COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Project Manager Strategic and Operational Rockets and Missiles, Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space
TITLE: Logistics management specialist
YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 15
DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Foundational in life cycle logistics; Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management Level II; Security Cooperation Workforce Basic-level certification
EDUCATION: MBA in logistics management and a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in logistics from Alabama A&M University.
AWARDS: Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service (March 2014)
by Holly DeCarlo-White
As an international logistical specialist, Erika Curry supports the military by providing “everything from beans to bullets”—specifically, training, services and people for tasks. “Most people are not aware that you can support the Army and not be in the Army. … You can support as a civilian within the government and not just as a contractor,” Curry said.
Curry provides logistical expertise to the missile weapon systems for the Project Manager Strategic and Operational Rockets and Missiles within the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space. She ensures that requested assets are provided at the right time for the right price. Specifically, she manages the contractor logistics support contract for weapon system sustainment, which ensures that assets are repaired and returned, adequate spares are available, and training is sufficient for the ongoing tasks.
She began her career in the Army Acquisition Workforce through the Army Intern Program at the Army Aviation and Missile Command Logistics Center, Blackhawk Utility Directorate at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. “It was very appealing because the position of the logistics management specialist aligned with my degrees in logistics,” Curry said. Her father was a logistician in the Marines, so she wanted to provide the same support that others provided to him.
“Within my tenure, I have taken full advantage of every opportunity provided to me,” she said, the most valuable opportunity being mentorship. “I have had both formal and informal mentorships which have allowed a different insight on how I could accomplish my goals.” In September, Curry completed the Inspiring and Developing Excellence in Acquisition Leaders (IDEAL) program. “All these experiences and exposure allowed me to see the Army from a different lens. I have gained knowledge that I have immediately applied to my current position. Bonds that have been built with individuals cannot be broken,” she said.
“As a federal employee of 15 years, I have witnessed the retirement tsunami. A clear indication of the generation gap within the workforce,” she said in her submission for the program. “Although there have been many attempts to bridge the gap, the fact remains that knowledge has left and there must be a way to replace it. The solution is to provide the tools that will allow the upcoming generations to thrive. … One of those essential tools is training, which will allow those that lack the experience to become exposed to elements that would otherwise not be available.”
Curry said the IDEAL program helped her to change her mindset, infusing leadership doctrine and principals with real work situations, like techniques to work with the various temperaments of the workforce, which will allow her to handle challenges better in future. “It is seldom that a course supersedes the statement of interest: prepares self, builds trust, stewards the profession, communicates, develops others, leads by example, gets results, creates a positive environment, leads others, [and] extends influence,” she said. “I highly recommend IDEAL as a leadership course.”
In her personal time, Curry is an avid traveler and enjoys being able to travel frequently as part of her job, too. She has been to Asia, the Middle East, Europe and a myriad of U.S. military installations. She travels in her role for several reasons, but most often she said it is to brief leadership on logistical matters, oversee training that is provided by the contractor to the Soldiers, and preform onsite surveys.
For Curry, the rewarding part about being in the Army Acquisition Workforce is that it provides her with peace of mind. “Peace that the Solider does not have to worry about what is needed to support the mission, peace that their families have one less thing to worry about. Peace to know that I have done my part. … The sum of all is greater than the sum of one,” she said.
Curry has learned throughout her career, “You miss every shot you don’t take. Anything that you want to achieve can’t be done without taking the initiative and doing the work,” she said. “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me. You control you own destiny.”
“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/.