Faces of the Force: Travia Rowe

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COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Mission Installation and Contracting Command, 419th Contracting Support Brigade
TITLE: Administrative officer
EDUCATION: B.S. in business administration, Franklin University; A.A.S. in business administration with a concentration in banking and finance, Fayetteville Technical Community College
AWARDS: Commander’s Award for Civilian Service; Achievement Medal for Civilian Service; Commander’s Employee of the Quarter Award; Morale, Welfare and Recreation Employee of the Quarter Award

Military spouse changes roles

by Susan L. Follett

“This time, he followed me.” That’s how Travia Rowe, administrative officer for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command (MICC) and Army spouse, ended up in her current position—administrative officer with the 419th Contracting Support Brigade based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Several years ago, Rowe’s husband was stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, and she accepted a job working as a secretary at the Fires Center of Excellence’s Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate (CDID). She was promoted to administrative support specialist in 2012. When her husband retired from active duty, Rowe sought a rewarding job that would bring her closer to family on the East Coast. An online search and some input from friends about the MICC’s great reputation led her to her current position.

People are a big part of her job, said Rowe, who serves as a liaison among multiple organizations on personnel matters. “Personnel are our most precious asset. But because our operational tempo is pretty high and we’re all pretty busy, awards and recognition often get lost in the shuffle,” she said. “It’s important that people get the recognition they deserve for the work they do; that sense of appreciation and the feeling of accomplishment are hugely motivating.”

What do you do in your position, and why is it important to the Army or the warfighter?
In my position I assist all employees, civilian and military, with their daily activities to maintain continuity and timely completion of required tasks. This enables the command to focus on the mission because I ensure the day-to-day tasks are accomplished.

How did you become part of the Army Acquisition Workforce, and why?
I was working in operations for CDID and applied for a position that I saw on USAJOBS. I was looking for a challenging opportunity and career growth, and I had heard that the MICC could offer both. I also wanted to relocate to be closer to family, because I am originally from North Carolina.

What surprised you most about your work?
Before coming to contracting, I worked for CDID and focused more on acquisition and program management. Contracting is definitely faster-paced than acquisition, and more detailed.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your work?
For me, there have been two challenges: adjusting to the faster pace, and making sure I get done what I need to get done. I keep a lot of balls in the air, and try to make sure I don’t drop any.

What one skill or ability is most important in doing your job effectively?
For me, it’s the ability to multitask. In our fast-paced work environment, we all need to be able to handle a lot of projects at once in order to be successful.

Is there a training program, class or assignment that has had a noteworthy effect on your career?
The Civilian Education System Basic Course provided me with a wealth of knowledge. Its focus on leadership highlighted for me the importance of communication and collaboration, and the course also gave me the skills that I needed to work with others effectively.

Can you name a particular mentor or mentors who helped you in your career? How did they help you? Have you been a mentor?
I have had many people support and mentor me throughout my career; to name just one would be an injustice. These individuals helped me grow and develop, and they have made every transition much easier. I have mentored many people in return. I believe it is important to share knowledge and to grow together.

What’s the greatest satisfaction you have in being a part of the Army Acquisition Workforce?
The greatest satisfaction for me is that I know that I am contributing to the bigger plan of making sure our warfighters have the gear they need to do their jobs effectively.

What advice would you give to someone who aspires to a career like yours?
Focus on what is in front you and do the best job that you can. Make sure that you preserve integrity in all that you do.

“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 a variety of AL&T disciplines. For more information, or to nominate someone, please contact 703-805-1006.

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