UNIT: Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems
POSITION: Product Manager, Power Projection Enablers
AAC MEMBER SINCE: 2003
TOTAL YEARS OF ARMY SERVICE: 21
AWARDS: Meritorious Service Medal (6); Army Commendation Medal (3); Army Achievement Medal (2); National Defense Service Medal (2); Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal; Air Assault Badge; Parachute Badge
EDUCATION: M.A. in human resources management, George Washington University; M.S. in computer resources and information management, Webster University; B.A. in psychology, Pennsylvania State University
What do you do and why is it important to the warfighter?
Currently, I serve as a product manager in Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems. I proudly lead the Power Projection Enablers (P2E) Team stationed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia with forward offices in Germany, Kuwait, Korea, and Hawaii. P2E is responsible for the full spectrum of network, information and modernization services outside of the continental United States (OCONUS). Our mission is important because we, along with our industry partners and our stakeholders, provide communication products and services to those who serve our nation. We enable our Soldiers, DA civilians and government support contractors to communicate, share and act upon information anytime, anywhere.
To accomplish this goal, P2E is working to improve network access and modernize information technology infrastructure for the OCONUS regional networks and strategic command centers with state-of-the-art video teleconference, voice and data capabilities so combatant commanders can effectively communicate and collaborate with their teams anywhere throughout the world at a moment’s notice, providing warfighters in Afghanistan and Kuwait the ability to access, process and act on information 24 hours a day despite complex working environments and austere conditions.
P2E also supports base realignment strategic initiatives, enabling the European Installation Consolidation Mission by installing communications in new offices and facilities throughout Europe, including USAREUR’s new headquarters in Wiesbaden; and supporting the 2015 Strategic Alliance between the Republic of Korea and the United States by enabling the move of more than 20,000 Soldiers and civilians to Camp Humphreys as part of the Yongsan Relocation Plan and Land Partnership Plan.
What are some of the milestones you’ve achieved?
I have served in the Army for over 21 years and still say that I am honored and humbled to serve. The Army offers numerous opportunities and I am grateful for every opportunity I have been afforded. In passing my first milestone—earning my Jump Wings and fulfilling one of my original goals in joining the Army—I gained the confidence to move forward through many additional milestones in my career. My unconventional career began by obtaining my commission as an engineer officer despite graduating with an undergraduate degree in psychology. My first assignment as the only female officer on Camp Howze, Korea leading a team to build roads along the Demilitarized Zone despite having no background in engineering, taught me the value of trusting my NCOs and the competence they bring to the table. Other unique career milestones included being the only engineer officer at the Air Defense Artillery School Officer Advanced Course, serving as an S1 in the 3rd Signal Brigade, and then commanding two companies at Fort Hood prior to transitioning to the Acquisition Corps.
As part of the Acquisition Corps, my initial assignments included transforming the organizational structure of the Army Engineers and assisting in developing Army Battle Command software requirements for the Army Engineer, Chemical, and Military Police schools at the Maneuver Support Center. Following that, I gained experience implementing enterprise resource planning systems for the Army, specifically the Army Enterprise Systems Integration Program, before taking command of P2E.
My career proves that the Army is a team sport that requires strong relationships, determination, skilled mentors, teamwork and the willingness to learn and take risks. It also shows the importance of good leaders and a strong family. I have been blessed with exceptional leaders throughout my career (not always senior to me) as well as a supportive family. I owe a great deal of credit to my upbringing, my family, my husband and my children. I have been blessed with many career opportunities while juggling the demands of being a Soldier, mother of three (a 14-year-old son and 12- and 2-year-old daughters), and a military spouse of a senior leader in the Army Corps of Engineers.
What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army Acquisition Corps?
I am very proud to be in the Army and very proud to be part of the Acquisition Corps. My career has been rewarding in ways I never expected, especially the satisfaction of being a part of something bigger and more important than myself. After serving as a dual military couple for almost 19 years, it’s very satisfying to hear my son say that despite the hardships, challenges, sacrifices and separations that he has experienced, he too wants to be a part of this organization some day. It’s rewarding to know that our children have seen that the benefits outweigh the challenges.
The greatest satisfaction of serving in the Army Acquisition Corps is the ability to spearhead change; making decisions that directly influence the Soldiers’ ability to do their job and protect our nation. It is very rewarding when I’m told that the work my team did helped make someone’s job easier or made their life better. Witnessing Soldiers move into a facility that has transformed from a group of empty rooms into a site with servers, Internet capability, VoIP phones, computers and video walls that enable commanders to collaborate and effectively fight wars is amazing. Even more sobering is knowing that I have the opportunity to help make the Army a better organization so that future members of our Army, possibly including my own children, can do their jobs better.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new or face a new challenge. I believe that is why the Acquisition Corps was the right choice for me, allowing constant learning and growth. My “nontraditional” career taught me that flexibility, resourcefulness, relationships and a positive attitude are the building blocks for the Acquisition profession. Much is expected from those to whom much is given; I feel I have been given a great opportunity to help our Soldiers do their job and I find satisfaction in being on a team that helps make this happen.
In celebration of the silver anniversary of the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC), Access is publishing “25 for 25” — twenty-five profiles of members of the AAC across the Army Acquisition Workforce. These profiles provide unique insight into the variety and importance of the work done by the AAC every day.