Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2016 Contents ASC.ARMY.MIL 3
diversity contributes to the success of the
multifaceted U.S . Central Command
In addition to ensuring the availability
of dining facility services, solid waste
removal, airlift operations and force pro-
tection services for the warfighter, ECC-A
also supports the Afghan National Army,
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense and
Ministry of Interior, and the Afghan
National Police, as part of Operation
Freedom’s Sentinel. “Our daily activities
directly support the Afghan government’s
independent sustainment and contribute
to developing and improving the area’s
unstable economy,” Kinney said.
“I work long hours—on average, seven
days and 70-plus hours per week,” she
noted. “But I get to work with motivated,
energetic and really smart people who
bring many years of experience and best
practices from across the DOD acquisi-
tion community. Coming to work is fun. I
learn something new every day.”
What do you do, and why is it impor-
tant to the Army or the warfighter?
I serve as the senior contracting civilian in
the brigade, and it’s important because the
civilian workforce provides the continuity
to the warfighter. In the past, our civilians
generally had more contract experience
than our military personnel. The gap in
contracting experience is shrinking fast as
our military personnel continue to work
in the acquisition career field. My job is
to ensure that the team has considered all
acquisition requirements; train, advise
and mentor the workforce; and protect
the contracting authority of the princi-
pal assistant responsible for contracting
What is the biggest challenge your pro-
gram faces, and how do you overcome it?
The biggest challenge that we face is man-
aging human capital because of the length
of deployments. We work closely with the
ACC Deployable Cadre Program, the S-1
[human resources] and managers to iden-
tify people who are interested in deploying.
We look at the deployment candidate’s
resume and match his or her professional
skill set to the specific position. It is really
important that people who are interested
in deploying for overseas assignments
periodically update their resumes and
document specific work experience,
including contract values and types, pro-
grams worked and computer systems used.
Resumes should also indicate whether you
hold a contracting officer’s warrant and
the warrant threshold.
What program accomplishment are
you most proud of, and why?
Currently, I am most proud of the broad
spectrum of contract support and con-
tract advice our organization provides
to our customers in order to meet the
mission. Our contracting officers are
awarding multimillion-dollar contracts
in truncated amounts of time to meet the
mission. Often, our personnel are called
upon to lead or work on special projects
and make recommendations to solve
problems that extend beyond contracting.
They step up and provide top-notch advice
and service. I am also extremely proud of
the work environment and the support
our personnel provide to one another. Our
team works to make sure each person is at
his or her personal best.
What one skill or ability is most impor-
tant in doing your job effectively?
Flexibility. You need to search for ways
to get the customer what is needed
while meeting federal, departmental
and agency-specific acquisition regula-
tions. A n equally important skill is the
cultivation of positive professional work-
In addition to knowing that your work
contributes to mission success for the
warfighter, what’s the greatest satis-
faction you have in being a part of the
Army Acquisition Workforce?
My greatest satisfaction has been watch-
ing junior military personnel and civilians
progress and grow in the career field.
There are some very talented acquisition
professionals in the military and civilian
ranks, and I enjoy working with them. I
hope I’m contributing to their personal
and professional development so that they
can continue to advance in the career field.
What advice would you give to some-
one who aspires to a career similar to
Be a student of government acquisition
and become a subject-matter expert on
government contracting. A career is
managed through hard work, by accept-
ing challenging assignments and being
willing to work on something different.
“Different” can be as simple as working
on a different type of contract—base
operations, research and development,
systems requirements or medical opera-
tions, for example —or it may require you
to relocate to a new office, a new city or a
different organization. In other words, be
open to change.
If you want to advance in your career, you
will have to take calculated risks, tak-
ing the job or project that no one else is
interested in. Finally, stay focused on your
goals and don’t get so focused on what
other people are doing that you miss the
opportunity that is within your reach.
— MS. SUSAN L. FOLLETT
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