By Ms. Adriane ElliotJuly 18, 2017
USASAC's Deputy to the Commanding General Robert L. Moore was presented America's most prestigious award for career executives and senior professionals in the federal government.
The Presidential Rank Award, which is evaluated through boards of private citizens and approved by the president of the United States, was presented by Acting Secretary of the Army Robert M. Speer to Moore during a June 28 ceremony at the Pentagon.
This honor came on the heels of another major recognition. Moore was selected as the Management/Executive Award winner and named the Department of the Army Civilian of the
Year by the Redstone-Huntsville Chapter of the Association of the United States Army April 4.
Despite those and many other accolades received for a career consistently demonstrating strong leadership, integrity and a commitment to excellence in public service, Moore is hesitant to discuss the acclaim.
He prefers to discuss the team.
NO MAN IS AN ISLAND
"I recognized a long time ago that there are very few things, if any, that we accomplish alone. Don't get me wrong. It's a great honor when someone recognizes your hard work and passion. But no man is an island. Success comes from working with great teams. "
The Alabama native and football enthusiast likened it to a successful sports season.
"(University of Alabama head football coach) Nick Saban can be the best coach in the world, but if the team is not performing well and working together, it is not going to be successful."
LAND OF OPPORTUNITY
Moore's success started the day he was born--in America.
"I consider myself fortunate to be born in the United States," he said. "Over my many years of travel, and all the nations I've visited and people and things I've seen, there's no doubt that the opportunities we have as American citizens impact our ability to succeed."
Moore retired from the Air Force after 28 years of service. The retired colonel then joined civilian service and has spent nearly two decades working security cooperation in the United States and abroad. Other career focus areas are military political affairs and logistics.
Despite his broad career and life experience, Moore looks to a simple childhood as the foundation for the good things that would come later in life.
Moore was one of 12 children born in the humble backdrop of 1950s Montgomery, Alabama. With 11 siblings and two hard-working parents, it would have been easy for any of them to go astray. But Moore said his mother and father--with no formal schooling--would teach them the value of education, hard work and being humble. Of the 12 children, 10 of them graduated college and all went on to have successful careers.
THE ORIGINAL SELF-HELP
"There are so many best-selling, self-help books published today, but I look back at my parents and think they could have written them all, with simple life lessons. Every one of us sat at the table every night for dinner. We would say our grace and our parents would inquire about our day and what was going on in our lives; they taught us to treat people with respect, always do our best and never make excuses," he said. They always made time for us and you just felt the love."
Moore said his mom never drove a car, but she never missed a PTA meeting for any of her children in all the years they were in school. As he grew older, he realize what a great leader his dad had been.
"Long before "mentoring" and "coaching" were buzzwords, my dad led by example with a quiet strength. He never raised his voice or swore, and he had a gentle way of recognizing our accomplishments while still pushing us to do even better. There was always some type of encouragement, even when we failed--as long as we did our best."
Moore has a simple framed photo of his parents on his desk at work and in his home office. He sees it every morning and every afternoon, and it reminds him daily of their sacrifice and simple life lessons.
PAYING IT FORWARD
Those lessons have made workforce mentorship and professional development a priority for Moore, who has served as an SES since 2003.
"What I would love to see, and what I know is possible, is this: Every USASAC employee can sit behind an SES desk," said Moore. "It is our job, as leaders, to enable an environment where every employee can reach that full potential. Some will take it, some will not, we will provide the tools and the opportunity."
He encouraged leaders and employees to participate in formal and informal mentorship programs.
"When you're looking for a mentor, you need to find someone who can help you chart a path to where you want to go, and provide advice and counsel," said Moore. "It should be someone you feel you can turn to and someone who can show you the best way to achieve your goals. And mentors must make devote the energy to provide that direction. "
Moore mentored an administrative assistant once who at the time had a wealth of passion and drive but lacked formal education and confidence.
"I saw some abilities in her," said Moore, who encouraged her to take college classes. "She just needed guidance. She'd had a pretty difficult life and I could tell the playing field was not always level for her, so I took her on."
Over the years, Moore continued to mentor her. Year later, the former inexperienced GS-5 administrative assistant, emailed him with an update.
"She thanked me for taking a chance on her and giving her opportunity and guidance, and informed me she has completed her second master's degree and was a GS14," said a proud Moore, surer than ever that a simple mentorship can alter the course of a person's life.
Moore said he will continue to pay his good fortune and experience on to future generations.
"No one feels like they have to time to carve out of their busy schedules, but we must. It's an investment in the future we can't afford to ignore."
After all, "I was just a little country boy working on our little farm in Montgomery, Alabama. I never imagined I would be where I am today."