TITLE: Field Support Branch chief
COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: AMCOM Logistics Center, PEO Missiles and Space PM STORM
ACQUISITION CAREER FIELD: Life cycle logistics
YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 11
MILITARY OR CIVILIAN: Civilian
AAW/DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in life cycle logistics and Level II in program management
EDUCATION: B.S in liberal studies, Clayton State University
AWARDS: UH60 Item Manager Team award, HIMARS PBL Team award
HOMETOWN: McDonough, Georgia
Joseph Douglas Siebern
by Ellen Summey
Joseph Siebern was a college student in Georgia, working to finish his degree with “no real plan” for the future, when he stumbled upon something that would change his life. “I saw an announcement for a Department of the Army internship opportunity at Fort Lee, Virginia,” he said. He applied and landed an introductory telephone interview, and was later asked to fly to Washington for a formal interview at the Pentagon. “I was excited, but I was also half convinced it was a scam,” he laughed. “The process was surreal. I think it was only my first or second plane ride ever, to go to a nice hotel in D.C. for literally four or five hours, just to return home to Atlanta the same day. It has been a wild ride ever since.”
Toward the end of the internship program, he applied for a permanent position in Huntsville, Alabama. “That was the closest opportunity to back home,” he said. There were also jobs at U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command in Detroit, but Siebern was not eager to move north. “I don’t really do well with snow,” he laughed. “Fortunately, AMCOM [the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command] picked me up and I was able to move to sweet home Alabama.”
Today, Siebern works as the field support branch chief for the AMCOM Logistics Center, Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space (PEO M&S), STORM Project Office. “I have the privilege to serve as a touch point that interacts directly with both the warfighter in the field and the artisans at our maintenance depots that keep our equipment in fighting shape,” he said. “I’m also privileged to be a supervisor to eight fantastic employees. The absolute greatest satisfaction I get from my job is interacting with my team on a daily basis, working together to solve problems and ultimately watching them grow and go on to support the Army in the best capacity that they can.”
When talking about his work with others outside the Army Acquisition Workforce, Siebern said they are often surprised by the high-dollar portfolio Siebern oversees. “Just the sheer volume of dollars that my team and I have oversight over—you talk about a $6 million piece of equipment and multiply that by our fleet of M270A1s [Multiple Rocket Launch Systems] and HIMARS [High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems] and you are talking oversight of billions of dollars of equipment.” Managing all the parts that make up those systems, naturally the dollars add up very quickly. “It is just an overwhelming honor to be responsible for that, and the importance of it can weigh on you daily,” he said.
The weight of that responsibility is not because he’s unfamiliar with the world of finance—quite the opposite. It’s been a hobby of his for many years. “My family and friends know I love finance and planning for retirement,” he said. “I believe I was one of the youngest people to ever open a Roth IRA at the age of 15—compound dividends are the most exciting thing to me.” His friends go to him for financial advice, from buying a car or a house, to investing, and more. This skill is an obvious benefit to Siebern in his professional life. “I love to maximize value for the government and I see long-term opportunities in short-term risk,” he said.
But his favorite pastime is basketball. “I would play a pickup game every day with anyone, if I could.” He is a longtime fan of Kevin Garnett, the 6-foot-11 former star of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets. Garnett played 21 seasons in the NBA and was known as “The Big Ticket,” for his electrifying on-court skills. Siebern’s obsession, though, isn’t about watching the game—it’s about playing the game. Before COVID-19 changed his day-to-day routine, he enjoyed playing lunchtime pickup games with friends at work. He said it’s a great way to build camaraderie with colleagues, and there is one game in particular that stands out in his memory. “I’ve always wanted to dunk, but I’ve just never been tall enough,” he said. “I usually say I’m six feet even, but I’m not really six feet even,” he confessed. “The most excited I’ve ever been—one of my friends is 6-foot-8, and he used to play college ball. We were playing and I was dribbling up the court. I looked over and he gave me this head nod, and from about half court I threw him an alley-oop and he dunked it. We are just too old to be doing that stuff anymore, but it felt awesome.” Teamwork makes the dream work, indeed.
The parallels between basketball and acquisition may not be evident at first glance, but Siebern knows them well. “Both are all about being a team player, and motivating others and putting them in the best position to succeed,” he said. “You don’t have your 7-foot guy dribble the ball up. You put him down underneath the goal, to get the rebounds.” He said it’s important to know each member of your team, to understand their strengths and their opportunities for growth. No one player should be more important than the rest of the team. They should all work together, using their talents to lift the team to victory.
Siebern recently completed the Army Civilian Education System (CES) Advanced Course, which he said was very helpful in his role as a leader. “It was a fantastic course that everyone should take,” he said. “The most valuable things I got out of that course were to focus on being an active listener—don’t just listen, but be an active listener in all situations—and second, take care of your people, and the mission will take care of itself.” Those are both lessons that can be applied on the basketball court, as well. “If you are ever placed in a leadership position, be the boss you would have wanted, and your team will do anything for you. Just take care of your people.” It’s all about the team.
“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 serving in various AL&T disciplines. For more information, or to nominate someone, please go to https://asc.army.mil/web/publications/army-alt-submissions/.