• Faces of the Force

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    Soldier, now Army civilian, finds his place after 9/11

     

    By Tara Clements

     

    BACKGROUND
    After 20 years of military service as a U.S. Army Soldier, Jorge Caballero discovered what he wanted to do—program management. Caballero discovered his interest during his last job as a Soldier working for the Pentagon Renovation Program (PENREN) in August 2000, but found even greater clarity after 9/11.

    For Caballero, “9/11 changed everything.” On that day, just 20 minutes before the plane hit, he was working at the side of the building. After the attack, Caballero worked as the only noncommissioned officer in charge of the PENREN coordination cell for the Phoenix Project; named for the western side of the building that was hit and known for its aggressive goal to rebuild and fully restore the section within one year. The more Caballero learned about program management and the dedication involved, the more he found it was what he was meant to do.

    A few years and two masters’ degrees later, he joined the civil service in September 2005, working for the Information Technology System Product Office at the Pentagon, charged with modernizing IT infrastructure, applying new technology, and finding efficiencies during the Pentagon renovation. Caballero managed multiple projects in signature areas including the Pentagon Press Briefing Room and conference rooms for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of defense, to name a few.

    Colleague Bill Williams provides Caballero with an overview of a manhole distribution system project in Afghanistan. (PdM P2E courtesy photo)

    He currently serves as integrated product team lead, working for the Army’s Product Manager, Power Projection Enablers (PdM P2E) office within the Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), charged with ensuring Soldiers across the globe have the communication infrastructure they need to be effective and complete their mission. Projects include managing the infrastructure requirements in areas such as indoor and outdoor networks, routers, switches, cable installs, electrical engineering, phone and online capabilities—just to name a few.

    His approach to success is simple and clear: “Everything is built on the give and take around teamwork—I am a firm believer in the three “C’s mantra”: Coordination, coordination, and coordination!”

    FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?

    “Being part of a group of people putting their lives on the line, whether they’re in uniform, civilian or a badged contractor, to ensure that projects are completed—all while leaving their home and families—is compelling. No other job has that opportunity or gives the same profound sense of accomplishment.”

    CABALLERO: I oversee projects being executed by defense contractors and industry partners and ensure that the government receives what it’s invested in and that acquisition rules are followed. A major part of my job is to be ready to tackle any obstacles—so projects can move forward and be completed on time.

    FOTF: What kinds of obstacles do you face in your job?

    CABALLERO: I’m a firm believer in face-to-face meetings to resolve issues and overcome obstacles in a timely fashion. While I was in Kandahar, [Afghanistan], I was called to resolve an issue with a contract in Kabul since I was the only forward liaison for P2E. There was an issue with documentation and deliverables for a receiving command. By working together with all parties in person, and hearing the back stories that may not have been factored in or mentioned remotely, we were able to resolve the issue at hand, adjust processes in real time, and give that unit what was needed to do their job.

    A believer in teamwork, during Caballero’s (right) last deployment to Afghanistan in March 2012, he ensured Maj. Kyle McFarland, P2E assistant project manager (center) was set up for success to assume responsibility as the P2E liaison and served as a mentor to counterpart Adam Babin (left) who had been deployed with Caballero since January. (Photo by Dave Holmes, PdM P2E)

    Currently, I’m part of the [PEO EIS] Pacific team supporting Korea. When I first joined, a few of my projects were underfunded and behind schedule. The warfighter needed several capabilities, but several contract requirements weren’t funded. I was able to find the funding and move the project forward and deliver the necessary capabilities for the Soldier.

    FOTF: Where have you deployed?

    CABALLERO: I’ve actually deployed more as an Army civilian than I did as a Soldier. Since April 2011, I have deployed to Afghanistan two times for an average of three to five months at a time, and traveled several times after for shorter periods, in addition to visits to Kuwait. As an active duty Soldier, I deployed in support of the Gulf War.

    As much as I loved my military career, it’s a very different environment when deploying as a civilian employee. I’ve more of a varied mission as a civilian, and appreciate the flexibility to visit sites supporting the warfighter. Being able to travel back and forth from the field to my headquarters and back again allows for a more holistic viewpoint and can bring about a better understanding for everyone involved. My mission also allows me to share what is taking place in the field so leaders can understand all hardships and obstacles involved.

    FOTF: What has your experience been like? What has surprised you the most?

    CABALLERO: I enjoy the teamwork and camaraderie inherent in working for the Army, as well as working with industry partners. One of the most surprising and fulfilling things was to experience the teamwork and camaraderie while deployed to Afghanistan. Being part of a group of people putting their lives on the line, whether they’re in uniform, civilian or a badged contractor, to ensure that projects are completed—all while leaving their homes and families—is compelling. No other job has that opportunity or gives the same profound sense of accomplishment.

    The Tech Control Facility at Sharana, Afghanistan, is one of the many projects Caballero was involved with during his deployments. (PdM P2E courtesy photo)

    FOTF: What is the relationship like working with industry partners in an overseas environment?

    CABALLERO: When you’re in a foreign environment, especially a war zone, you’re all working towards the same mission. My job is to break any barriers that might exist so our contractors can do their job to the best of their abilities, and with the needed resources. I believe in maintaining a good rapport with our contract partners and customers working with PdM P2E and actively work to break through barriers to complete the overall mission of our organization.

    FOTF: What were some of your greatest challenges?

    CABALLERO: I don’t think everyone understands what the “acquisition” [career] is. I think we have a very well-trained acquisition workforce, especially contractors, but I think we need to do a better job to educate within the Army about what we do and what is involved in handling our roles. For example, if the requirement is to build a house, as the program manager, I know what is needed. I’ll build that house working with the experts and adjust only if necessary on contingency plans. In an era of shrinking budgets and limited personnel, we all need to be especially cautious of solicitation timeframes and requirements that are late and or poorly defined which will cost more in the long run.

    FOTF: Why did you join the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?

    On his first deployment to Afghanistan as a civilian, Caballero accepts a challenge to take a physical fitness test with a Soldier from 335th (T) FWD, a main customer in SWA, noting that it was “one of the most enjoyable experiences I had in theater.” (PdM P2E courtesy photo)

    CABALLERO: When I retired from the Army in 2003, I spent two years as a contractor working on the Pentagon renovation project and fell in love with project management. I wanted to be able to make decisions and have the responsibility to be held accountable for projects. I felt I could work better for the taxpayer, ensuring that requirements were met and represent the government’s requests directly.

    The greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army has been the sense of camaraderie that is extended to the entire team. The Army cares about the civilians, supports camaraderie and collaboration, and demonstrates that especially well in a combat zone. Every day is an adventure, good and bad, and I’m always presented with a new challenge to tackle, learn and grow from.
     

    Related Links:
    PEO EIS
    PDM P2E
    Article: P2E achieves full operational capability of the main communications facility, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

     


    • “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 are featured every other week. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

    Read more »
  • Faces of the Force

    Template for Faces of the Force

    Artillery-to-acquisition officer provides innovative technology to Soldiers on the ground

     

    By Tara Clements

     

    BACKGROUND
    For this Army-grown artillery officer, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and he keeps that in mind everyday as he uses his experience as a Soldier, a leader and an innovator to bring the latest technology to Soldiers on the ground and is striving to make it even better in the future.

    The assistant product manager for the One System Remote Video Terminal (OSRVT), Maj. Thomas Jagielski ensures that deploying Soldiers and units are equipped with a valuable capability: “eyes in the sky” to maintain situational awareness. What does that mean? Without the situational awareness that technology can provide, a Soldier on a battlefield won’t know where the enemy is located. They’re out there, but if the Soldier can’t see them, they can’t know what capabilities they might have.

    Now, give that same Soldier a visual, from a screen in his hands, of where the enemy is, what capabilities they might have, and the ability to coordinate with ground and aviation forces to address the threat—that’s tactical overmatch, and invaluable.

    “When a Soldier is able to identify combatants, their position, any potential obstacles or changes in an area of operations prior to arrival at a location it allows for better planning and preparation for operations as well as better resource management,” said Jagielski.

    And Jagielski speaks from direct experience. This Bronze Star Medal recipient’s deployment experience has given him the ability to provide the “Soldier’s perspective” when developing upgrades and requirements for the system.

    FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?

    JAGIELSKI: As the assistant product manager for the OSRVT, I ensure that limited OSRVT assets reach Soldiers who are deploying as well as provide training to maximize system effectiveness. Additionally, I manage the OSRVT preplanned product improvement and interoperability with other systems that allows the OSRVT to remain on the cutting edge of technology. OSRVT’s common software can be integrated with any ground vehicle, tracked or wheeled, for comprehensive situational awareness. The user-friendly graphical user interface delivers information in live video or map views, and allows users to easily save, export and analyze data. The OSRVT is a proven combat multiplier for maneuver and aviation units by providing unprecedented situational awareness. This ultimately saves Soldiers as well as civilian lives.

    FOTF: Can you give me a few examples of how this technology has benefited Soldiers on the ground?

    Jagielski and his colleague look over the OSRTV antenna, one of the system components. (Photo by Sofia Bledsoe)

    JAGIELSKI: This system enables Soldiers on the ground to have the most current operational picture. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” That is never truer than when Soldiers are conducting operations. When a Soldier is able to identify combatants, their position, any potential obstacles or changes in an area of operations prior to arrival at a location, it allows for better planning and preparation for operations as well as better resource management. The OSRVT is used by intelligence sections to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance that formally had been accomplished by Soldiers. This reduces Soldiers’ exposure to hostile forces without a tactical advantage.

    The OSRVT is also used by convoy commanders to identify danger areas, choke points, or areas of congestion, allowing them to maneuver and avoid those areas. Aviators use the OSRVT to conduct manned-unmanned teaming. In this teaming, an unmanned aircraft flies in front of a manned aircraft, extending the pilot’s range of sight. This allows the pilot to identify threats or objectives at greater ranges and maneuver to engage and or avoid the threats.

    FOTF: What has your experience in the Army been like? What has surprised you the most?

    JAGIELSKI: Transitioning from an artillery officer into Army acquisition has been an eye-opening experience. Learning the acquisition process and working through contract development and implementation has been one of the greatest challenges in my career. I have a great team in the OSRVT product office that works very hard to get equipment to the Soldiers who need it and make them successful. Many people on the team have prior military experience, but the battlefield has changed dramatically over the past few years. I’m able to provide the Soldier’s prospective for determining priorities and development and come to work every day knowing that I will learn something that will make me a better acquisition officer down the road.

    The most surprising thing to me is the amount of effort and hard work by the whole team to maintain interoperability with all of the platforms in the U.S. military. The OSRVT receives data from manned and unmanned aircraft as well as robots across all services. These systems are continually working to provide better information to the end user but in doing so, communications profiles and specifications change making this a complex and challenging process. In order for the OSRVT to maintain communications with all systems, it is vital that interoperability profiles are current and future profiles are considered for future software. The level of effort to do this is far greater than I ever conceived.

    FOTF: Describe the coordination process—how is this attempted across multiple technologies across multiple services?

    “When a Soldier is able to identify combatants, their position, any potential obstacles or changes in an area of operations prior to arrival at a location, it allows for better planning and preparation for operations as well as better resource management.”

    JAGIELSKI: The first step is to maintain interoperability profiles. Common Systems Interrogation works extensively with other branches and industry to ensure that all unmanned aircraft systems are able to communicate with each other as well as not interfere with other battlefield operating systems. They prioritize and control communication spectrums to ensure that the limited spectrum provides maximum coverage.

    FOTF: You mentioned that the battlefield has changed dramatically over the past few years—how does that impact you and your team?

    JAGIELSKI: The first thing we do is prioritize which units will be fielded. We are here to support the warfighter and we make sure that units deploying in support of combat operations are given priority in fielding. Our team also provides forward support to Soldiers, meaning we have teams stationed in theater to provide technical and logistical support. Often, this requires them to travel to forward operating bases to provide that support or to train additional Soldiers on our system. We use these opportunities to learn from the Soldiers as well. The threat on the battlefield continually evolves. Our enemy is innovative and adapts to our tactics, techniques and procedures. Therefore, we are attempting to stay at least one step ahead of them. We take the lessons learned from the battlefield and incorporate them into our new equipment training when we field additional units.

    FOTF: How have your deployments contributed to your job today?

    JAGIELSKI: As an artilleryman it is imperative that I understand how maneuver forces operate and their scheme of maneuver. In the past we have focused on linear operations that emphasized force-on-force action. In my recent deployments [to Iraq in 2003 and 2006], I’ve operated in an asymmetric battlefield. Understanding both of these enabled me to explain how the system would be fought in each environment. The ground Soldiers’ perspective and priorities are vastly different than aviators. I provide the ground Soldiers’ perspective with regard to system upgrade priorities and requirements.

    The OSRTV’s graphical user interface delivers information in live video or map views, and allows users to easily save, export and analyze data, providing unprecedented situational awareness. U.S. Army photo.

    FOTF: What does the OSRVT’s future look like?

    JAGIELSKI: Our next upgrade will allow OSRVT operators to accomplish interoperability level III. This means the Soldier will be able to control the payload of the unmanned aerial system (UAS) while the pilot of the UAS allows supervised access. The aircraft will fly in a Safe Air Volume (SAV), or the volume of airspace in which it is safe to operate an unmanned air vehicle, using a keep-in algorithm. The software determines and directs the UAS to a location to provide the best images from the angle as specified by the OSRVT operator.

    It is the vision of the commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence to have full-motion video down to the squad level. To do this, we must continue to work to reduce the size and weight of our system. The OSRVT team is looking at ways to leverage emerging technologies to decrease the size and weight while providing all of the capabilities of our current system. The system of the future will be smaller, lightweight, and man-packable. The operating system will be intuitive allowing Soldiers to receive feeds from multiple sources with minimal training.

    FOTF: Why did you join the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?

    JAGIELSKI: The Army offered a career that is mentally and physically challenging. I am always looking for ways to push myself to the limits and see what I can accomplish. Throughout my career, the Army has allowed me to grow as a person and as a leader. I have been able to work with some of the greatest hardworking and dedicated people and together we have been able to impact people and create positive change all over the world.

    For more information, visit PEO Aviation.

    Related articles:
    http://www.ausa.org/publications/armymagazine/archive/2013/02/Documents/SoldierArmed_0213.pdf

    http://www.army.mil/article/67838

    http://www.aaicorp.com/products/uas/isr_osrvt

     


    • “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 are featured every other week. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

    Read more »
  • Faces of the Force

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    Working towards culture change

     

    By Tara Clements

     

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Two women with very different backgrounds come together to achieve a common goal: inform and educate the PEO Ammunition workforce to combat sexual harassment and sexual assault. But what started as an initiative for one community quickly grew into a larger challenge.

    Not having met prior to volunteering, Veronica Morgante and Brenda Eiseman acted as a team and volunteered to develop and implement a Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program for PEO Ammunition and later, for Picatinny Arsenal, to meet the Army’s requirement for the program.

    The Army SHARP Program reinforces the Army’s commitment to eradicating sexual harassment and sexual assault through a comprehensive policy that centers on awareness and prevention, training and education, victim advocacy and response, reporting, accountability, and program assessment. The Army SHARP Program promotes sensitive care and confidential reporting for victims of sexual assault and accountability for those who commit these crimes.

    Morgante serves as the Victim Advocate (VA) and Eiseman as the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC) for PEO Ammunition charged with coordinating and conducting SHARP training for all 330 PEO Ammunition civilian and military personnel. Because of the Army’s SHARP training requirements, the two also acted as the Picatinny Installation SARC and VA, supporting the 5,000-strong community, until the installation could hire qualified personnel.

    “As a SHARP VA, I train the PEO Ammunition workforce on how to identify unacceptable behaviors and ways to prevent sexual harassment and assaults.”

    And becoming certified in these positions is no small feat—to achieve the DOD level I certification, a mandatory two-week, 80-hour training course, including exams and practice exercises, is required. Any failing grade sends a trainee home. Although they didn’t attending the course together, they shared a similar perspective: “This is not an ‘easy’ course.”

    “There was so much information to absorb. I took home reading assignments each evening and there were tests that had to be passed. If you didn’t make the grade, you were sent home and I didn’t want that to be me,” added Morgante.

    “I thought it was top-notch training”, said Eiseman who, as a retired officer, has had her fair share of experience with Army training courses. “I’m an acquisition professional, but I have a degree in professional counseling and always had a goal to transition to something in the counseling field after retiring. I see this as something I could do to fulfill my goal, use my degree and stay connected to and support Soldiers. It’s something I’m very passionate about.”

    This year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in April served as a launching pad for their program including ensuring informational materials were accessible across the installation, providing informative briefings at town hall meetings, ensuring requirements for mandatory leader engagements and inspections were met and that program information was easily accessible throughout the local area. In addition, they ensured that the SAAM proclamation was signed by the commanding general and garrison leadership, demonstrating commitment to the program at the PEO and installation’s most senior levels.

    Their efforts to build and implement a SHARP program that increased awareness has proven effective – “people are talking about it…we’ve received a few calls from individuals inquiring about the program,” said Morgante.

    This program is a significant focus area for the entire DOD to achieve a culture change in the military and is an ongoing process. “Eliminating sexual assault from our Armed Forces remains one of our top priorities,” stated the Secretary of Defense, the Hon. Chuck Hagel, in his Aug. 14, 2013, memorandum, outlining seven measures to be in effect by Jan. 1, 2014 to strengthen the program.

    FOTF: How were the two of you selected to serve as advocates?

    MORGANTE: A request was sent out to the PEO Ammunition workforce for [two] volunteers. I had been a unit victim advocate under the previous program, Sexual Assault Prevention Response Program (SAPR), so it made sense for me to volunteer. Once the deputy PEO approved, I was on my way to the two-week training program.

    EISEMAN: I volunteered because I viewed this as an opportunity for me to stay connected with Soldiers and continue to serve Soldiers in a human capacity, which is a little bit different than what I do in my regular job [as an acquisition professional] and is something I am very passionate about.

    FOTF: Given geographical differences, what was it like working together to execute the program?

    MORGANTE: We always managed to tackle and complete what was required of us to execute SHARP at Picatinny, communicating by telephone and email. Brenda made trips to Picatinny when necessary, incorporating her trips with her regular duties (non- SHARP). Her trips coincided with the April Sexual Assault Awareness Month and training sessions she was conducting–we scheduled about a dozen of those training sessions to train our PEO Ammunition workforce.

    EISEMAN: Fortunately, Veronica and I work very well together and the PEO has had no incidences of sexual harassment or assault so all of our efforts so far have been focused on education, prevention, and preparation to respond in the event of any reported incidences. Plus, I’ve been able to share some of the great resources, ideas and knowledge coming from the Belvoir community to the Picatinny community so that’s been a benefit, I think.

    “I see this as something I could do to fulfill my goal, use my degree and stay connected to and support Soldiers. It’s something I’m very passionate about.”

    FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?

    MORGANTE: Throughout my civilian career, I have had positions within the administrative field that support our Army civilians and Soldiers. In my current position as an organizational resources specialist, I manage human resource and manpower information for PEO Ammunition.

    As a SHARP VA, I train the PEO Ammunition workforce on how to identify unacceptable behaviors and ways to prevent sexual harassment and assaults. SHARP has become a top priority program for the Department of the Army and is working towards achieving cultural change within the ranks that sexual harassment and sexual assault has no place in the military.

    EISEMAN: I am the business management officer for the Countermine Division of the Counter Explosive Hazard and also serve as the PEO Ammunition SHARP/Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC). As the business manager, I help coordinate and manage financial resources to project officers to successfully deliver capability to the warfighter. As the SHARP/SARC, I assist in promoting awareness and prevention of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the work place and help foster a positive climate that respects the dignity of all members of the Army family.

    FOTF: What has your experience been like? What has surprised you the most?

    MORGANTE: Working the SHARP Program has opened my eyes to the unacceptable behaviors that lead to harassment and assault. My SHARP training has spilled over into my personal life to educate my family and friends. What surprised me the most: In January, I was made aware that the Picatinny installation sought to leverage the PEO Ammunition SHARP resources (me and the SHARP SARC) to establish a program for the entire installation. [Brenda and I] were appointed the installation SHARPs through June while the garrison went through the process to hire their own personnel. The added responsibility became a major duty for me, but I took it all in stride knowing that I was part of the bigger picture to achieve the cultural change.

    EISEMAN: I just recently came off a two week vacation which I really enjoyed. In fact, my twin daughters and I met up with my son, who is also in the Army, in Cancun and we became certified scuba divers. However, I can honestly say that I was excited to come back to work. I love coming to work each day, I love the team that I work with, the mission that I perform, and the environment that I work in. This really isn’t a surprise to me though because every job that I’ve had throughout my military career has been that way and I didn’t expect my civil service career to be any different.

    FOTF: What was your deployment experience. What stands out to you the most?

    EISEMAN: I was deployed while on active duty from Aug. 2004-2005. My team and I established the RC East Joint Contracting Office in Afghanistan where I served as the chief of contracting. The camaraderie between all the services and local nationals supporting the mission inside the wire as well as outside the wire, and the eagerness of the local nationals to learn acceptable business practices and to conduct business with the U.S. contracting office, are among my most memorable deployment experiences.

    FOTF: Why did you join the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?

    MORGANTE: I took the federal civil service exam and was offered a position at Picatinny Arsenal. I had been unemployed for about five months from private industry when I was offered a position in the Picatinny civilian personnel office – the timing was just right. My greatest satisfaction is knowing that what I do is supporting our Soldiers.

    EISEMAN: I enlisted in the Army in the Army Reserves in 1982 as a way to get out of my hometown and explore life beyond rural Ohio. I was so excited about the opportunities the military had to offer and was encouraged by my supervisor to compete for an ROTC scholarship. My most rewarding assignments while on active duty included being the commander of a basic training unit and establishing the RC East Contracting Office in Afghanistan. Both of these assignments offered me the opportunity to be part of a team that positively impacted peoples’ lives. As a basic training commander it was tremendously gratifying to see young recruits transition from civilians to physically fit, confident soldiers. As chief of contracting, it was very rewarding to be an ambassador and to have a positive economic impact in the local community. As a Department of the Army civilian, I enjoy being part of a team responsible for delivering technology that is saving lives and limbs of our deployed warfighters.

    FOTF: As a retired officer, how was the transition to becoming an Army civilian?

    EISEMAN: For me, the transition was not difficult at all. I was unemployed for one whole day. The most challenging part for me was figuring out what I was going to wear! I still work with a great team of dedicated professionals on a very relevant mission. I have a bit more stability and predictability in my career, which is good since I am raising teenage twin daughters. Now, I experience the thrill of the military lifestyle vicariously through my son who is serving in the 2-1 Infantry.

    Learn more about:
    PEO Ammunition: http://www.pica.army.mil/peoammo/Home.aspx
    Picatinny Arsenal: http://www.pica.army.mil/PicatinnyPublic/index.asp
    SHARP website: http://www.preventsexualassault.army.mil/

     


    • “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 are featured every other week. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

    Read more »
  • An Army of Two: Yolanda and Sean Friendly

    The Friendly family--Sean, center, Yolanda, right, and their daughters.

    By Steve Stark

     

    Editor’s Note: The Army family—a way of life and a core foundation of what makes our Army strong. As the holiday season is upon us, it’s fitting for Access AL&T to share just one of the many Army family stories within our AL&T community that most, if not all Army families can relate to. Happy holidays.

    Sean and Yolanda Friendly’s marriage is an Army marriage—the Army brought them together and, now and again, it’s kept them apart.

    In 1990, while stationed in Korea, Yolanda got a flu shot from young medic. For her, the flu shot wasn’t particularly memorable. For the young medic—Sean Friendly—however, it was a pretty big deal.

    After he gave her that flu shot, she kept hearing from other friends that there was a young man who was interested in her. She didn’t remember him.

    Sometime later, they and a group of friends went out for noodles—yakisoba—and afterward, Sean walked her home. According to Yolanda, he gave her something of an ultimatum: He told her he wanted her to be his girlfriend. Yolanda wasn’t in so much of a hurry. He gave her a week to decide.

    In his own defense, Sean said, “Let me start off by saying that I was 22, probably.” He figured he had “about a 75 to 80 percent chance she was going to say yes, but there was a chance, because of how she was—she’s very, very strict—so there was a chance that she could have come back and said, ‘I just can’t because I’m getting ready to deploy, or that she just wanted to be friends.” But, he was so crazy about her, if she had said no, “I wasn’t going to stop, but I would’ve had to come up with some other plan.” He didn’t have to make another plan. Yolanda agreed.

    ARMY INTERVENTION
    Yolanda and Sean like to joke that before they were married, “We dated for three years, and then we dated for three more” after they were married. That was because the two were stationed apart both during their courtship and for the first part of their marriage.

    “He was a medic, and I was in supply, a ‘loggy’,” Yolanda’s term for logistician. “We did the Army Married Couples Program, but they always said…” Here, Sean took up the thread. “…since we were already apart, we can’t put you guys together until your next duty station, and that’s how we ended up in Korea again.”

    JUGGLING GEOGRAPHY
    But the Army’s idea of “together” and their idea were slightly different. In the Army sense, they were together. “We were together in the same country,” Sean said, laughing. “We were just in different places in the country.”

    At the time, they were both enlisted, but Sean got a Green to Gold scholarship to go to college, “so basically, I got stuck in Korea by myself while he went to college,” Yolanda said. And then she was selected “to go warrant officer, so I came back to go to training, and we were married, but still living apart” back in the States.

    Sean was a full-time student at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., which meant his status changed to inactive reserve, while Yolanda was on active duty. When Yolanda made warrant officer, she ended up in Fort Polk, La. Meanwhile, Sean was still studying for his degree in Virginia.

    TOGETHER AT LAST — SORT OF
    Then, Yolanda said, “We got pregnant over the summer with our oldest, and that was the blessing.” Their first daughter was born in 1996. “When she was born, I spoke with my branch manager,” Yolanda said. “I told him about the hardship of being apart and how expensive it was to keep two households. He’s in college, I am in Louisiana with the baby. So, I got stationed at Fort Eustis within 30 days.”

    But things were just a little bit more complicated than that, Sean said. “So she comes back to Fort Eustis, has the baby,” and then, he continued, “she leaves. I’m with the baby, in college, for six months.”

    When Yolanda was back at Fort Polk, Sean was looking for child care for their daughter. As any parent can attest, having a child can change your financial outlook. During the time that Sean was a student, he was not earning military pay, although the military was paying for his education. Yolanda having made warrant officer, he said, helped close the financial delta.

    At last, in the summer of 1996, they were finally together when Yolanda was transferred to Fort Eustis. It was the first time in three years of marriage that they were—more or less permanently—under the same roof. Then they went back to Korea.

    BACK TO KOREA
    Back in Korea, where Sean was stationed, he could have family with him; Yolanda couldn’t. So again, Sean was a part-time, single parent.
    Military families face different difficulties than those faced by an average family with two earners, especially when both spouses are on active duty. But the Friendlys had something other dual-military couples don’t—a blessing called Mom. Yolanda’s mom.

    “I think about how difficult it would have been in terms of peace of mind, long days for him, long days for me, and both kids in day care,” said Yolanda “But my mom came over and stayed with us, so she was the caretaker for our first daughter from the age of two.”

    A LONG ARMY CAREER
    You can tell that Yolanda has been working with the Army for a long time when she refers to their second and third children as the “follow-on babies.” In fact, Yolanda Friendly has been working for the government, first as a Soldier, now as a contractor, for her entire adult life. She joined the Army straight out of high school. A good student—she graduated ninth in her class from high school—Yolanda wanted to go to college, but she thought that scholarships would be difficult because she was not a U.S. citizen.

    “I knew that if I stayed home, it was going to be a burden on the family. We were low-income, in government housing, and on food stamps, so I knew there was no way my mom could afford college. So I said, ‘military.’ I went to the recruiter and did all my testing, and got the college funding on top of my GI Bill.”

    “I started my [Army] paperwork and got sworn [as a citizen] on the second of July right before I went off to basic training.” Yolanda’s heritage is Mexican, and her stature is petite, “I’m only about 4’ 11” on a good day,” she joked.

    Her mom, she said, was understandably concerned about her daughter joining the military, but it turned out to be a perfect fit for Yolanda. And, when her mom came to Korea to help take care of their daughter, Yolanda said that was a perfect fit, too.

    “The Korean culture is very much like to the Mexican culture—family, kids, the values of the culture,” Yolanda said. “I really thought she was going to have a traumatic experience when we all went there, but it turned out that she loved it. We were there for two years.”

    Having mom around was priceless, Yolanda and Sean agreed. “As difficult as it could be, Sean could do his job and I could do my job knowing that mom was at home with the girls,” said Yolanda. “Honestly, I think that’s why I stayed in [the Army] long enough to retire. When you have the peace of mind that family is taken care of, then you can focus on your job.”

    DEPLOYMENT
    Before Operation Iraqi Freedom began, the Friendlys were stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, finally “under the same roof” on a more or less permanent basis, Sean said. “The whole post was bubbling with the idea that someone might be going. We got a warning order in December [2002] before the holidays that something may be happening. ‘Enjoy Christmas, you guys may be going.’ In January, they told us we had to start planning.”

    The uncertainty about Sean or Yolanda’s deployment was tempered by the presence of Yolanda’s mother, who had helped care for the couple’s children since Korea. For Sean, her presence was a significant positive

    Sean deployed to Iraq in early 2003. By then, he had earned his degree and was an environmental scientist. “I went as the preventative medicine planner for the theater,” he said. When the Army moves into a new theater of operations, Sean explained, force protection involves more than just roadside bombs or enemy fire. It includes protecting “Soldiers from soil, water, air, and all the different things that are out there.” He returned from his deployment in November 2003. Shortly thereafter, it was Yolanda’s turn.

    A FAMILY PLAN
    “We had a solid family care plan,” Sean said. “We had mom. There was no war cycle when mom came to live with us. We knew that as military officers, as leaders, we had to have a care plan for our kids. We had a solid plan before the Army required it because of a war. But what we didn’t have was a mother-in-law that knew what to do when none of us were there. That was a big part of it. Teaching her about Tri-Care and all that stuff. If she had to take over, she could do it. That’s what we worked on at the end of 2002, the beginning of 2003.”

    Yolanda cut in, “What if something happened? She has to take the girls. Here’s all the papers and so you have to plan as a family.” In fact, Sean, Yolanda, her mom and their kids drilled their family plan. “You have to,” Sean said.

    AN ARMY-STRONG MARRIAGE
    In a way, Yolanda said, the Army has strengthened their marriage. Sean agreed, saying, “We had to come up with protective measures to protect our relationship.” Not just from being apart, but also from the occasionally macho culture, the stress of deployment, or the stresses of being a in a dual-military relationship.

    “Early on,” Sean said, “we found a great church.” He said that they found the values of their Christian faith to parallel their military values. Honor, duty, respect—those personal values were important above and beyond being simple military values. “For me,” he said, “that’s kind of how I’ve been able to protect my marriage.”

    For Sean, faith provides “a standard that you can always go back to.” The Army, he said, has its standards—a contract between the service, commanders, and Soldiers that outlines the duties and responsibilities of each. In a sense, he said, his religion parallels that. “There’s a standard of how we are supposed to act and respect each other and treat each other in the world. There’s an assurance, and, kind of, a peace with that,” he said.

    Both Sean and Yolanda say that church is a very important part of their lives and their marriage. For me, she said, “I think that’s what’s kept us humble. And of course it’s always about forgiveness.” Her faith makes it clear that “I’m responsible and I’m held accountable for making it right.” Sean added, “There’s a physiological thing that occurs when you forgive, and when you go through the forgiveness process.”

    AN EDUCATION
    Yolanda finally did get an education. Her associate’s degree, she said, “was a tough one.” That’s because she was pregnant at the time and needed the degree prior to going before her Chief Warrant Officer 3 promotion board.

    “One of my professors said, ‘You don’t take the final, you get an incomplete.’ And so I gave birth on a Wednesday. On Monday, I was taking my finals,” said Yolanda. She got the degree, but while her peers were working on their master’s, or their second master’s, their second bachelor’s, “I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t see putting my family on the side. Being that the days were long already because of deployments and the whole preparation situation, I could not see it.”

    Sean’s field requires him to have a master’s. Yolanda told him “You got accepted for long-term schooling, you’ve got to go do your master’s.” He now has a master’s in public health.

    “So we made a conscious decision,” Yolanda continued. “You want to keep your family, or you want your career? I already had a career with the military,” she said, and she could not see paying the costs—financial and otherwise—of continuing her education while their daughters were little. “I said, ‘School is going to have to wait. I’ll do my job and let the job I do speak for itself. If the promotions come, good, if they don’t, then it wasn’t meant to be.’ ”

    So, to recap, the Friendlys met in Korea, got married in Virginia, went back to Korea but in different places, came back to the United States, Sean in Virginia, Yolanda in Louisiana, were finally united in Virginia—and then went back to Korea, again in different places. Then they both went to Fort Hood, and are both now in the Washington, D.C. area. Their Army of two is now an Army of five, and now more than ever, they are still very much Army Strong.


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  • Faces of the Force

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    Army engineer powers remote bases

     

    By Steve Stark

     

    Steve Smith volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan from May 2012 to February 2013 as the government lead logistics manager for Project Manager Mobile Electric Power (PM MEP) Forward Theater Team to field the Army’s new advanced medium mobile power source and to serve as the contracting officer representative. Remarkably, he was the first representative from headquarters, PM MEP in Afghanistan. “Our equipment’s been out there,” he said, “but we didn’t have a presence out there from the project office.” The task was to establish a presence in theater and set conditions to “right-size” mobile electric power in support of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Teams’ (BCT) special operations village stability platforms and conventional forces outposts. “That’s why they asked me to go out there.”

    The right-sizing effort, called Operation Dynamo, initially for the 173rd Airborne’s BCTs, was an attempt to match the BCTs’ operational power equipment with the power they actually needed, which included new, highly fuel-efficient power generation, distribution and environmental-control equipment. In a sense, that operation was an experiment to see if it could be done as efficiently as PM MEP projected.

    The benefits would be manifold. More fuel-efficient military generators would require considerably less fuel, which meant a lower risk profile for the personnel who have to deliver fuel by greatly reducing the number of fuel resupply missions to remotely located bases. There were also large sustainment savings in the operation of these bases.

    The right-sizing program was a success, Smith said. How it was done—by factually assessing the power requirements of the units and analyzing many different variables and use cases, then creating a well-crafted plan to meet power, delivery and environmental controls, and then implementing the plan—ought to be Army doctrine, Smith said.

    Smith routinely coordinated for the reception, staging and integration of the advanced medium mobile power sources generator fielding in support of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Afghanistan.

    By giving Soldiers (and Marines) the power they needed, their quality of improved significantly, Smith said. “There are Soldiers out there that don’t have any power. They’re going day-to-day with nothing. The current [power] equipment they have out there is in poor condition. It’s been out there for the entire Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and [it’s in] ill repair, and we’re going out there and improving their quality of life 100 percent.”

    That, Smith said, “is job satisfaction. It’s what makes everything worth it. I want to provide whatever it takes to do the best job that I can do and make it better for somebody else out there. Those guys are living outside the wire. They’re running convoys, they’re doing combat operations. They’re in harm’s way constantly out there. And when they go back to their base at the end of their mission, they don’t want to go back and eat cold food and have cold showers. Their lives are on the line. They’re giving their all. When they get back from those missions, we want to make their quality of life as favorable as possible. If you give your all to help their quality of life, it makes you feel good.”

    PM MEP’s job of providing operational power to Soldiers and Marines isn’t just a matter of lining up a bunch of generators and dropping them off, either, he said. The right-sizing includes the modeling and simulation of a base’s power and infrastructure needs, and delivering a solution that fits that the base, including environmental equipment, which, Smith said, can be thought of as operational HVAC—or heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

    Smith is recognized by the Army’s Acquisition Executive, the Hon. Heidi Shyu in support of his contributions to Operation Dynamo earlier this year. (Photos courtesy of PM MEP)

    But the effort includes even more. “We’re not just going out there and giving it to them and then they’ve got it. We’re a phone call away. If they run into additional issues out there, they contact us, and we come over and we provide them assistance. No matter what it is, if it means bringing a piece of equipment in there or replacing an existing piece of equipment or a component, or they need additional training because they’ve got new personnel on board, we’re the total package, providing all of that. And they love us.”

    Neil Cooper, another acquisition professional deployed to Afghanistan to support PM MEP and featured in Faces of the Force last month, said that Smith “did a great job” of bringing him up to speed in country. For a while, Cooper said, they were the only two government people there for the MEP program. According to Smith, the deployment was the “experience of a lifetime” for Cooper who, unlike Smith, does not have a military background. His time in Afghanistan gave him an up-close-and-personal crash course in how the operational Army works, and a chance to work with the end user—the warfighter.

    FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?

    “I want to provide whatever it takes to do the best job that I can do and make it better for somebody else out there.”

    SMITH: I recently returned from serving as a logistics management specialist with the PM MEP Medium Power Sources Team, providing tactical operational energy to Soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan.

    Simply put, it’s important because, without energy, servicemen and women’s lives are placed at greater risk; tactical capability and advantage is diminished; training and combat effectiveness is degraded; quality of life is reduced and mission accomplishment is no longer achievable.

    FOTF: What has your experience been like so far? What has surprised you the most?

    SMITH: Of my 32-plus years of active duty and civilian service, it’s been a remarkable journey of learning the acquisition process, beginning with where the capability is actually needed in the field, maintaining and sustaining weapon systems, to coming full circle back to the project office where solutions are developed, produced and deployed. I’ve recently returned from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of fielding a new generation of medium tactical power sources, the Advanced Medium Mobile Power Sources (AMMPS).

    FOTF: Why did you join the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?

    SMITH: To serve, to make a positive difference in the lives of those I support. My greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army are the professional relationships, lasting, meaningful friendships and the experiences I have had the privilege to be a part of.
     


    • “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 are featured every other week. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

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  • Faces of the Force

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    Mechanical engineer’s ‘shock’ing deployment

     

    By Steve Stark

     

    Neil Cooper is an engineer who spent several months deployed to Afghanistan performing power assessments of austere base camps in support of Project Manager Mobile Electric Power (PM MEP) and its effort to “right size” mobile power equipment. In an unusual twist, Cooper deployed while he was an intern in the TARDEC [U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center] intern program. ”I was told they do not deploy interns but after some research I found it was possible,” he said in an interview. Prior to his deployment, he had been working on modeling and simulation of expeditionary contingency bases.

    Cooper was working two projects, designed to “investigate the implications of changes to systems and how they impact the logistic system and the resource demands of bases. The CBI [Contingency Base Infrastructure] effort’s initial focus was on 50, 300 and 1,000-Soldier bases. We modeled and simulated changes to these bases to see what effect changes to base systems would have on resource consumption using a system-of-systems approach.” In a framework developed by Sandia National Laboratories, he said, “we modeled laundry, vehicles, repair parts, repair times, generators and any kind of system we could with scientifically sound data,” that could affect resource consumption.

    “You can have many different systems, [included in the simulation] run it thousands of times and get a picture of how resources are used.” In effect, modeling and simulation, Cooper said, helps to validate or invalidate assumptions using vetted data—a crucial step in the planning effort. According to Cooper, the practice could significantly aid acquisition decisions, no matter what the system, by helping to evaluate and inform requirements in every aspect of acquisition. Then, when acquiring a system, the program would have real data that the system would meet the mission. “After modeling bases on their own, we began to look at how the changes to the sustainment concept or one base affect another base with the JOEI [Joint Operational Energy Initiative].

    “At a JOEI meeting at Fort Lee,” Cooper said, “we saw an operational needs statement (ONS) stating that the way we do power distribution at contingency bases is inefficient, and there is a lack of a champion tasked with optimizing bases. I expressed to my supervisor an interest in working on this. I wanted to work on a project using my experience to directly improve things for the warfighter.” While he was working with JOEI, Cooper said, his supervisor was on a telephone conference in which it came up that PM MEP needed a volunteer to go to Afghanistan to help fulfill this ONS, “So I volunteered.”

    He got a week’s worth of training on “military generators, power distribution and environmental control equipment, and the software to determine the right sized generators and distribution systems you need along with the best way to hook them up,” he said. Then he went to Bagram, Afghanistan to help units quantify their energy consumption, and provide support in upgrading their assets from older commercial units to newer, more efficient and supportable military equipment.

    “… the thing that surprises me the most is how little the American public knows about our world. We are the largest employer in the world but most of the general public has no idea about what we do and how the government acquisition system works.”

    Helping units right-size and optimize their generation not only helps reduce logistics burdens, it also improves the quality of life for the Soldiers, Cooper said. The improvement in quality of life included replacing broken air conditioning equipment and sizing it correctly so it works like it should. “Reducing the logistics footprint,” Cooper went on, provides additional help to Soldiers because it “translates to fewer convoys transporting fuel and equipment, which translates to fewer to fewer Soldiers being placed in harm’s way.”

    In his position, Cooper designed plans for power, distribution and environmental equipment for expeditionary bases, including small special operations “village stability platform” bases that often support fewer than 50 people. Designing the grids, he said, means “determining the best way to design the power grids on expeditionary bases so that generators are used as efficiently as possible and all systems get the power they need.”

    FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?

    A Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion, a heavy-lift cargo helicopter, delivers a replacement generator to a contingency base in Afghanistan. Throughout his deployment, Cooper helped units right-size and optimize power grids to increase generator efficiency and ensure all base systems get the power they needed. (Photos by Neil Cooper)

    COOPER: I support the force by providing engineering support to PM MEP, which is fielding the latest generation of tactical mobile electric power and environmental control units. These units are more efficient and supportable than legacy units that have been in use by the troops in Afghanistan. At many bases, equipment has been added and removed over time creating inefficient power grids with little attention being paid to the operational energy aspects of these actions. U.S. Forces – Afghanistan has recognized the issue and created multiple operational needs statements to address it.

    FOTF: What has your experience been like so far? What has surprised you the most?

    COOPER: My experience has been great and has taught me many things. As an intern and co-op, I’ve worked as a staff engineer in a program executive office; a program engineer for a product manager of a Milestone C program; an engineer on a Pre-Milestone A program; and in Afghanistan as power assessment engineer working directly with Soldiers and Marines in their operational environments directly supporting and improving their capabilities to operate.

    Stopping to reflect on this, the thing that surprises me the most is how little the American public knows about our world. We [the Army] are the largest employer in the world, but most of the general public has no idea about what we do and how the government acquisition system works.

    FOTF: Why did you go to work for the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?
    COOPER: I began working for the Army in 2010 as a co-op [in what is now the Presidential Pathways Internship program] halfway through earning an engineering degree. At a job fair, I met someone from TARDEC, and she asked me to send her my resume. Three or four months later the phone rang asking me to come in for an interview. They presented me with an offer I couldn’t refuse: “We will pay for the rest of your college and, also, if you do a good job, offer you a job on graduation.” At the time, I had no real grasp of how large the world of government acquisition was and, over the years, I’ve gained a great appreciation for how much our acquisition workforce is capable of accomplishing and how much we help the warfighter by developing and fielding so many different items that affect every aspect of his or her life and how we are always striving to provide better materiel support to the force.

    Cooper’s convoy travels through the Afghanistan terrain on its way to a contingency base earlier this year. Cooper visited several bases in support of Operation Dynamo to maximize energy efficiency, reduce the logistics footprint, and improve the quality of life for Soldiers.

    FOTF: What was your deployment like?

    COOPER: I deployed to Afghanistan from January to June this year. I was based out of Bagram for a couple weeks and then in the remote Paktika province from mid-January through the end of February. I went back to Bagram for a week before going to Camp Leatherneck in March through the end of June. In that time, there was a lot of bouncing around to small bases in the area. Volunteering to go, my thoughts were to do something like this while I’m young without any serious responsibilities at home.

    Before traveling to Afghanistan, the threat was a concern. While there is a threat present, it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. Also, the living conditions were better than expected. I envisioned living in a tent and eating MREs, [meals ready-to-eat] but it was more like living in a bloc apartment complex at the beginning. It was interesting and a good opportunity to gain experience.

    FOTF: What was your most memorable day?

    COOPER: The day I found out the first VSP [village stabilization platform expeditionary base] power grid design-and-push package I created on my own worked. It’s kind of an architectural diagram of power, distribution and environmental equipment for something like a small campus. We sent it out to our guys and they would call every day and give us a status, and the design succeeded. That was a good day.


    • “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 are featured every other week. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

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  • Faces of the Force

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    ‘One shot stopping’

     

    By Tara Clements and Steve Stark

     

    FOTF Editor’s Note: At six inches in diameter and about 50 pounds, the 105 millimeter M1040 canister effectively turns the Stryker Mobile Gun System (MGS) into one of the world’s largest shotguns. David Oatley is a mechanical engineer who’s in charge of making the M1040 canister, the Army’s largest round. A few years ago, he was stopped in his tracks—but not by one of his own munitions. By a Soldier who made one comment that will stick with Oatley throughout his career…”that round saved my life.”

    That was a turning point for Oatley, who realized that there “is a face to what I do.” And what he does is manage the production and fielding of the firepower for the Stryker Mobile Gun Systems (MGS) that protects Soldiers in a warzone and helps them accomplish their mission….to ensure “our products work as intended on the first trigger pull.”

    As one of many experts who serve behind the scenes ensuring that Soldiers get what they need when they need it, this was the first time Oatley had any interaction with the end user – the Soldier. “I never went to any training events or saw the end product except for when it came off of the production line. When that Soldier came up to me, it truly refocused me on this is what I need to do and why.”

    FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?

    OATLEY: I’m the item manager for the 105 millimeter M1040 canister cartridge, which is the anti-personnel round for the Stryker MGS. As the item manager, I’m responsible for acquisition, production and management of everything related to the cartridge. This includes the day-to-day management activities as well as special efforts such as failure investigations, product improvement initiatives, and risk mitigation. As a member of the Current Force team in PM-Large Caliber, I also work any ammunition issues reported by MGS units during training and operations. Many of these issues happen when using legacy 105-millimeter ammunition that hasn’t been produced in over 20 years. My work is important because it ensures we produce and field the highest quality ammunition. We want to make sure our products work as intended on the first trigger pull.

    FOTF: How would you describe the canister?

    OATLEY: The canister itself weighs about 45-50 pounds. It’s one of the largest shotgun-style rounds available, featuring a 105-millimeter diameter projectile filled with approximately 2,000 tungsten balls. When it’s fired, the projectile breaks apart on muzzle exit and releases the tungsten. The balls then spread downrange over 200-500 meters in front of the gun. It’s often used to ‘clear’ things, for example, if there were a lot of foliage, it could be used to clear an area, but that’s not what it was originally designed for. It’s the anti-personnel round for the Stryker MGS. It was designed to be used against massed personnel that are attacking the infantry.

    FOTF: How big is the program?

    OATLEY: The program is an acquisition category III program, so it’s not as big as something like a vehicle program. We average around 2,500-3,000 rounds per year that we build and field, and this year marks our seventh year of full-rate production. In December, this program will be ending for the near-term because we’ve built up our stockpile to the point where it will last for a few years at the current usage levels.

    FOTF: You mentioned issues reported by units. Can you give me an example?

    OATLEY: Some of the issues we have are on our legacy ammunition that was fielded 20 years ago. The Stryker MGS was recently fielded and uses the same gun that was originally used on the Abrams tank. The Abrams had a 105-millimeter gun instead of the 120-millimeter gun that it uses now. Back then, the Army built a bunch of ammunition for the Abrams that wasn’t used once they switched to the 120-millimeter gun. So, we’re now firing much of our stockpile ammunition. We’ll get reports from training events or the field and they’re finding indications of aging ammunition, for example corrosion and rusting. We have to track and figure out if there’s anything that can be done so it can be used. For the most part, if it’s bad, it’s not used. The Army conducts regular surveillance on our existing stockpile that will be fielded, but it’s just not possible to catch 100 percent of the issues. On the newer ammunition, we don’t have as many issues, but do address them as they come up.

    For example, we had an inadvertent firing and we worked with the vehicle developers at U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command to determine if it was an issue with the vehicle or the ammunition. We helped TACOM and the prime contractor understand the ammunition requirements and worked with them to test and implement a design solution on the vehicle to eliminate the issue.

    “We want to make sure our products work as intended on the first trigger pull.”

    FOTF: What has your experience been like so far? What has surprised you the most?

    OATLEY: I started at Picatinny straight out of college and my experience has been very rewarding. I’ve been fortunate to work on several successful programs in a short time. In a few cases the programs had very complicated failures that required extensive investigations. That gave me tremendous opportunity early in my career to learn on the fly. I quickly gained experience producing tank ammunition, working with international suppliers, performing lethality analysis, achieving user buy-in for requirement changes, writing contracts, and managing programs. I’ve also been very fortunate to work for team leaders who trusted me to make good decisions and gave me enough room to recover and learn from my mistakes.

    The biggest surprise in my career is the complexity of our acquisition process and the time it takes to get a contract awarded. I’m also surprised at how much I enjoy the “soft skills” of program management. As an engineer I gravitate toward the quantifiable, but program management requires much more than that. You have to learn how to deal with different personalities, avoid group-think and manage a team. That’s not something that comes naturally to most engineers and it’s been fun to develop that side of the job.

    FOTF: You mention enjoying the ‘soft skills’ of program management. Are there any particular instances that stand out to you?

    A Stryker equipped with a Mobile Gun System fires a round of high explosive ammunition July 26, 2011 at Yakima Training Center, Wash. Stryker crews with 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, are conducting crew gunnery qualification as a semi-annual requirement. By Sgt. Mark Miranda.

    OATLEY: As an engineer, you’re used to concrete facts and being totally objective—when you’re managing a team and handling many different issues, it can’t always be explained that way. It’s been challenging figuring out how to work with different personalities and to find a compromise between all the stakeholders and do what’s best for the Soldier. Finding a balance has been a challenge. I came in with the perspective of an engineer—very technical. But I quickly realized there are many more constraints. You have to know when it’s important to make a quick decision and when you need to do more analysis. Sometimes you just have to move forward with the best info available at that moment.

    FOTF: Is there any particular challenge you’ve been faced with that really sticks out in your mind?

    OATLEY: On the program side, we’ve had some technical issues that were challenging, but all in a day’s work. Changing the location of the contractor’s production line and subcontractors would be the most significant technical challenge with the program in recent years. It requires additional oversight and there’s also higher risk of damaged equipment. Another challenge was on the personnel side. For a number of years, we didn’t have a consistent government and contractor team due to turnover, retirements, etc. So, each year we had to train new people on the program’s needs. Despite the challenges, we’ve been successful.

    FOTF: Coming into the Army right out of college, what would you say to a student interested in a career in Army acquisition?

    OATLEY: The Army offers more opportunities than you’d originally think. While salary may seem lower initially than private sector, there’s so much more to working in the Army than in a private industry job. And you have a lot of opportunity for personal and professional development that you wouldn’t get elsewhere because the Army makes it a priority and has the ability to support you in that way. So if you think long-term, there are ways you can advance faster than in private industry. In my experience, you also have the ability to move around a little easier and explore areas of interest to you. I’ve been at Picatinny my entire career, but not within the same office. I started at the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center working a couple of production programs and after two years, I saw an opportunity in the program management (PM) office and knew that was an area I wanted to pursue. While at the PM I’ve been able to work several programs and even took on a developmental assignment working in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition Logistics and Technology at the Pentagon.

    FOTF: Why did you join the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?

    OATLEY: I joined the Army as a civilian because it meant I would work on extremely interesting programs. Ammunition development isn’t something I was taught in college so it was exciting to learn something so completely different. I also joined because the Army offers a lot of professional development that other jobs weren’t offering at the time. And there was definitely a sense of working for a higher purpose that really attracted me to the position.

    My greatest satisfaction is when I talk to Soldiers about our ammunition and receive their feedback. The most satisfying moment occurred at a conference a few years ago when a young Soldier pointed to one of our bullets and said, “that round saved my life.” That moment really gave me perspective on why we do what we do—everyone who works on these programs should have that interaction. It made me proud to be part of the Army.

    FOTF: Do you have any family history of service?

    OATLEY: My grandfather was a Navy pilot and when he retired, he took a position in Watertown Arsenal, Mass. When Watertown Arsenal closed, he was reassigned to Picatinny, N.J. I never expected to be working here, but that’s where I ended up and it’s kind of funny it worked out that way.

    FOTF: What are your career aspirations?

    OATLEY: It’s hard to say sometimes [chuckles]…but I’d like to be a program manager, which is the path I’m pursuing at the moment.

    Link: http://www.pica.army.mil/MAS/Home.aspx


    • “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 are featured every other week. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

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    Project manager’s team takes flight

     

    By Tara Clements

     

    FOTF Editor’s Note: With a long legacy of service in his family, Tachias may bleed Army green, but what fuels this leader’s motivation is knowing that the “great group of professionals” he works with are there to accomplish the mission with professionalism and excellence. When I interviewed Col. Tachias, one thing was evident: his sincere passion and appreciation for his team of professionals and the work they do every day to support the warfighter. With more than 24 years of active-duty service to the nation, Tachias hasn’t had a bad day. He views any challenge he’s faced with as an opportunity to succeed, keeping in mind that what he does is in support of the Soldier in the middle of a war zone who relies on superior aviation support to do his or her job.

    As the project manager for the U.S. Army’s fixed-wing aircraft fleet, Tachias is responsible for managing a 20-25 year lifecycle process that includes a litany of responsibilities and support for hundreds of aircraft. To some, that level of responsibility may be daunting, but to Tachias, it’s an opportunity to excel.

    FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?

    TACHIAS: As the project manager for the Army’s fixed wing fleet, I supervise a team of outstanding individuals who provide centralized management of all Army manned fixed-wing aircraft worldwide. The fixed wing team provides life-cycle planning of the fleet, including design, development, qualification, testing, production, sustainment, distribution and logistical support. We’ve been able to grow tremendously from about 70 to 191 people in two years, but there’s a lot of mission that goes along with that—it’s well needed.

    “…every day I go into work knowing that we will overcome any challenges because I have America’s most professional and dedicated government employees and contractors on my team.”

    The Fixed Wing Project Office was stood up in October of 2011. The revelation I had working with the team the past year and a half is how significant an impact that decision was to Army aviation. Our office has gone from managing 256 aircraft at the establishment of the office, to currently supporting more than 382 aircraft comprising 11 missions, 40 different designs, and 73 series. It’s our responsibility to manage the life cycle of this entire fleet and, on average; we look at it over about a 20- to 25-year life span, depending on the aircraft and policy. Maintenance is a priority. We currently have inventory that’s 40 years old and we have a number of aircraft that are aging. At about the 15- to 17-year mark, we start to look at the [procurement] process because it takes time…often years to work through the requirements and funding issues.

    Tachias is pictured just one of the 382 aircraft in the fixed-wing fleet—a Medium Altitude Reconnaissance Surveillance System (MARSS). MARSS aircraft perform intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions and have directly supported operations in Afghanistan. Courtesy photo provided by the Fixed Wing Project Office.

    FOTF: What has your experience been like so far? What has surprised you the most?

    TACHIAS: I have the best job in the Army! I have great job satisfaction because my team is able to positively influence a process, and I get to see the results make a difference in the lives of our warfighters. In January, members of my team and I traveled to Afghanistan to interact with the Soldiers in the field. We received a lot of positive feedback from the commanders on how my office’s support has improved their readiness and safety. From their perspective, what’s really improved is our responsiveness in meeting the warfighter’s needs now and in the future, and to have aircraft ready for any type of mission—including airworthiness, maintenance, etc.

    From a surprise standpoint, it’s better said that there are a lot of significant challenges we’ve uncovered within the fleet—from an airworthiness and maintenance standpoint. We’ve issued over 200 airworthiness releases in the last year and there’s a lot of work that goes on to make that happen. But, everyday I go into work knowing that we will overcome any challenges because I have America’s most professional and dedicated government employees and contractors on my team.

    FOTF Editor’s Note: ‘airworthiness’ is defined as an aircraft’s suitability for safe flight.

    FOTF: Is there any particular event or instance that really stands out to you that demonstrates the positive impact you’ve had on the warfighter?

    TACHIAS: It really boils down to our mission to support our Soldiers. One particular [aircraft] system has discovered more than 160 IEDs [improvised explosive devices] in just over a year, which means that once we find one, we’re able to have it removed which in turn means that our Soldiers are in a safer environment—essentially, it saves Soldiers’ lives. And it takes a lot of teamwork to do that.

    FOTF: From your perspective, how have things changed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade?

    TACHIAS: I think our [aviation] mission really hasn’t changed—we’re there to support our Soldiers. When I deployed to Iraq in 2004, I served as the Theater Aviation Support Manager primarily to support our Soldiers. I think that we’re trying to lean a little more forward to anticipate the needs our Soldiers may have, and we’ve seen a larger need for Army aviation to ensure we support those Soldiers on the ground.

    Tachias speaks with more than 130 industry partners representing 77 aviation-related companies at Industry Day held on June 12, 2012. Industry day provides an opportunity for government and defense members alike to interact in an open forum and discuss the goals and objectives of the project office. Photo by Tracey Ayers.

    FOTF: What was your worst day as the PM?

    TACHIAS: I can’t say I’ve had a worst day—but I look at things a little bit differently. We’re here to solve problems and I see those problems as an opportunity to succeed. With all of the issues that have come before this office, I can’t say I’ve had a bad day because I have a dedicated, professional team of experts behind me who are capable of working through any issue.

    FOTF: What do you do in any spare time you have?

    TACHIAS: [Chuckles at the word ‘spare’]. I spend it with my family. When I’m not here or on a deployment, spending time with my wife and two athletic teenage sons is a priority. In fact, we’re running a triathlon together in August.

    FOTF: Why did you join the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?

    TACHIAS: I am a third generation Soldier. My grandfather served in World War I. My father, a career Soldier, fought in the Korean War and served two tours in Vietnam. He retired after 22 years of service. As a young boy growing up on Army posts and running behind PT [physical training] formations just for fun, I knew being a Soldier was my destiny. I volunteered to serve because my parents instilled in me a great sense of patriotism and the philosophy of service to our nation. My older brother, Michael, who is stationed at Fort Bliss right now, inspired me as well by paving the path to become an Army officer.

    My greatest satisfaction as a Soldier has been to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my brothers and sisters in arms, and with the greatest civilian patriots, as we work together to accomplish the Army’s mission while impacting democracy and freedom worldwide.

    Link: Program Executive Office Aviation, Fixed Wing Project Office.
    Related Story: http://www.theredstonerocket.com/news/article_54116f4a-de5f-11e2-b836-0019bb2963f4.html


    • “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 are featured every other week. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

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    Unexpected experience shapes a logistician’s career

     

    By Tara Clements

     

    FOTF Editor’s Note: Working “above your pay grade”? For Carrie Caldwell Clinard, that phrase quickly became a reality three years into her Army Civilian career when she deployed to Iraq. When she arrived in Iraq, instead of the job she thought she was going to, she was slated for a different position two pay grades above her own and in a different location. She rose to the challenge, finding herself responsible for all logistics functions for an entire base to include transportation, maintenance, supply, fuel, etc. Consequently, that leadership experience has had a dramatic impact on her career and how she tackles problems and finds solutions “with a sense of urgency” to ensure our Soldiers are equipped to accomplish their mission.

    No stranger to a challenge, Clinard’s current job requires a great deal of fire-power as a logistics management specialist responsible for ensuring the Army’s principal air-to-ground missile weapon system, HELLFIRE, is maintained and operational for Soldiers and service members alike.

    FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?

    Soldiers sacrifice so much and put themselves in harm’s way continually to protect this country. It is important for us as DoD civilians to do our job and provide them the needed equipment, so they can carry out their missions and succeed on the battlefield.

    CLINARD: Currently, I am a logistics management specialist and manage any spare parts (launcher rails, circuit cart assemblies) needed to fix and maintain the M299 Longbow Launcher which shoots HELLFIRE missiles. The HELLFIRE missile weapon system is used on many aviation platforms, such as the OH-58 Kiowa, AH-64 Apache and Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial System, Special Operations aircraft and supports not only the Army, but Air Force, Navy, Marine and foreign military sales customers. I forecast and manage the inventory of spare parts, plan ‘spares’ requirements, initiate procurements and track contract deliveries, manage repair programs at organic and contractor depots and many other logistics functions to support and sustain the weapon system. I also work heavily with the RESET team and submit and track their requisitions. When a unit returns from a deployment, this team is responsible for assessing and fixing the weapon system which includes ordering any spare parts required for repairs.

    During her deployment, Clinard worked closely with Soldiers from the Idaho National Guard. Master Sgt. Richard Bailey, 1-148th Field Artillery Battalion, Idaho National Guard served as the Noncommissioned Officer-in-Charge of the logistics cell working side-by-side with Clinard. Courtesy photo provided by Program Executive Office Missiles and Space.

    I feel my job is important because these actions ensure the warfighter receives his/her needed parts to maintain ‘weapon system readiness’ and support their mission. HELLFIREs are used heavily in theater and contingency operations, so it is vital the soldier has the parts available when needed to fire that missile at the target.

    FOTF: What has your experience been like so far? What has surprised you the most?

    CLINARD: I have had a great experience thus far working with the Army. There was a learning curve in the beginning with becoming familiar with Army culture and way of doing business, as well as learning a thousand Army acronyms. However, the career training the Army has provided has made things easier and helped me to learn my job. I’ve even been able to earn my master’s degree through the Army.

    Working here [Redstone Arsenal, Ala.] has provided many opportunities and experiences. I have traveled to various Army installations and witnessed Soldiers using the equipment that I support. In 2011, I had the opportunity to deploy to Iraq and provide logistical support with the drawdown. That was an invaluable experience that I will always carry with me. Although work can get stressful and busy at times, I feel continuously blessed to have the job that I have.

    FOTF: What has surprised you the most?

    Clinard and two colleagues from FOB Prosperity gather together at Viejo Lake, a water reservoir by the Tigris River in Baghdad, Iraq. From left to right: Carrie Clinard, Brian King and Vernell Sample. Courtesy photo provided by Program Executive Office Missiles and Space.

    CLINARD: What surprises me most is the dedication and commitment of the Army Civilian workforce to get the job done and support the warfighter. I think my job as a logistician for the Army keeps the fact that we are still engaged in a war at the forefront of my mind; and that’s what drives me to successfully and quickly complete my tasks each day. When an issue arises that affects the field, everyone is engaged and committed to finding a solution. Soldiers sacrifice so much and put themselves in harm’s way continually to protect this country. It is important for us as DoD civilians to do our job and provide them the needed equipment, so they can carry out their missions and succeed on the battlefield.

    FOTF: You mentioned your deployment to Iraq in 2011. What was it like?

    CLINARD: I deployed in support of Operation New Dawn from March – September 2011 and provided logistical support for the drawdown in Iraq working closely with coalition military, contractors, U.S. Embassy personnel and local Iraqis. I was located at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Prosperity in Baghdad, Iraq serving as the director of logistics over the base and was responsible for all logistics functions including transportation, maintenance, supply, fuel, etc. I was heavily involved with logistics support contracts and initiated new project requests, developed project planning estimates, and assisted with contract development, performance and completion tasks. In addition, I was also the logistics lead at my FOB for Base Operating Support – Integrator which was poised to take over logistics functions from the military as they departed. A part of those functions included facilitating the closure and transition of bases to the Government of Iraq and the U.S. Department of State.

    A Task Force Saber, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade OH-58D Kiowa Warrior patrols the skies near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, March 2, 2012. The Kiowa is the Army's scout and reconnaissance aircraft, often called upon to provide close security for ground troops. The Kiowa is capable of carrying a two-man crew and a variety of weapons, such as 2.75 inch rockets, hellfire missiles (pictured) or a .50-caliber machine gun. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Eric Pahon)

    It was a very challenging and difficult deployment, given the complex missions and the ‘melting pot’ of people, agencies and organizations from around the world I worked with. But, it was also very rewarding to be a part of that chapter in American history. It was a very humbling and a career-changing experience that I will always carry with me.

    FOTF: What was your most memorable day?

    CLINARD: One of the more memorable moments from my deployment is of a barbeque. I worked side-by-side with Soldiers from the 1-148th Field Artillery Battalion, Idaho National Guard for months. Shortly before they redeployed, we got together for a cookout. I remember sitting around the table laughing, taking several pictures and soaking up the moment because I knew I wouldn’t get to see those guys again. It was a rare moment to have some down time. I still keep in touch with a few of them—especially during football season.

    FOTF: Why did you decide to work for the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?

    CLINARD: I became an Army Civilian in June 2008 after meeting a recruiter and interviewing at a college career fair. I wasn’t even aware of the opportunity to work for the Army as a civilian, especially in Alabama. My grandfather was an Army veteran and I have always had pride in that and had great patriotism for the military and my country. I joined because it was a great career opportunity, as well as a career that I felt had great purpose and fulfillment.

    My greatest satisfaction is knowing that I directly support the warfighter by supplying them with a weapon system that can help achieve their mission, when called upon.

    FOTF: What are your career aspirations?

    CLINARD: I think I’ll stick here. My coworkers poke fun at me because I have a retirement poster on my desk that gives me my retirement date – June 8, 2046. Just a few more years to go!

    For more information on the HELLFIRE Missile, JAMS Project Office or Program Executive Office Missiles and Space, visit http://www.msl.army.mil/Pages/JAMS/default.html.


    • “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 are featured every other week. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

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    Educating future acquisition leaders

     

    By Steve Stark

     

    FOTF editor’s note: Sgt. 1st Class (P) Michael Kahyai (rhymes with “Aye aye”) said that his most rewarding mission during his time in the Army Acquisition Corps was participating in Natural Fire 10 in Kitgum, Uganda. That exercise, led by U.S. Army Africa Command, involved nearly a thousand African troops from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda working with hundreds of American Soldiers to improve interoperability. “It was great. It was a good mission to be part of. We were interacting with all the other nations.”

    Kahyai said that not long before the exercise, the Lord’s Resistance Army had been through that part of Uganda, “and raped and pillaged, so you still had camps of people who were displaced because of [Joseph Kony] and they were living in poverty, and when they saw people in uniform, they were a little bit scared at first.”

    That was before Kahyai was selected to become an instructor. “SFC Kahyai was hand-selected to serve at MRAC because he represents the best 51C NCO the Army has to offer,” said Master Sgt. Jason Pitts, 51C proponent at USAASC. “He is definitely the best qualified for this important job.” Kahyai “belongs to” USAASC as the senior Army instructor and liaison at MRAC.

    Kahyai said that his most meaningful day in the Army came when he was a recruiter. He went to pick up a young man he had recruited to “take him to processing, and he was sleeping on a bench outside his apartment, and I saw him when I pulled up. I asked him whether he was waiting for me or if he slept out there and he said he had slept there. When I asked him why, he said his apartment was so infested with fleas, it was just better for him to sleep outside.

    “Making a difference like that, knowing that no matter what job he picked in the Army was going to be better than that, that was a good feeling.”

    FOTF: What do you do in the Army? Why is it important?

    KAHYAI: I am an instructor at the contracting apprentice course, and I’m responsible for teaching Airmen and Soldiers how to become contracting professionals. I teach at the Mission-Ready Contracting Apprentice Course (MRAC) at Lackland Air Force Base. It’s an Air Force location, but there’s a memorandum of agreement in place where we can send 65 Army students in to get contracting training. The way the course is structured is that the only people who come here are enlisted Army and Air Force, and we’re putting through about 350 to 400 students a year, of which 65 are Army. They’re spread out, and so in each class of 12 there is usually one or as many as three Army and the rest will be Air Force students.

    I’m just another instructor in the queue, so when I pick up a class, there may be Army students in it, but some of the Army students who come through, obviously, are not going to get me as an instructor. But I still will fill the role as the liaison for all their Army needs. I’m the face of the Army here, along with Sgt. 1st Class Mark Reynolds, who’s leaving. This is an Air Force schoolhouse, and there is no other Army representation other than the instructors and the students that come through MRAC.

    The typical hours I’m here are seven to five, but in addition to instructing I’m the liaison for the Army even if they’re in other classes. I have to make sure they’re being taken care of the entire eight weeks that they are here, and I also have do all of their Service School Academic Evaluation Reports DA 1059s. So we’re not only the face of the Army, we’re specifically the face of Army contracting here.

    FOTF: What has your experience been like? What has surprised you the most?

    KAHYAI: When I was in my prior job, it was mentioned to me that there was a new MOS [the 51C military occupational specialty] in the Army and they were promoting people. I had been a staff sergeant for 10 years in a job that clearly wasn’t going anywhere, and I was looking for some career advancement, as well as something that would give me some skills outside the Army. I applied and was accessed into the field in 2008.

    FOTF: What is most rewarding about your job?

    KAHYAI: Aside from teaching the next generation of acquisition professionals, the best thing about my job is having an actual career path that to pursue after the military. The training and skills we get are 100 percent transferable to being a civilian afterward. There’s a lot of jobs in the Army that, when you’re finished with the military, you’re looking for another career where you hope something crosses over. For contracting, it definitely offers you a future after the Army.

    FOTF: What do you do when you’re not at work?

    KAHYAI: The only thing I do other than work and family is golf. For four hours every week I have no worries in the world. I have a wife, a four-year-old daughter and another one on the way, and I’m not trying to get away from the family thing—it’s just a moment of peace when I am on the golf course.

    FOTF: Why did you join the Army? What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army?

    KAHYAI: I joined the Army in 1993 to do something different and exciting. My greatest satisfaction was being selected for Sergeant First Class, and now Master Sergeant. I feel that being recognized for my achievements and rewarded with promotions has been a validation of my 20-year career.

    For more information on MOS 51C go to http://asc.army.mil/web/career-development/military-nco/active-component-reclass-program/.

    Related article: http://asc.army.mil/web/?s=NCOs%2C+Meet+Charlie%2C+the+MOS+with+the+Most


    • “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 are featured every other week. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

    Read more »