PENTAGON (Army News Service, Aug. 20, 2008) - About two-dozen members of the Congressional Black Associates received a brief introduction to the Department of Defense Aug. 12 from Army acquisition executive Dean Popps and others.

Popps, an experienced business leader, spoke to the group, which represented various Congressional offices. He addressed the many internal operations required to help the DoD carry out its roles and missions, comparing the DoD to "a large commercial endeavor.

"The DoD is the world's largest business enterprise," Popps said, as he outlined the importance of working toward the best interests of stakeholders, including Congress and the American people, just as a business would protect the interests of its shareholders.

In order to give the young staffers some insight about possible futures with the DoD, Levator Norsworthy Jr., deputy general counsel for acquisition, and Col. Casey Jones, military deputy to the acting deputy assistant secretary of the Army for procurement, also shared some of their personal work experiences at the DoD.

"We're always doing something exciting," Jones told the group, encouraging them to consider working with the DoD as civilian employees or servicemembers.

When the speakers solicited questions, several enthusiastic staffers asked to hear more about possible career opportunities and expressed their appreciation for the time the DoD representatives had taken to give them a glimpse into the inner workings of the Pentagon.

Popps also explained that networking is just as important for success in a government career as it is in the civilian work force. "Your ability to get a job depends not on going to a Web site, but [building] relationships," he said.

In his closing remarks, Popps emphasized the value and importance of citizens who have chosen to work for the government, lauded the success of the all-volunteer military force and encouraged the group of visitors to "take advantage of the many opportunities" available to young people today.