EXPLORING POSSIBILITIES

By November 24, 2020Faces of the Force
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

 

TITLE: Lead Logistics Management Specialist
COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems, Foreign Military Sales, Morocco Program Office
ACQUISITION CAREER FIELD: Life cycle logistics
YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 16 years
MILITARY OR CIVILIAN: Civilian
AAW/DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in life cycle logistics, Army Acquisition Corps member, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt
EDUCATION: MBA, Lawrence Technological University; B.S., Wayne State University
AWARDS: Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, 2018; Certificate of Achievement, 2018; Commander’s Coin, 2018; Certificate of Achievement, 2016; David Mackenzie Honor Society for Outstanding Service to Wayne State University, 2004; David D. Henry Award for Leadership, top senior at Wayne State University, 2003
HOMETOWN: Shelby Township, Michigan

 


 

Kurt M. Hunsanger

 

by Ellen Summey

Kurt Hunsanger is something of a barbecue connoisseur—an enthusiastic purveyor of smoked foods and cured meats. It’s a hobby he could discuss at length, with just about anyone. “I really got into making barbecue and smoke-curing foods a few years back,” he said. “It’s a real creative outlet for me and if it comes up in conversation, I can’t stop talking about it.” Want to try some smoked kosher salt? Get on Hunsanger’s Christmas list. “It travels really well, so I like to send those as gifts,” he said. He’s currently on the hunt for oak staves from a chardonnay barrel, which he calls the “holy grail” of wood for smoking salt. “The chardonnay creates a delicate, nuanced flavor, that’s not overpowering like some kinds of wood.”

And speaking of nuance, Hunsanger has it in spades. He’s the lead logistics management specialist for the Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS) foreign military sales (FMS) Morocco Program Office. “People often think of foreign military sales as something that is done in Washington, D.C.,” Hunsanger said, “but the bulk of the logistics, acquisition and engineering work is actually completed here in Warren, Michigan.” As the logistics lead, he is responsible for managing and overseeing the logistical support products for the fleet of tanks that Morocco purchased from the U.S. Army through its FMS program. “My job is to be a logistical liaison between the PEO GCS Main Battle Tanks Systems and the Royal Moroccan Army, by providing logistics support for tanks and any related equipment,” he said. “More specifically, I provide Morocco with logistical products by coordinating any required new equipment or operator training, providing spare parts forecasting, safety updates, engineering change proposal reviews, technical manual updates, as well as provide insight on any future tank acquisitions by Morocco.”

Though his work as an Army civilian is somewhat less imaginative than the world of artisanal smoked salt, he believes it’s important to apply the same creative curiosity in his professional life. “Leaders should encourage team members to push the boundaries and frame ‘failure’ as part of a larger learning process rather than another dead end,” Hunsanger said. “This style of leadership creates incentives that keep morale high and will propagate a strong work ethic. Most importantly, it converts the employee from a ‘worker’ into a ‘problem solver,’ and that will pay huge dividends for the Army and the Soldier, as that team member progresses through their career.”

He recently completed the fiscal year 2020 Inspiring and Developing Excellence in Acquisition Leaders program, where he learned about different leadership styles and how they are best applicable to a variety of work environments. “The unit on transformational leadership, in particular, was very interesting,” he said. “I believe that is a crucial skill needed in today’s work environment, as we move away from a repetitive, manual labor economy towards a service-based economy. It is imperative that employees be encouraged to think and problem solve on their own, and transformational leadership is the key to achieving this.”

Hunsanger said the inverse is also true—micromanagers are bad for morale and effectiveness. “A micromanager is the single biggest threat to productivity, ingenuity and overall trust in the workplace,” he said. “If an employee knows that a manager only wants to see a task completed in one certain way, they will not bother exploring new creative methods that might produce better results long term.” He said the best teams are built on mutual trust, and leaders are responsible for empowering others to solve problems on their own, while providing oversight and support along the way—and always keeping the mission at the forefront. “My advice for people who are new to acquisition is to always track how your day-to-day job duties will contribute to the mission and vision of your higher command, and subsequently how that fits in the overall Army acquisition life cycle,” he said. “It will help prioritize your workload, allow you to make better decisions without having to frequently check with your leadership, and better connect how your job impacts the end user.”

The importance of the end user—the Soldier—is a lesson that has stuck with Hunsanger since he first entered the workforce. His first Army job started in the fall of 2004, when he was an equipment specialist intern at the Integrated Logistics Support Center. “I was assigned to the M1114 Up-Armored Humvee team in the Light Tactical Vehicles group,” he recalled. “What I found most appealing about the work was that achieving ‘customer satisfaction’ meant saving lives.” And he still holds that opinion today, as a member of the Army Acquisition Workforce. “It really gives me a sense that my day-to-day accomplishments have an immediate, positive global impact for the United States and its allies.”

What’s next for Hunsanger, besides further experimentation with his preferred brisket recipe? He and his wife, Harmony, sweethearts since their teen years, are juggling dual careers and parenting young kids during a pandemic. He’d like to complete an overseas deployment—someday. “My kids are at a very critical age right now (in other words, they are a lot of fun!), so I do not intend to deploy in the near future, but it is something I’d like to do once, before I retire.” Meanwhile, you can count on him to keep looking for innovation, taking ownership of his work and exploring the possibilities.

 


 

“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/.

Subscribe to Army AL&T News – the premier online news source for the Army Acquisition Workforce. Subscribe