Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT April-June 2016 Contents INSIGHTS FROM A FIRST-TIME CIVILIAN DEPLOYER
A deputy PARC breaks down what you should know once you’ve decided to go.
A highlight as a member of the Army Acquisition Work-
force is the enormous variety of experiences you can
have over the trajectory of your professional career. As
you look for opportunities to develop your skills, consider
an overseas deployment. You’ll provide a tremendous
service to your country and will have an opportunity to
work on unique and challenging requirements. You will
learn about new regulations and missions, use different
databases and systems, and interact with joint commands.
The experience will stretch you, shape you and make you
a better Army professional.
However, overseas deployment isn’t something to enter
into lightly. Before you decide to deploy, there’s a lot to
consider. Here’s my perspective, as someone who’s in the
middle of a deployment to Afghanistan with the Expedi-
tionary Contracting Command—Afghanistan.
The decision to deploy should be made at least six to 12
months before you want to actually go. What are some of
the things you should consider before deploying? The first
is, how will my deployment affect my family? When you
are thousands of miles away from home for six months
or more, you don’t want to worry about the well-being
of your family. Take time to discuss with them the length
of the deployment, the country that you are considering
deploying to and the realities of how day-to-day home
life activities will change for them and you while you are
away. You won’t be able to take care of most of your
responsibilities at home; someone else in your family
will have to take over, or you’ll have to hire someone to
handle those tasks. You may miss school activities and
significant events in the lives of your children and spouse.
Next, consider the mission and whether it interests you.
Will you bring a skill set to advance the mission? Would
the requirements of the mission strengthen your learning
and growth? Nothing is worse than spending many hours
at work and days away from home when you are not
enjoying the job. To make sure you and the mission are a
good fit, reach out to people who are already deployed.
Also, keep in mind that the government establishes where
you can deploy, and there are a number of locations that
are available. It’s up to you to decide whether you want
to go to a particular location.
My deployment was originally slated for Qatar. But after
learning more about the opportunity in Afghanistan,
which included a new contingency contracting administra-
tion services mission and the chance to develop addition-
al skills, I switched my deployment after consulting with
my senior leaders. You and your family are not the only
ones with a big stake in your deployment. Talk to your
supervisor about your interest and gain his or her support
before volunteering. You’re an important asset, and your
supervisor will have to shift your workload to someone
else while you are deployed.
Finally, make sure you understand the different avenues to
deployment. Through my experience, I learned that there
are several deployment programs that I wasn’t previously
aware of, including the U.S. Army Contracting Com-
mand’s Deployable Cadre Program, the DOD Civilian
Expeditionary Workforce Program. Civilians can also
learn about deployment opportunities through USAJobs
announcements. Research deployment requirements and
entitlements, because they vary based on which program
you deploy with, where you go and for how long.
READY, SET, WAIT
You’ve made the decision, you are ready to deploy, and
you have the full support of your family and your employ-
er. You have received word that you’ve been selected for
a deployed position. Now what?
Well, don’t expect things to happen quickly. You will need
to be medically cleared at your home station and to com-
plete online deployment training on 16 different subjects.
Then, you will be given a tentative date by the human
resources adviser to proceed to the CONUS Replacement
Center (CRC), at Fort Bliss, Texas, and process for deploy-
ment, which is also contingent upon country clearance
requirements, including having an of ficial passport.
During processing at CRC, you will receive final medical
clearance and vaccinations, along with personal protec-
tive equipment (PPE) and uniforms. You’ll also complete
additional on-site training in first aid, use of PPE and
SHARP, the Army Sexual Harassment/Assault Response &
As soon as you have confirmed your deployment location
and departure date, talk to someone who has recently
deployed to the area where you are going. Soon after
your location is designated, you should receive the name
of a local sponsor. Reach out to your sponsor. He or she
4 Army AL&T Magazine
SPOTLIGHT: MRS. AUNDAIR KINNEY
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