Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT July-September 2014 Contents As an Army acquisition officer working in ground robot-
ics, MAJ Jeffery Ramsey knew the importance of requirements,
those many details that determine what a contractor must deliver.
He just didn’t fully understand the concept until he spent 10
months working at Lockheed Martin as a Training with Industry
Ramsey, whose TWI assignment began in late July 2013 at
Lockheed Martin’s Training and Logistics Solutions line of
business in Orlando, FL, saw how quickly requirements can
change, and how significant the effects of a small change can
be. It was the most momentous of many lessons he learned
during his TWI assignment, which introduced him to areas
of program management and contracting that other wise
he’d never have seen from an industry perspective, he said.
At the same time, he had to navigate the many differences
that separated him as an active-duty militar y officer from
his industry co-workers.
For Ramsey and his Lockheed Martin host, retired Air Force
acquisition officer Mike Behling, the breadth and depth of his
TWI experience at Lockheed Martin underscored the potential
value of the program and the need for TWI officers to prepare
themselves to fully exploit that potential.
CULTURE SHIFT, NOT SHOCK
Ramsey was working in the ground robotics program at the U.S .
Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineer-
ing Center (TARDEC) when he applied to the TWI program.
“I wanted to do something a little different, something a little
more challenging ... see what it’s like on the other side of the
fence, with the defense contractors,” he said. At TARDEC, he
had filled a number of roles: military adviser, program manager
and systems engineering adviser.
The corporate world did not seem the least bit daunting. In fact,
the corporate culture at Lockheed Martin did not require much of
an adjustment from Ramsey, who said he experienced far greater
culture shock when he moved from the Signal Corps to the
“more laid-back, more civilianized” Acquisition Corps in 2010.
Ramsey wasted no time in laying the groundwork for his 10
months at Lockheed Martin. Behling presented him with a
wealth of opportunities, including classes for the company’s pro-
gram managers, and Ramsey developed his training plan. “You
can change it, because nothing’s written in stone,” he said. “But
it’s up to you to put it on paper.”
Two things soon became clear to R amsey about the culture at
Lockheed Martin. One was that because he is an A rmy officer,
there were limits to his involvement in the company’s day-to-day
business dealings, some borne of ethical concerns and some of
unfamiliarity. The other was that while the Army and industry
share a commitment to serving the Soldier, the A rmy’s regular
funding means that it has less concern for the bottom line than
companies competing to earn government contracts.
Ramsey learned from day to day what he was able to do, ethically
speaking, as an Army officer working in industry. “I probably
could do a white paper, for example,” he said. But it would not
have been appropriate to call a U.S . government office and ask
for information to help Lockheed Martin develop a business
proposal for a client. The solution was simple, Ramsey said: The
company took care of getting any necessary information from
the government to preclude any conflicts of interest. “They were
real adaptive to me, so I know they understand completely. Eth-
ics is one of Lockheed Martin’s strongest values,” he said.
On another occasion, early in his assignment, Ramsey met with
resistance when he asked for information on the number of
people involved in developing a business proposal. Again, the
solution was simple: Behling spoke with the program office to
let them know that Ramsey was working with Lockheed Martin
and had a legitimate need for the numbers.
“At first they’re cautious,” Behling said of Lockheed Martin’s
employees, “because we’re always worried about opening up
our industry and secrets. They’re also used to, ‘I deal with an
Army officer a certain way because they’re our government cus-
tomer.’ So at first that happens. And that breaks down,” he said.
MAJ JEFFERY RAMSEY, LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP.
EXPLORING THE ‘OTHER SIDE’
136 Army AL&T Magazine
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