Years of Service: Twenty-years 2 months (20 years- 2 months)
Would you like to share any details of your military history, awards you may have received or other accomplishments?
I served almost 7 years in the military as an enlisted member of the USAF as a 90650 medical administrative specialist and 13 years and 3 months as a 6534 acquisition contracting officer.
DECORATIONS: Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Good conduct Medal with one oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Humanitarian Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with three oak leaf clusters and Air Force Training Ribbon.
Served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Please take a moment to reflect on your thoughts when considering your service uniform. What does your service uniform represent to you?
The time I served in the military was the greatest time of my life. The rewards that came with serving this great nation were vast. To sort of put that in perspective, I grew up in a small town in Southern New Mexico, right on the Texas border in the 50’s and 60’s. In that era and that location as an African American, you had about three realistic opportunities for employment. Work as a janitor, food service attendant or join the military. I was drafted in 1972, and there’s not a day that goes by that I am not grateful and appreciative of the time I served in the USAF. The gift of a skill, a graduate degree, a commission and the job opportunities following retirement from the military have been all a “kid” that comes from my background could ask for. The famous singer James Brown, sang about opening up the “doors” and I will get it myself. In the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s the military made that possible for me and many young women and men.
Teamwork is essential across many contexts in life. Please share how your service in the military cultivated an appreciation for the value of teamwork. Do you draw from these experiences, or what similarities exist, when working within teams at the DOE?
The DOE family and teams are fantastic, and at the end the day, I have learned that the physicist, engineer, chemist, laboratories, civil servants and contractors all need each other, sooner or later and that is about team work. As a military officer, I placed a great deal of trust in my enlisted personnel and I see similarities at DOE, all employed are important to the success of the agency.
Military service can have a profound and lasting impact on those who serve. Your perspective is unique in having seen both the military and the civilian sides of service. What story could you share of service before self?
What I enjoy the most about my current position in DOE as the Lead Veteran Small Business Specialist is the opportunity to pass on the information that I learned over the past 40 years as a Contracting/Procurement professional on to entrepreneurs that are small businesses. The training I received as a 6534 Acquisition Contracting Officer has carried me a “mighty” long way.
What inspired your interest the agency, and how did your prior service prepare you to join the DOE’s workforce?
Following a wonderful military career, I spent twenty-two years at Sandia National Laboratories. The fantastic work done at Sandia enticed me to keep this going as long as I am healthy and able to do it. My passion for working with small businesses is real, and working with Veteran Owned Small Businesses and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, my brothers and sisters in uniform and those that have served makes it extra special.
Your talents contribute to an innovative and vibrant scientific ecosystem important for matters of national security, energy technologies, and economic prosperity. How does your role, whether directly or indirectly, allow the agency to continue push the frontiers of science?
Small businesses represent the bulk of the work force in America 60%/75%. My role in reaching out to small businesses with the capacity and capabilities to support the DOE mission allows for the continued and long term push towards the frontiers of science.