Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2018 Contents She received the secretary of the Army award for her contri-
bution to developing and managing innovative contracting
approaches for two high-priority missions within the Stryker
Combat Team Project Management O ce. First, she played
an important role in supporting an operational needs state-
ment (ONS) to add a 30 mm direct re weapon to the Stryker
Infantry Carrier Vehicle, a $450 million e ort. Hernan-
dez helped develop a three-phased contracting strategy that
condensed the acquisition lead time and met tight schedule
deadlines, in part by eliminating redundant documentation
and using urgent acquisition mechanisms.
She was also involved in an $858 million e ort to replace
at-bottom hull Strykers with double-V hull (DVH) Strykers
to improve survivability, a project that also included mod-
ernization to address space, weight and power-cooling issues.
Hernandez's team conducted a successful Defense Procure-
ment and Acquisition Policy review, receiving approval to
award the production exchange requirement.
One of her rst assignments in the Stryker/LAV division was
incorporating the DVH into Stryker production in 2010, an
enhancement urgently needed in theater to mitigate threats
from improvised explosive devices (IEDs). "When the DVH
Stryker vehicles were elded to the Stryker units in theater, we
started hearing from Soldiers who were involved in IED blasts,"
Hernandez explained. " e DVH survivability enhancement
was the reason they were still alive. at's the reason I do what
I do. Knowing my work contributes to helping keep someone's
son, daughter, mom or dad safe is priceless to me."
Hernandez has been with ACC-Warren for 13 years, joining
the organization after an internship in logistics didn't pan out.
"I graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a mar-
keting major, and the only available jobs I found were sales
positions. I knew I didn't want a career in sales, so I started
talking to family and friends about their jobs," she explained.
"My dad's cousin worked at the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle
Management Command and told me that most of the career
elds were hiring interns." Hernandez was hired in 2004 as a
logistics management specialist intern within TACOM's Inte-
grated Logistics Support Center.
"After a little while, I gured out that the position was not a
good t for me," she said. "Six months later, I applied for and
was selected as a contract specialist intern within ACC-Warren.
What I love about the contracting eld is the variety of assign-
ments, the challenge of negotiating with the contractor to get
the best value for the taxpayer and, most of all, the overall
positive impact the contracted goods and services have on the
While Hernandez nds her work rewarding, she concedes the
process is not perfect. "When I tell people we buy Stryker vehi-
cles, they think it sounds awesome, but the length of time the
procurement process takes often surprises people. ere is a lot
of red tape involved in the procurement process. Numerous
regulations to follow; many stakeholders involved in de ning
the requirements, and challenging negotiations with the con-
tractor; political pressure and budget constraints---all of that
feeds into the procurement process. A lot of blood, sweat and
tears goes into the nal contract document."
Procurement actions can take as little as a month or as long
as several years, she said, depending on the complexity of the
task. "If I were in charge, I'd change some of the approval
thresholds," Hernandez said. "Some actions are reviewed, and
decisions are made, at the highest levels of the Department of
the Army. In my humble opinion, not all of the documents
need that level of review. I'd also consolidate some of the docu-
mentation we're required to provide. Many of the documents
we produce overlap, and eliminating duplicate work would
help shorten the process."
Her career has a orded her numerous opportunities to take
advantage of training and educational programs, including
leadership training o ered through the University of Vir-
ginia's Darden School of Business and Eckerd College. One
assignment in particular during the Darden Women's Leader-
ship Program, known as Re ected Best-Self, "really stuck with
me," she said. "While many leadership training classes focus
on improving your weakness areas, this assignment forced me
to analyze times I felt I was at my best, request feedback for
times others felt I was at my best, and then create a self-portrait
discussing the patterns in my strength areas."
at focus on strength also is rare in the workplace, she said,
but "identifying strengths in ourselves and others is a key to
e ective leadership. It's been my experience that if you take
the time to develop people, help them overcome roadblocks
and show you appreciate them, everything else falls into place."
---MS. SUSAN L. FOLLETT
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