Lead contract specialist DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in contracting YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 9 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 20 EDUCATION: B.A. in business, Excelsior College Air Force background yields soft landing in Army acquisition By Susan L. Follett Ralph Kaminski is leveraging the skills he acquired during a 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force to ensure that Soldiers have the test and assessment services to support developmental and operational testing of weapon systems and other programs. Kaminski’s transition from one service to the other was relatively seamless, he said. His work for the Air Force included supporting local purchase requirements, developing […]

Faces of the Force: Kevin Vo

Faces of the Force: Kevin Vo

COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Project Manager for Combat Ammunition Systems, Program Executive Office for Ammunition TITLE: Senior program analysis officer DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III, business, cost estimating and financial management; Level III, program management YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 9 EDUCATION: MBA, Florida Institute of Technology; B.S. in finance, Pennsylvania State University AWARDS: Commander’s Award for Civilian Service; Achievement Medal for Civilian Service Sometimes it’s tough to be the new guy By Susan L. Follett Like a lot of married people, Kevin Vo has his spouse to thank for his success in the working world, but not in the way you might think. “My wife has worked at Picatinny Arsenal for a long […]

Faces of the Force: Capt. Bradley Coule

Faces of the Force: Capt. Bradley Coule

POSITION AND UNIT: Assistant product manager, Lethal Miniature Aerial Missile System, Close Combat Weapon Systems Project Office, Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 2 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 9 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level II in program management EDUCATION: B.S. in engineering technology and design, University of Central Florida AWARDS: Bronze Star (2); Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal (2); Army Achievement Medal; Meritorious Unit Citation (2) Leveraging experience for mission success By Susan L. Follett Capt. Bradley Coule came to acquisition two years ago, hoping that his engineering background and deployment experience in the field could translate into helping other Soldiers. So far, he says, […]

Faces of the Force: Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla

Faces of the Force: Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla

POSITION AND UNIT: Contract specialist, 419th Contracting Support Brigade YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 1 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 10 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level II in contracting EDUCATION: B.S. in criminal justice administration, Columbia Southern University AWARDS: Army Commendation Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster (OLC)); Army Achievement Medal (3 OLCs); Army Good Conduct Medal (3); National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal; Iraqi Campaign Medal; Global War on Terrorism Medal; NCO Professional Development Ribbon (2); Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon (4); North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal Year one: lots to learn By Susan L. Follett Looking for a way to support her family, Staff Sgt. Adela Tacla joined the Army […]

Faces of the Force: Lt. Col. Brian Watson

Faces of the Force: Lt. Col. Brian Watson

POSITION AND UNIT: Chief of Platform Integration, Program Executive Office for Combat Support and Combat Service Support YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 8 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 18 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in program management; Level I in contracting EDUCATION: MBA, Colorado State University; B.S. in geology, Washington State University AWARDS: Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal (4 Oak Leaf Clusters); Parachutist Badge; Department of the Army Staff Badge Leveraging TARDEC’s ‘50-Pound Brains’ By Susan L. Follett Lt. Col. Brian Watson admits that, early in his development as a program manager, he didn’t devote a lot of attention to systems engineering. But that changed two years ago, […]

Faces of the Force: Brad Costello

Faces of the Force: Brad Costello

POSITION AND UNIT: Operations officer, Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems, Program Executive Office for Ammunition YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 5 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level II, program management; Level I, business and financial management EDUCATION: B.A. in business administration, Centenary College AWARDS: Commander’s Award for Civilian Service Never enough time By Susan L. Follett Brad Costello is good at juggling. “I usually have 10 or 15 taskers open at one time, in addition to my usual work. There’s never enough time in my day.” As operations officer for Project Manager Combat Ammunition Systems (PM CAS) in the Program Executive Office (PEO) for Ammunition, Costello and his team answer “about 400 to […]

Faces of the Force: Donna Bader

Faces of the Force: Donna Bader

POSITION AND UNIT: Contracting Officer/Team leader, Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 13 DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS:Level III in contracting; Level I in program management EDUCATION: B.S. in business marketing, Towson University; Level III certified in contracting; Level I certified in program management Walking a familiar path By Susan L. Follett For Donna Bader, following in her family’s contracting footsteps will likely require several pairs of comfortable shoes and considerable endurance: her family’s legacy totals more than 100 years. Bader’s mother was a contracting officer, division chief and supervisor in what is now known as the Army Contracting Command – Aberdeen Proving Ground (ACC-APG) Edgewood Division, […]

Faces of the Force: Lee James

Faces of the Force: Lee James

Position and Unit: Product Director, Army Human Resource Systems, Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems Total Years of Service: 15 Awards: Commander’s Award for Civilian Service (2); Achievement Medal for Civilian Service; Certificate of Achievement Education: M.S. in information resource management, Central Michigan State University; B.S. in computer science, Langston University Lee James: Surrounded by good examples By Susan L. Follett Spend just a few minutes with Lee James and you’ll quickly realize that the likes his job and loves the people he works with—including past supervisors, current coworkers, former team members and the Soldiers he supports through his work as product director for Army Human Resource Systems in Program […]