Spotlight on Success: Lt. Col. Thomas R. Monaghan Jr.  

By November 1, 2018Career Development
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Lt. Col. Thomas R. Monaghan Jr.

Title: Product manager for Cyber Resiliency and Training

Command: Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation

AAW Certifications and Qualifications: Level III certified in program management, Level II certified in information technology, Level I certified in test and evaluation

What program or course did you participate in? Acquisition Pre-Command Course.

When did you graduate? May 2018.

What were your perceptions of the course before starting, and did any of that change upon graduation? After attending the other Army required pre-command courses, I expected much of the same “general command information.” Once the Acquisition Pre-Command Course started, I was pleasantly surprised that it was tailored to address specific needs and issues we would soon face as acquisition leaders. Jonathan Spurlock [professor of contracting at the U.S. Army Acquisition Center of Excellence] did a great job in polling the class weeks ahead of time to see what specific topics we wanted to add to the curriculum. Additionally, we added several talking points to the course during the week as specific items of discussion came up.

What were your top three takeaways?

  • Keep up on all current DOD directives, acquisition law and Army modernization initiatives.
  • Read and understand how the National Defense Strategy applies to your program and subject area. Study the congressional prep session EXSUMs [executive summaries].
  • Know your program, where it fits in the Army modernization plan and who your key stakeholders are.

What skills and knowledge from the program or course do you apply most in your job or life? I apply networking skills the most in my current job as a [centralized selection list] product manager. The Acquisition Pre-Command Course enabled me to determine who in our community worked in the same subject areas. I was able to meet them face to face and created lasting relationships in which to draw upon in the future. Seventy percent of our craft is about building lasting relationships and in turn utilizing those relationships to accomplish our mission of delivering relevant capability to the warfighter in a timely manner as efficiently as possible.

How has this program or course shaped your acquisition career? I’m able to discuss current topics and issues with my peers from the pre-command course. Important Department of Defense acquisition topics were discussed in a free environment where we could debate potential outcomes.

This Spotlight on Success appears in the October 2018 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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