COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS)
TITLE: Student, The Eisenhower School for National Security and Resources Strategy
YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 23
YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 27
DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Advanced certification in program management, contracting professional; Foundational certification in life cycle logistics.
EDUCATION: M.S. in industrial engineering, University of Washington; M.M.A.S., U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; B.S. in electrical engineering, United States Military Academy at West Point
AWARDS: Meritorious Civilian Service Award (2022 and 2019), Legion of Merit (2016 and 2014)
Martin “Marty” Zybura
by Cheryl Marino
Some knowledge is learned through education, while other knowledge is gained through experience. For Martin “Marty” Zybura, it’s a focused combination of the two that has been of most benefit to him throughout his career.
Zybura, formerly chief of staff at Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), is currently enrolled in the Eisenhower School of National Security and Resources Strategy at National Defense University, where he plans to build upon the knowledge and experience he acquired as an active-duty Soldier and Army civilian and apply it to a new role that will be determined after completion. He anticipates graduating from the program in June 2023.
According to Zybura, the curriculum at the Eisenhower School focuses on national security and resourcing and has an acquisition-focused track. “The resourcing portion is especially relevant for acquisition professionals,” he said. “It is a terrific opportunity for military and civilian acquisition personnel to interact with other acquisition professionals from the other services, DOD agencies and federal agencies to include the DHS [Department of Homeland Security], FBI and CIA.”
When he served as chief of staff for PEO EIS, Zybura said he provided guidance, direction and oversight for staff functions across the PEO, directly supporting six project managers and six deputy project managers, as well as providing support to the program executive officer and deputy program executive officer.
PEO EIS is responsible for managing and providing the information technology network and business systems that Soldiers and the Army need to operate on a daily basis, but Zybura said most people find the breadth and impact of the PEO EIS mission interesting and surprising. “They understand the Army has large weapons systems programs, but the work done by PEO EIS to provide software capabilities and the enterprise network is not well known,” he said. “PEO EIS supports and provides capability to the whole Army. It is a far-reaching and critical mission.”
The chief of staff role serves to manage the day-to-day functions of the PEO, so that the program executive officer, deputy program executive officer and project managers can focus on their programs and for delivering capability to Soldiers and civilians across the Army. He described the role as especially interesting because it touches all areas of the PEO in one way or another, and there is coordination with multiple organizations outside of the PEO, including the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA(ALT)), other PEOs and Department of the Army staff. “The broad responsibilities of not only supporting efforts to bring capability to the field, but also supporting the PEO workforce, provide the greatest satisfaction,” he said.
Zybura has had a lengthy and diverse career with the Army, beginning with active-duty service as a field artillery officer and then transitioning to the (formerly named) Army Acquisition Corps after multiple company grade field artillery assignments. His first acquisition assignment was serving as the contracting officer representative for the operations group at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California, in 1999. He retired from active duty in 2016 and then went straight into an Army civilian acquisition position.
“My first acquisition assignment was working contracts at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin. That was a great assignment. Not only did we directly support the operational units participating in the National Training Center rotations, but we had to work all the contracts supporting the training infrastructure on Fort Irwin to include the combat vehicles, range instrumentation and communications systems. It was a very fast-paced assignment,” Zybura said.
He spent a total of seven years with the U.S. Army Contracting Command in various leadership roles, in theater and at home. Additionally, he served four years at ASA(ALT), where he was product manager for large caliber ammunition in then-PEO Ammunition; director of Ammunition and Chemical and Biological Defense programs; and director of Mission Command Programs on ASA(ALT) staff. In 2019, he joined PEO EIS as deputy project manager for Defense Integrated Business Systems before he became chief of staff in August 2021.
Zybura served in centralized selection list (CSL) positions in a few places—as the product manager for large caliber ammunition at PEO Ammunition (now known as Joint Program Executive Office Armaments and Ammunition) nd as commander at the 413th Contracting Support Brigade. “Competing for and serving in acquisition CSL positions while on active duty were major points in my career,” Zybura said. The CSL selects the best-qualified individuals at the colonel/GS-15 and lieutenant colonel/GS-14 grades for specifically identified acquisition command and key acquisition positions to meet the needs of the Army Acquisition Workforce. “It was an honor to serve in those positions, and I learned a great deal not only about acquisition, but also about working in large organizations with multiple stakeholders. As a civilian acquisition professional, the time I served in ASA(ALT) was unbelievably valuable. It provided great insight into how things run at the Department of Army and higher levels. If I could change something, I would have served in ASA(ALT) earlier in my career, preferably before or early in the lieutenant colonel/GS-14 period of my acquisition career.”
Zybura said he gained valuable perspective and greater insight into Army processes and procedures from his experience working in a variety of roles.
“The Army acquisition mission is remarkably diverse. The best way to learn is to work in various positions in different programs at multiple organizational levels,” he said. His best advice for junior acquisition personnel is to “look for opportunities that expand your experience and opportunities that provide an unfamiliar perspective.”
Outside of work, Zybura’s main focus is spending time with his family. Married for 30 years, he and his wife have two children—a son who is a junior in college, and a daughter who completed graduate school and is currently working at George Mason University. They recently added a puppy to the household, who has been keeping everyone busy.
“Take care of your team—supervisors, peers, team members, staff and stakeholders outside your organization—listen more than you talk and be open to ideas from all directions,” he said. “There are always areas that can be improved, and always keep in mind the end-state objective of providing capability to Soldiers and civilians in our Army.”
“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/.