Spotlight on Success: Andrew DiMarco

Spotlight on Success: Andrew DiMarco
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Title: Deputy joint program executive officer, Armaments and Ammunition, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey Command: Joint Program Executive Office for Armaments and Ammunition

Acquisition Career Field: Program management

AAW Certifications/Qualifications:

  • DAWIA Level III in program management
  • DAWIA Level I in test and evaluation
  • Graduate, Defense Acquisition University Senior Service College Fellowship
  • Army Acquisition Corps member

EDUCATION:

  • Master’s degree in global leadership and management, Lawrence Technological University
  • Command and General Staff College
  • Master’s degree in acquisition management, Naval Postgraduate School
  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental design, State University of New York at Buffalo

What course or professional development activity did you participate in? When did you start and when did you complete it?
Defense Acquisition University Senior Service College Fellowship (DAU-SSCF), July 2017 – May 2018.

What was your primary motivation for taking the course?
My primary interest in attending the DAU-SSCF was to build on my previous civilian and military education to enhance my ability to contribute to those organizations that I might lead or support in the future. I saw the DAU-SSCF as an opportunity to take a step back from focusing on the mission at hand to explore more strategic issues and an opportunity to further hone my skills in an academic forum.

What were your expectations of the program or course before you started, and how did they change as the course proceeded?
Through the DAU-SSCF program, I hoped to gain additional insights and a greater appreciation from a more operational and strategic level. The program provided me that context, and also allowed me to explore some of the softer skills of leadership.

What were your top three takeaways from the course?
First, the program was a great opportunity for me to continue to learn and grow personally and professionally. Although demanding, the program provided me with some new tools for my kitbag, particularly those centered on strategy formulation and implementation as well as organizational change. The program also afforded me a number of opportunities for self-reflection and peer/mentor feedback that I found professionally useful. Finally, I found the engagements with a number of COCOMs [combatant commands] especially insightful.

What skills, knowledge or experiences from the course do you expect to apply most, in your job or outside of work?
Two areas were particularly insightful and will be useful to me as I continue on in my career. Strategy formulation and implementation is one area that I found particularly relevant, especially given the strategy-driven environment within the Army today. Techniques on leading and managing developmental, transitional or transformational organizational change also was a useful add to my toolkit.

Tell us about your experience with the course and your classmates. Were there fellow students or instructors that you bonded with and with whom you plan to keep in touch?
I found the DAU-SSCF program to be personally rewarding, and it provided me an opportunity to cultivate new relationships with the fellows that also attended the program. The professors from Lawrence Technological University provided me with significant insights, and I have a number of trusted partners in academia that I know I can always call upon. I found the DAU instructors to be helpful and insightful, and know that I can always call on DAU for both standard and tailored training opportunities into the future.

How has this course affected your career?
The DAU-SSCF program has enhanced my skills as I continue to serve into the future.

Who would you recommend this course to, and why?
I recommend our professionals assess their training and education needs based on where they are at in their careers and the goals they seek to achieve. Anyone considering DAU-SSCF or other Senior Service College opportunities should look at how these programs fit into their particular career aspirations and timelines, and consider how these programs assist them both personally and professionally in attaining their goals. Finally, I’d recommend those that are considering competing for the opportunity to talk with graduates, as well as their supervisors or mentors, to better determine how best these opportunities fit into their career progression

Briefly describe what you do in your position and why it’s important to the Army or the warfighter. In addition to having the opportunity to support Soldiers, what’s the greatest satisfaction you have in being a part of the Army Acquisition Workforce?
As the deputy JPEO for Armaments and Ammunition (JPEO A&A), I am part of a team of great professionals that is focused on developing and delivering critical lethality systems to the joint warfighter. What we do in JPEO A&A ties directly to National Defense Strategy and Army strategic priorities centered on enhancing lethal effects and conventional munitions. As a member of the JPEO team, we shape critical lethality modernization program outcomes for the Army and other services while implementing key reforms and authorities to enhance delivery of these capabilities.

How did you become part of the Army Acquisition Workforce, and why? What was your first acquisition position, and what appealed to you about the work?
In the early 1990s, I was offered an opportunity to join the Army Acquisition Corps. After a bit of investigation, I found the idea of leading teams that manage modernization projects interesting and attractive. The Army initially sent me to the Naval Postgraduate School to gain some great training and education, and after graduating from that program, my first acquisition assignment took me to the Pentagon, where I served as a systems coordinator for the Bradley family of vehicles.

This Spotlight on Success is published in the April 2019 DACM Newsletter. With these profiles, the Army DACM Office highlights talented AAW professionals who have used their training and experience to launch themselves along their career path.

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