Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2016 Contents able to gain insight into what other groups are facing relative
to training, education and recruitment, and get ideas from how
they’re responding to the issues they face.”
What do you do, and why is it important to the Army or the
I work on pre-award actions for the EAGLE Program for main-
tenance, supply and transportation services across the globe.
This entails an extensive source selection process. We ensure
that the warfighters are receiving the goods and services they
need to accomplish their missions. Our command strives for the
best value in our contracts, and procuring services at a fair and
reasonable price means that any saved dollars can be applied to
other Army programs and assist other Soldiers in need.
What’s the most challenging part of your work?
The document review process is the biggest challenge, in terms
of the time, people and revisions that are involved. But by antici-
pating the changes that leadership might make before we even
submit the documentation, we’re able to make that process go
more smoothly. Most of my documents are reviewed by the
same people, so I have an idea of what revisions they will request
and can make those changes before sending it up the chain.
Being proactive reduces the amount of time and the number of
changes needed during reviews.
What do you see as the most important points in your career
with the Army Acquisition Workforce, and why?
One important point was to successfully administer a
multimillion-dollar contract by myself. This meant I had the
knowledge and skill set to independently handle various issues as
they arose. Another important point was being able to train new
hires on the procurement process. This meant I knew enough to
pass my knowledge to others. From an educational perspective,
I took a class on management and organization as part of the
coursework for my MBA. It helped me take a look at my own
strengths and weaknesses and allowed me to figure out how I can
be more effective at work by understanding how I react to certain
situations and people. Overall, the course made me a better leader
and showed me how to leverage the skills and experiences of the
people I work with to help our tea m be more productive.
Can you name a particular mentor or mentors who helped
you in your career? How did they help you? Have you been
Christopher Dake, my current branch chief, has taught me to
focus on the bigger picture during stressful situations. This has
greatly helped because instead of falling apart during a crisis, I
can remain calm and think from a broader perspective. This is
a great leadership skill that I can use for the rest of my career.
Susan Phares, my current division chief, has also been a mentor
during my career. Sue was my branch chief when I was new to
the source selection process, and was able to help me learn what
I needed to address the complexities of the source selection pro-
cess. This created the foundation I needed to become successful
at future source selections and other contracting tasks. Chris
and Sue continue to help guide me in my career.
I enjoy training and sharing any insights I have about acquisi-
tion with others. I have been a mentor in the sense that I help
train interns on my team. I have found that I learn best through
teaching others. Therefore, the process is mutually beneficial.
What can you tell us about your involvement with the
I can’t go into the specifics—to maintain open communication
among participants, we’re prohibited from discussing the pro-
ceedings with anyone outside the board. Essentially, all of the
participants have provided feedback on actions we’ve taken in
regard to attracting, training and retaining personnel. We dis-
cussed what works well and what needs some improvement. We
started with a long list of ideas and narrowed that down to a few
initiatives that we’re developing now. I have also given input on
all of the training programs and tools and how well they work in
our organization—the Acquisition Tuition A ssistance Program,
for example, and the Student Loan Repayment Program and
What advice would you give to someone who aspires to a
career similar to yours?
Be proactive, and take on as many challenging tasks as you can.
You might struggle along the way, but one of the best ways to
learn is through a challenge. I also recommend being proactive
from a strategic perspective in your daily work load. There are
many things that can go wrong or hold up the acquisition pro-
cess. Thus, the more you can anticipate and plan for, the better
position you will be in for your acquisition and your career.
— MS. SUSAN L. FOLLETT
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