By USASAC Public AffairsFebruary 14, 2017
"Ready, Set, Go!" is a term used by the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command members to describe, respectively, the states of the organization's strategic readiness, future and people. And the term "go" aptly applies to the USASAC employees named as 2016's Supervisor and Employee of the Year.
Ramona Rabuck, a supervisory accountant and 27-year veteran of USASAC, was named Supervisor of the Year; and Tracy Engler, a country program manager and three-year "rookie," was selected Employee of the Year.
Rabuck was nominated by USASAC G8 Director Cliff Crivello.
"Ramona is the subject matter expert relied upon by the senior command leadership for providing guidance on payroll-related issues," he said.
Crivello cited several examples of Rabuck's outstanding work ethic and civilian payroll expertise. While Rabuck only had roughly 75 percent of her staff, she still managed to keep her branch operating in both the legacy and current accounting systems that are required to support USASAC's unique Title 22 operational funding.
"She maintained internal controls of the Special Programs Accounting Branch to include the preparation of Military Interdepartmental Purchase Requests, travel and salary fund cite memoranda, delivery reporting and creations of WBS (Work Breakdown Structures) elements, direct charges and miscellaneous payments in both systems," he explained.
Rabuck credits the hard and consistent efforts of her team for always getting the work done.
"My branch had many challenges during FY '16, but my staff completed their FM (Fiscal Management) certification training while not missing a beat with their day-to-day tasks," she said.
Crivello described how Rabuck ensured civilian payroll was met after winter storm Jonas struck the northeast U.S. Rabuck works at USASAC's New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, office. The plan devised by Rabuck included she and her assistant entering payroll data "hour-by-hour, line-by-line, WBS-by-WBS, directly into the Defense Civilian Pay System," until it was completed that night.
Rabuck was also praised for increasing efficiency and improving overall Army Audit Readiness by integrating the organizational government purchase cards of USASAC subordinate organizations with USASAC headquarter's GPC.
"She really is the epitome of "Go" when it comes to people--whether it be hiring, mentoring -- she works at developing their skills and leadership," Crivello said.
Rabuck credits her supervisor, Charles Kacsur Jr., with providing her a role model who has a dedicated work ethic and a genuine concern for his employees. "He embodies the phrase, 'Mission first, people always,'" she said. According to Rabuck, it is USASAC's support to Army priorities and Combatant Command requirements that have kept her job interesting for the last 27 years at the organization.
"I enjoy knowing that USASAC's mission is playing a role on the world stage and seeing impact of our sales or aid that is given to our allies is making a difference and knowing I was a small part of that. The work is never boring and there are always new challenges to be met," she said.
Rabuck recommends anyone wanting to be a supervisor to obtain all the training they can and find a mentor who can give them guidance. As for being selected USASAC's Supervisor of the Year, "It is wonderful to be recognized for my efforts," she said.
Much like Rabuck, Engler embraces the "Go!" when approaching her job as a CPM.
"She takes her job personally and never falls short of providing top-notch support to Israel," her supervisor and USASAC's AFRICOM division chief Scott Huther said. "Tracy kept FY '16 case processing on track resulting in an on time processing rate of over 95 percent with no errors."
Engler manages the largest foreign military sales program in EUCOM with 288 cases worth a total case value of $4.4 billion.
Engler manages the Israeli Ground Forces, Navy and Intel FMS programs, working directly with the customer, Life Cycle Management Commands and other organizations to ensure the customer is satisfied with USASAC's support.
"I think a good CPM listens to their customer and is responsive to their requests," she said. "Even though the answer might not be what they want, customers appreciate someone who understands what their needs are and provides a timely response, is flexible and willing to try new things."
Before working for USASAC, she spent 10 years as a country manager for ammunition cases at the Joint Munitions Command's Security Assistance Management Directorate.
Joining JMC directly after college, Engler said she learned a lot about the case lifecycle process, and that expertise has helped tremendously as she developed as a CPM at USASAC.
"This command has opened up more opportunities than I could have imagined. I'm given the chance to solve new challenges every day. The Israel program can be very demanding and it is exciting to find new solutions to support my customer and the team," Engler said.
In October 2015, Engler was asked by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency to develop and lead a tri-service consolidation and transportation Live Exercise. The success of the LIVEX earned Engler recognition from top-level Israeli and EUCOM personnel, including a personal note from Vice Adm. Joseph Rixey, DSCA director, to USASAC's commander thanking them for her work.
"The DSCA country program director for Israel stated the Army's handing of Israel cases was clearly the best of all the military departments because of (Engler's) efforts," Huther said.
At the Israel Country Management Review in June 2016, DSCA's EUCOM Integrated Regional Team supervisor Joe Fortson commented that it was "one of the best observed CMRs I have seen in 10 years. … (Engler) was one of the most professional and well-organized CPMs I have ever met."
Engler feels honored to have been selected as the USASAC's 2016 Employee of the Year and plans to continue providing "the best support for her customer."
"I love my job and the great things we do at USASAC," she said. "Israel is an important ally, and I believe the work we do has a strong and lasting influence in the region and U.S./Israel relations.
"I enjoy being a representative of the command and hope the customer has a positive view of USASAC because of what we are able to accomplish."