John Lyle is the new Army Contracting Command deputy to the commanding general and latest member of the command leadership team. He says he is settling into his role in the front office nicely. But the Army crest on the door is a change for him.Lyle was a colonel when he retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2006. He became an Air Force civilian employee and was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2011. He began his Air Force career as a missile officer but became a contracting officer early in his career. He remained in the acquisition field when he became an Air Force civilian employee.No stranger to mobility, he and wife Vivian have moved 20 times in their 39 years of marriage. However, a move from the Air Force to the Army is more than a change in locale -- it is a cultural change.So what made him want to make that move?"I was ready for the challenge of a joint acquisition position...the opportunity to learn the Army's contracting perspective was very appealing," Lyle says. "The Army values different perspectives. I bring that, coming from the Air Force, and I really appreciate how the Army has accepted and embraced me and my Air Force experience."Before joining ACC, he was as the associate deputy assistant secretary (contracting) of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. He assisted the deputy assistant secretary in all aspects of contracting related to the acquisition of weapon systems, logistics support, materiel and services for the Air Force.As Lyle switches his hat from Air Force to Army, there are two things that are pretty clear in his vision for the command. First, he recognizes that Army readiness and training are the number one priority. Second, his mantra of "mission first, people always" is going to be an easy one to keep."First, my job here is to support the commander's priorities. That means readiness. Training, readiness, and (to) train, organize, and equip all of our command's people, not just the 1102s (civilian contracting specialists) but the full workforce," he says.In supporting readiness, he is aware that also means being prepared for hard resource challenges."We will have to figure out how to best absorb and implement Army program cuts, but at the same time meet the headquarters staff mission," he says. "It will be our job to communicate changes to the command."As far as his mantra is concerned, he thinks the balance is essential and obtainable."When I go to the field, I ask, 'How are we doing at headquarters to support you?' Because we exist to support the Soldier, we perform our contracting mission to support the action on the ground," Lyle explained.This is his way of recognizing that the mission is certainly first, but he also appreciates open, candid communication. He encourages using the chain of command as much as possible--the supervisor is the key advocate for each employee and should be the first POC to fix problems, he said. Of course, when that fails, going around the chain of command may be needed, he added.One thing that has struck him since he has been at ACC has been the various career fields within the command. He said in the Air Force, the work was a lot more specialized. Here, the command is filled with a lot more than just contracting professionals."Here at ACC you have the total professional. Yes, contracting is the primary mission, I understand that," he says. "But you have the complete scope here -- supply, logistics, finance, public affairs -- all part of the same command. That's what is so impressive. There will be a lot of challenges (in fiscal year 2017), but all the people here are dedicated and professional."Lyle-- who likes to spend his free time outdoors with Vivian kayaking, hiking, biking, and boating -- is grateful of how supportive everyone has been to an outsider."Contracting is contracting. Yes, the Army has its own Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation supplement, just like other services. But 80 percent of the basics are the same, and that's what makes it comforting. It's just the 20 percent I am learning now," he said with a smile.