COMMAND/ORGANIZATION: Product Manager for Wideband Enterprise Satellite Systems; Project Manager for Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems; Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS)
TITLE: Program officer, Combat Service Support Satellite Communications
YEARS OF SERVICE IN WORKFORCE: 14
YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE: 11.5 (Army active duty, 8.5 years; Air Force Reserve, 3 years)
DAWIA CERTIFICATIONS: Level III in program management and in information technology
EDUCATION: M.S. in information systems, Strayer University; Bachelor of Professional Studies in computer technology, Mary Washington University
AWARDS: PEO EIS Hero of the Month (2), Commander’s Award
By Susan L. Follett
Whether he’s working on a satellite communications package or a home improvement project, you can think of Peter Nesby as a craftsman. Sometimes the requirement he’s addressing comes from Soldiers, and sometimes it comes from his family—his wife, Stacy, “who has a creative mind and I enjoy helping her bring those ideas to life,” or his grandchildren, who often help him build new items or repair others. “I enjoy the process of having an idea and seeing the finished product, whether it’s building a piece of furniture or awarding a contract that enables global communication and puts that capability at the fingertips of the Soldiers serving this country.”
Nesby is a program officer for Combat Service Support Satellite Communications (CSS SATCOM) and Network Operations, part of the Project Manager for Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems within the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS). In that role, he oversees the end-to-end execution of the global satellite communications mission. It’s a position that requires “good organization skills, excellent people skills, the ability to adapt, out-of-the box thinking, and the appropriate level of experience and training,” he said.
“Our work provides warfighters with access to a communications capability for both the garrison and the tactical environment that supports the Army’s logistics pipeline and access to all enterprise resource planning systems. My satisfaction in being a part of the Army Acquisition Workforce comes from the real-time impact of supporting the warfighter and realizing the immediate impact the CSS SATCOM mission has on day-to-day operations across the Army.”
Thinking creatively helps address what he sees as his biggest challenge: funding changes, specifically “the ever-changing tide of distribution of appropriated funding, the timing of when it is available for distribution, and the constraints of continuing mission operations while under Continuing Resolution Authority,” he said. “These challenges can be overcome with proper planning, having a contingency plan and being flexible in your operating posture, along with out-of-the-box thinking to mitigate operational risks.”
The CSS SATCOM network is the largest Army satellite network, with global reach-back capability for all major command theaters of operations. “Most people are surprised at the size and the reach of the communications network that supports the Army’s logistics pipeline and enterprise resource planning systems,” said Nesby, who joined the workforce with PEO EIS’ Product Manager Joint – Automatic Identification Technology (PM J-AIT) in 2005. (The organization is now part of the Product Lead for Automated Movement and Identification Solutions.)
Before joining PM J-AIT, he spent 11.5 years in the Army and worked for the FBI as an electronics technician. “The position [at PEO EIS] offered career advancement for my personal aspirations at that time, and also offered challenges both professionally and personally,” he said.
Mentorship—from both military and civilian mentors—has played an important role in Nesby’s career. Maj. Gen. Patrick W. Burden, “who mentored me as the product manager for PM J-AIT, was and is a significant influence in how I approach the responsibility of supporting the acquisition mission,” he said. “My current project manager, Lt. Col. Anthony Whitfield, is also a valuable mentor, and provides guidance in managing the fluid operational tempo as we work to meet the warfighter’s needs.”
He noted that if mentorship is to be truly beneficial, it must be shared. “The benefit and responsibility of being exposed to good leadership values and mentorship processes is that they must be passed on. It provides no benefit to you or the workforce to hold on to your knowledge and experience,” Nesby said. “I have made it a point to try and pass on wisdom and guidance to not only junior acquisition personnel but all personnel who support the CSS SATCOM mission and the Army Acquisition Workforce.”
“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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