By Kari HawkinsJanuary 18, 2018
Planning seems to come naturally for Mark Moe.
Two years ago, the Aviation and Missile Command supervisor pinpointed January 2018 on his calendar, making it his planned date for retirement. Then, he went to work, putting the right people in place and setting up his directorate to make his retirement transition a smooth one.
"I gave myself two years. There were some things I wanted to get done organizationally, and I wanted to make sure to leave a great team in place," said Moe, the director of the AMCOM Logistic Center's Supportability and Sustainment Directorate.
"I felt an obligation to make sure I left this organization in the best shape possible. It's easy to walk away when you have the right people in place and the organization is going in the right direction in support of the Soldier readiness mission. We built a great team here and they are going to be successful whether I'm here or not."
Just as he has spoken about at various career development and recruiting events both internally to AMCOM and within the local community, Moe followed his own advice about building professional relationships and networks that ensure a team effort in providing logistics and sustainment readiness. Now, he plans on following that advice as he moves into a different stage of his own life.
"My plans are to focus on health and family," he said. "For the first six months, I want to establish a new routine. I want to eat right, sleep right, exercise. I'm a brand new grandfather, so I want to focus on my family. I want to focus on people and relationships, and be a better spouse, dad, friend, bother, son. I want to focus on the people side of life."
With nearly 34 years of civil service behind him, Moe is grateful that he has the opportunity to shift into retirement. He and his wife Linda have family as far away as Nebraska, Oregon, and Arizona, and as close as Huntsville and Birmingham. There will be some traveling in his future as well as more time for his lifelong pursuit of his best golf game.
Growing up in a military family, Moe learned to play golf at an early age and at one time aspired to be a professional golfer. He chose the University of Miami as the starting point for his short-lived golf career.
"During my first year of college, I realized that I wasn't going to make it as a professional golfer," Moe said. "That ultimately turned out to be the best thing that happened to me."
While Moe was working through his future goals, he reconnected with a female friend he knew in middle school when both their families were stationed in Seoul, Korea. At the time, she was living in Seattle, and the two began a long-distance telephone friendship.
"I transferred after my freshman year all the way to the other side of the country to the University of Washington," Moe said. "That was the best move I ever made. Linda and I have been together ever since."
A 1983 business graduate, Moe was ready for the opportunity the Army provided him when he was accepted into the intern program in 1984 as a maintenance management intern. He was then assigned to the Missile Command at Redstone in March of 1985.
Moe has led a variety of organizations within the AMCOM Logistics Center, and has served in a temporary assignment as the deputy director of Materiel Management; 21 months as the acting director/deputy director of Maintenance; and eight months as the acting AMCOM Logistics Center deputy executive director. He was instrumental in the formation of the ALC Web Portal, WEBDESK, the Interactive Authoring and Display System, and the Multi-user ECP Automated Review System.
Among his many honors, Moe was named the Missile Command's Suggester of the Year and the 2016 Ernest A. Young Logistician of the Year. At his retirement ceremony Jan. 10, several employees thanked Moe for his career mentoring and advising.
Moe's last assignment as director of the Supportability and Sustainment Directorate involved leading an organization of about 250 employees. SSD is one of the functional directorates within the AMCOM Logistics Center that provides support to the Aviation Directorate, the Missile Directorate, and the Program Management Support Directorate.
"SSD was responsible primarily for early life cycle maintenance functions for aviation and missile systems as well as for some post-fielding sustainment analysis functions. These functions included technical publications, provisioning, maintenance planning and analysis, new equipment training, and materiel fielding," Moe said.
"We support all aviation and missile programs. The amount of support is dependent on where they are in the life cycle phase. We provide services and expertise depending on customer needs and the life cycle phase."
No matter what his responsibilities within the AMCOM Logistics Center, one lesson learned early in Moe's career always guided his work.
"As logisticians, we are all taught that the decisions made early in the life cycle drive total cost and are really hard to change," he said. "Being a good logistician means affecting designs and logistics decisions early, and reducing costs and the maintenance burden on Soldiers."
Moe has spent 28 of his 34-year career as a supervisor, serving in a hands-on, servant leadership role.
"Being involved has always made this job interesting. I've been very active because I love all the functions that are part of this directorate. Maintenance management is where the majority of my assignments have been, so the familiarity with those missions has made leading this organization very rewarding," Moe said.
"My job as the director was to identify where we needed to go and then provide our workforce with the resources they need, maybe some occasional advice and to help them achieve by removing any barriers to success."
For several years, Moe has been the Activity Career Program Manager for Career Program 17 (Maintenance Management). An ACPM provides advice, guidance and leadership to AMCOM employees who are part of the career program.
"I love investing in people and helping them along their career path, just like my mentors and teachers did for me and so many others," Moe said. "My role as ACPM and as the Supportability and Sustainment director were a great way to finish my career. Both were such rewarding experiences."
Moe's career benefitted from the mentorship of several AMCOM leaders, including Jim Flinn, Rick Turner, Tom Ingram, Tom Pieplow, Ronnie Chronister and Bill Andrews. He has paid that forward by focusing on being a good mentor, career advisor and supervisor. During the past decade, he has spoken to dozens of intern classes and at college recruiting events, often talking about leadership, networking and team building.
"The best leaders are participative leaders and they care more about others than they do for themselves," Moe said. "They set a vision that the organization is to achieve. They're usually great communicators and they empower their employees. They invest in people, they help when they are needed, but generally get out of the way and give employees the freedom to problem solve and be creative."
Moe sees the upcoming years as a challenging time for civilian employees as they continue to support Soldiers while also working to transform government.
"Our employees are an engine for change as we work to do things better, faster and cheaper," he said. "They have tremendous enthusiasm, a comfort with technology, and a desire to improve support to Soldiers," he said.
The enthusiasm and capabilities of young employees gives Moe the confidence that AMCOM will continue to excel in its mission for decades into the future.
"It's been an honor to serve. I've worked with so many incredible people," he said. "It's been a great joy and treat to serve Soldiers as part of Team Redstone. The experiences and people here have completely shaped me. I will miss them, and while I'm ready to start a new chapter of life, I plan to be a cheerleader for all of the great things that AMCOM does now and will do in the future."