Aviation and Missile, Research, Development and Engineering Center's Team ED Gives Back
November 18, 2010
- AMRDEC Engineering Directorate team gives back to community through work at Habitat for Humanity build
- Engineering Director had unique role of being both a leader and a follower.
- Engineering Director mentored two young engineers during build.
It was a little after 8 in the morning on Election Day but ten people from the Engineering Directorate, Aviation and Missile, Research, Development and Engineering Center weren't thinking about voting just yet. Instead, they were thinking about where they would be going to help out a local family for Habitat for Humanity in Huntsville, Ala.
Team ED gathered inside a briefing room at the Habitat for Humanity headquarters in Huntsville, Ala. listening intently to Don Adams, HFH Construction Management, brief on safety and other aspects of the build.
Carl Hottel, DLA Team Lead, Industrial Operations Division acted as Lead for this team. He had done numerous builds with HFH in St. Louis, Missouri before he transferred to Huntsville in 1997.
"I have done a number of jobs with HFH including rough framing, finish carpentry, vinyl siding, painting, landscaping, raising roof rafters, and clean-up crew," said Hottel.
Once at the site, the team had the commemorative team photo taken in front of the house and then began the day's work.
While Adams backed the 14-foot trailer into position beside the house, Hottel gave his team some basic directions, and everyone immediately formed four smaller teams to begin cleaning up the excess construction materials from the yard.
"Picking up bricks and building waste was not what I expected, but everyone pitched in and by the end of the day, it was remarkable how great the yard and house looked," said Tod Jordan, Data Management Team Lead, Technical Data Management Division, ED, AMRDEC.
After they worked for nearly an hour picking up pieces of brick, chunks of masonry, unused lumber, and unused construction material some of the outer layers of clothing began to be peeled off. The work was physical but worth every minute.
Carla Crawford, Data Specialist, Technical Data Division, ED, said "there was a true sense of accomplishment. Many of us didn't know each other, but we developed efficient methods for getting our tasks done as a team."
While some of the team finished cleaning up the yard others worked inside the house doing general clean-up, such as, washing windows, countertops, bathtubs, sinks and sweeping the floors.
Patricia Martin, Director, ED, had a unique role on this team as both a leader and a follower.
As she swept the floor she mentored two young engineers, Jackson Wilson, Mechanical Engineer, Reliability and Maintainability Engineering and System Assessment Division; and Michael Trahan, General Engineer, Quality Engineering Division.
Martin told them that they should look at themselves and their backgrounds for possibilities to offer the Soldier for the future; much like Kris Walker, RAM Division, had done with his love of NASCAR.
Through Kris' interest in NASCAR he developed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or as it is better known a CRADA, with Roush Fenway Racing, which has led to the joint testing of new and cutting edge technologies.
Wilson said he had heard of that agreement and knew of a great NASCAR innovation that had been adapted to military use through it; that was the windshield tear-offs. They were a great contribution from this exchange.
"We can't forget the Isotropic Superfinishing, which is at the Corpus Christi Depot right now," said Martin.
Before moving on to tackle another job, Trahan and Wilson talked about what he and the others were experiencing on the job site.
"We shared a great opportunity learning how we all fit together to support the Warfighter and while we bonded we also combined our strengths as a team to provide a service to the community," said Trahan.
Others on the team felt the same.
"Working and giving back to the community is a pleasure and not everyone has that opportunity. Getting to know new Team ED members is exciting. I'd work with Team ED again," Doug Keel, PIF Technical Execution Supervisor said.
The final job of the day was to put up vinyl siding onto a tool shed.
Ashley Williams, Missiles Systems Branch Student Aide/Administrative Assistant, said "it was great working with new faces from ED and learning new things. I had never put up siding before, but now I understand how it's done. I'm no expert, but with team ED I could do it again."
"I hadn't done anything in the building trades since high school working with my dad, so it was great to be outside and learning to put up siding, replacing the rotted footers and replacing the insulation board," said Tod Jordan, Data Management Team Lead, Tech Data Management Division.
It was a learning event for all.
"Personally, I appreciate Carl's patience with my wayward hammering technique and his guidance on how to install siding," said Patricia Martin, Director, ED, AMRDEC.
After a long day the team stood proudly in front of a newly vinyl sided tool shed, that at the start of the day had looked no more than a building ready to be torn down.
Yes, this team had started the day as a group of individuals from different functions in the Engineering Directorate of AMRDEC, but they had truly become a team.
"You learn team building and communication skills which you can apply to your job. It's really a great feeling of accomplishment," said Karen Brumm, Configuration Management Specialist, PIF, ED.
Dwight Barker, Electronics Technician, summed it up for the team and himself after a long day of hard work, "it really feels great to be able to serve our community in some small way."
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