COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Logistics Center
TITLE: Branch chief, Initial Provisioning
ACQUISITION CAREER FIELD: Life cycle logistics
YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 17
MILITARY OR CIVILIAN: Civilian
DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in life cycle logistics, Level II in program management, Level I in production, quality and manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification
EDUCATION: MBA in business, Texas A&M University; B.A. in computer information systems and accounting, Davenport University
AWARDS: Nominated for ASA(ALT) Lean Six Sigma Excellence Awards Program, Cargo PMO Exceptional Service Award, Nomination for team Best Practice Award to the 2-Star General at CASCOM, Certificate of Appreciation Team Award, Numerous performance awards
HOMETOWN: Flint, Michigan
Robin L. Miller
by Ellen Summey
Some people respond to adversity with bitterness or anger. Others, with frustration or sadness. For Robin Miller, that just doesn’t feel right. “We have to learn that it’s not all about us,” she said. “I tell people all the time, it’s my motto, be the inspiration that you seek.” There was a time in her Army career when she struggled to find guidance and direction, and that memory sticks with her. “There were days when I wanted to say, ‘This government thing is not for me,’ ” she said. Instead of giving up, though, she dug deeper. “What I decided is that when I see others needing help, I’m going to help them.” Since then, Miller has built a reputation as a leader, a mentor and someone who always sees the potential in others.
She entered the civilian workforce through the Army Materiel Command (AMC) Fellows Program. At the time, Miller was a recent college graduate with two young children, living in Flint, Michigan, and struggling to find work in the automotive industry. Her father, who worked at U. S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, suggested that she apply, and the rest is history. The five-year program, which was started in 2000, targeted young professionals with certain undergraduate degrees and the willingness to relocate. Candidates would move to Texarkana, Texas, where they would complete a graduate degree before beginning a series of rotational, on-the-job training assignments over the next 47 months. Through the course of the program, fellows would advance from GS-7 to GS-13. When Miller had the chance to go, she knew it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. “I knew that was my way out,” she said. “That changed the trajectory of my life.”
However, making that first move from Flint to Texarkana was no small task. “I had small children, and was recently divorced,” Miller said. So her mother stepped in. “She moved with me, to make sure I would be successful, and made sure my children were taken care of while I pursued my master’s degree.”
And Miller hasn’t stopped since. After finishing her MBA in Texas, she completed the developmental phase of her fellowship, rotating between assignments at DOD and other federal offices (even NASA!) at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. There were challenges along the way, and Miller said she had a lot to learn, but she knows she made the right choice. “It catapulted me,” she said. “It changed my life. I could potentially still be in Michigan, struggling, but [the fellows program] allowed me to take care of my family.”
In the fellows program, she chose to pursue a career in logistics. Her first acquisition position was item manager for the Army’s CH-47 helicopter. “I enjoyed managing parts, organizing requirements for procurement and ensuring parts availability for the Soldiers,” she said. Today, Miller is the branch chief in the Provisioning Division of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) Logistics Center at Redstone Arsenal. The AMCOM Logistics Center provides worldwide readiness support for aviation and missile weapon systems, from the earliest stages of weapon system development through demilitarization. Its logisticians work directly with program managers to influence system designs with a focus on total life cycle system sustainment and achieving cost-wise readiness. In her role as provisioning division branch chief, Miller leads a team of government logisticians who analyze, develop and maintain provisioning data for AMCOM weapon systems. “Provisioning is the process of determining spares, repair parts, special tools, test equipment and support equipment that are required to support and maintain an end item,” she explained.
Despite the technicality of the job, Miller said the bulk of her time in the office revolves around so-called “soft skills.” “My job is all about helping other people,” she said. As an Army civilian, her No. 1 priority is supporting Soldiers, but she is always looking out for her team as well. “I always tell my employees, ‘If you don’t feel good, if things are not going OK with you, then I can’t expect you to come in to this building and take care of work. You have to take care of yourself first.’ ” She is quick to offer a listening ear or share advice when asked, and she is eager to help others discover the inspiration that she has found in life. “I think that’s what people often need—they just need to be given an opportunity,” Miller said.
A self-professed homebody by nature, Miller enjoys spending time with family, praise dancing at church, cooking (especially vegan dishes) and landscaping in her free time—no, not gardening, landscaping. “My mother used to do professional landscaping,” she explained. “As a child, I learned how to do all of that.” She isn’t intimidated by laying sod or brick, or tackling overgrown shrubs. “My yard looks better than most of the men on my block,” she chuckled, “and I have more tools than they do, too!” But her natural confidence belies a professional lesson she is still trying to absorb. “I have learned that people often think more highly of me than I think of myself,” she said. “I always believe in others, so that lesson comes full circle.” Miller has more than proven herself as a leader and a logistician, and she hopes to help others find their opportunities for success, too.
“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/.
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