Career development programs shape future in unique field of Foreign Military Sales
July 1, 2011
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - The Army’s “Face to the World” just got a little younger. By utilizing a number of internship and career development programs, the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) is fostering a new age of government employee. These programs, available to college students and recent college graduates of all ages are helping to prepare participants for a career with the government.
Programs currently in effect at USASAC include the Student Temporary Education Program (STEP), Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), Students Working at the Army in Parallel (SWAP), and the AMC Fellows Program. USASAC’s unique security assistance (SA) and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) mission do not fall into a traditional job category; so many employees gain their experience through specific security assistance training courses and on-the-job experience. This makes the command the perfect organization for developmental programs, according to Gale Fenwick, chief, training division, USASAC G1/8.
Robert Anderson, who is currently working at HQUSASAC in G1/8 (Resource Management), is one employee utilizing a developmental program. Anderson graduated from the University of Nevada-Reno with a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance in 2008 and after hearing about the AMC fellows program from a family member, decided to apply. Following a “long, rigorous interview process,” he was accepted into the program just a few months shy of the birth of his first child.
“It was a pretty crazy time,” Anderson said.
After his graduation, Anderson moved to Texarkana, Texas with his family and earned a master’s degree in business administration before beginning his on-the-job training rotations here at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. After working at Headquarters (HQ), Army Materiel Command G8 and at the Program Executive Office Missiles and Space for his first two rotations, Anderson came to USASAC G1/8. In this position, Anderson said he has learned a lot about basic FMS administration processes, customer accounts, and billing processes as a part of USASAC’s mission. Once finished with his rotational assignments, Anderson will settle into his permanent duty location in HQ AMC G8 Systems Account and Policy Division. Because FMS requires customer funding, learning the regulations and processes is crucial to executing cases in a timely manner, so his time in G8 proved to be a valuable experience.
Anderson said the development programs and its new generation of government employee “offers a different approach, a different view of how to do things, instead of just doing them a certain way because ‘that’s the way it’s always been done.’”
And for Anderson, the benefits of his developmental program are not limited to the training.
“One of the nicest things about this program is the networking. If I have a question, say, involving HR (Human Resources), I can call up one of my classmates from Texarkana working in HR somewhere and get the answer I need,” Anderson said. “It’s a great program. I feel very lucky.”