By Mary B. Grimes CECOM Public AffairsMay 25, 2017
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The old proverb, "You've got to go out on a limb sometimes because that's where the fruit is," may indeed generate a chuckle or two, but for a packed auditorium of well-wishers present to honor the promotion of Jennifer A. Zbozny to the Senior Executive Service (SES), the sentiment behind the words, couldn't more aptly describe the essence of her character nor her journey to success.
Director of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) Software Engineering Center (SEC), Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland (APG), Zbozny was administered the SES oath by Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, CECOM Commanding General, during a ceremony held May 18, 2017 in APG's Myer Auditorium.
"First, I want to recognize those here who are in the family. These ceremonies are a little about Jen. They are really more about the family, and the team that helped support Jen, and everybody that contributed to shaping the leader that she is, and helping her succeed in supporting the Army. The folks that are the proudest, are her two sons -- Noah and Joshua who are here with her today," said Taylor.
Calling her a leader who does what she does with great confidence, Taylor said, "She does her homework. She's very involved with her users and her customers, and with the team that she leads. So, I'm...honored to officiate this ceremony today. I really value what you do for us, and the Army, and I'm very excited about what you're starting to do with the Software Engineering Center."
Having served as Deputy Program Manager, Mission Command, Program Executive Office for Command Control and Communications-Tactical (PEO-C3T); Chief, Technical Management Division of PEO-C3T's former Project Manager, Tactical Radio Communications Systems (PM TRCS), Product Director of PM WIN-T's Tactical Network Architectures and Configurations-Current, developer and branch chief with the CECOM Software Engineering Center, and Evaluator with the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity, Zbozny brings tremendous experience to CECOM and the C4ISR community.
In her capacity as Director of the CECOM Software Engineering Center, Zbozny provides leadership and guidance to a global organization of more than 3,000 military civilian employees and contractors who support more than 400 systems and programs with an annual budget in excess of 600 million dollars.
Assuming her position at the podium, and then recognizing visiting general officers, Senior Executive Service members, present and past co-workers, supervisors and friends, Zbozny said, "I want to thank the most important people in my life, Marlene, my wonderful sister in-law, my sons Noah and Josh, and my boyfriend Ed."
Continuing with her comments, the newly sworn in SES member told the audience, "I also want to take the time to thank each of you for being here today. I know everybody's busy and everybody's schedule is very hectic, and I really appreciate you sharing this occasion with me. It is truly an honor for me to be standing in front of you today and entering into the Senior Executive Service. I can honestly say the reason I am here today is because of my family, co-workers -- both civilian and military who each took the time and effort along the way to mentor me, and provide me support and teach me."
CECOM's new Director of the SEC went on to share with the attendees several notable experiences she encountered on her journey to success. Highlighting teachable moments that not only helped her better understand and appreciate the importance of being calm in the face of a storm, she also reflected on how leaning forward and taking risks for the right reason is always the right thing to do.
"I have been in this new job as SEC Director for a month now. I am humbled to be leading such a world-class team. I have met with some of you, and I am incredibly impressed with your skills, your dedication to the mission and your hearts. It is clear to me that you know that every software release that we get out the door, has a critical impact on our Soldiers in harms' way, and that you take the responsibility very seriously and give it your all. I really look forward to doing more things with you," said Zbozny.
"I am grateful for the opportunity entrusted with me as a member of the Senior Executive Service, and as the Director of the CECOM Software Engineering Center. I promise to work hard, build a strong network of relationships, to lean forward and take calculated risks, to take care of people, to be calm in the face of the storm and to uphold ideals in the position to which the Army has promoted me."