POSITION: Civilian Deputy Director
UNIT: Army Contracting Command-Rock Island
TOTAL YEARS OF ARMY SERVICE: 30
AWARDS: Commander’s Award for Civilian Service; Superior Civilian Service Award (2); Secretary of the Army Award for Excellence in Contracting – Outstanding Team Award
EDUCATION: MBA, St. Ambrose University; B.A. in accounting, Augustana College
LOGCAP work highlights workforce dedication
By Susan L. Follett
In her 30-year Army career, Amy Hayden has worked with what she calls “some very dedicated people.” But her work on one of the Army’s biggest logistics contracts showed her even greater levels of dedication—that’s pretty remarkable for someone who admits she “stumbled into” a career that a previous manager tried to discourage her from pursuing.
Hayden currently leads the contracting support and business operations areas for the Army Contracting Command-Rock Island. From 2008 through 2012, she led the contracting team transitioning services under LOGCAP, or the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program. LOGCAP is an Army initiative to use civilian contractors to perform military support services during operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, freeing military units to focus on combat operations. LOGCAP contractors run everything from dining facilities to the gyms, under task orders for base set-up, food service, facilities maintenance and morale, welfare and recreation.
“Traveling to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan as part of my work for LOGCAP and seeing first-hand the demanding conditions and the very real difference these services made in supporting the warfighter confirmed the critical importance of this acquisition mission,” she said. “What I saw there was a real sacrificial effort: people working with utmost dedication to provide the services that were critical to the warfighters’ capability to carry out their mission. I’ve worked for the Army for 30 years and have been fortunate to know some very dedicated people. But the people I worked with in the field demonstrated an even greater level of dedication and support, working long hours in potentially dangerous environments. I’ll always be proud of their level of motivation and the way they conducted themselves.”
FOTF: What first attracted you to working with the Army?
HAYDEN: Honestly, I stumbled into my career. After the spare parts pricing issues encountered by DOD in the early 1980s, there was a hiring initiative to bring on price/cost analysts. It sounded like a job that offered an opportunity for challenging and meaningful work in a stable environment at a time when the economy was slow and the job market was tight.
At the time, I was working for a commercial firm, where the human resources manager earnestly counseled me not to enter into [what he thought was] a vast federal bureaucracy where my creative energies would be stifled. The reality could not have been farther from that prediction. In my experience, getting the job done within government demands creative and analytical thought, and I have been gratified over the years to find ample opportunity to apply those tools in helping to resolve challenging problems. It has been more than I could have hoped for in a career.
FOTF: What are some of the milestones you’ve achieved?
HAYDEN: I led a number of special cost analysis teams for major ammunition procurements, and eventually served on a team responsible for life-cycle management of 120mm tank ammunition. I served as contracting officer for that team during the acquisition planning and contract execution of a large-scale, multiyear contract.
After that assignment was completed, I returned to contract pricing where I served as a team leader. In 2004, I was assigned to lead a team in the negotiation of large-scale actions under the LOGCAP III contract. I then served as the source selection evaluation board chair on the LOGCAP IV source selection, valued at $150 billion.
Upon completion of the source selection, I continued on the program, leading the task order competitions to transition services from LOGCAP III to LOGCAP IV—a very demanding task. Operations in Iraq were transitioning from a military mission to a diplomatic one, and operations in Afghanistan were just ramping up. The range of services we were transitioning was huge, including logistics functions, dining operations and base support, and we worked with great people from the acquisition community, the supported units and in contracting to make sure our transition plan was executable.
FOTF: What’s the biggest challenge you face? How is it overcome?
HAYDEN: Work-life balance. The nature of our work is all-absorbing, and it is difficult to call it quits at the end of a reasonable work day. I don’t think I have overcome that yet—maybe in retirement.
FOTF: What do you enjoy most about your work?
HAYDEN: What I enjoy most is the challenge of resolving complex and contentious issues through collaboration and creative problem-solving. I can honestly say that I look forward to coming to work each day, and I feel privileged to be part of a workforce I have found to be among the most dedicated and enterprising I have ever encountered.
- “Faces of the Force” is an online series highlighting members of the Army Acquisition Workforce through the power of individual stories. Profiles are produced by the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center Communication and Support Branch, working closely with public affairs officers to feature Soldiers and Civilians currently serving in a variety of AL&T disciplines. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.
Subscribe to Access AL&T is the premier online news source for the Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (AL&T) Workforce.