By Terri StoverMarch 18, 2019
Many of the countries that the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command's country program managers work with require exceptional efforts to assure positive and agreeable outcomes for all. Tracy Jester, CPM for Lebanon, Yemen and Jordan, recently received the Commander's Award for Civilian Service in recognition for his exceptional efforts.
Jester joined the USASAC CENTCOM directorate in 2014 as part of a two-person team working on the Lebanon and Yemen foreign military sales portfolios. During this time he was responsible for the development and implementation of several key cases for the customers to procure key equipment and systems for their military.
However, it was his creation of a Newcomer's Manual, geared toward guiding and informing new CPMs to USASAC on various aspects of foreign military sales that proves he is a rising star in the organization. This manual covers many scenarios that country program managers could potentially encounter in their first months in this field.
According to Jester's supervisor, CENTCOM Regional Operations Division Chief, Shawn Costley, his efforts were a great contribution to build the USASAC team and family. Jester echoed these sentiments. "Teamwork is critical in this business. With all the different agencies involved in the FMS process, there has to be a sense of trust among your colleagues," said Jester.
In 2015, Jester became part of another two-person team responsible for the Jordan program. Jordan remains one of the USASAC CENTCOM directorate's largest programs consisting of more than 187 open cases, with a total of value of $3 billion. During fiscal year 2017, the Jordanian program experienced a temporary departure of one of the CPMs. Jester continued to manage the program successfully, completing actions for both new and closing portions of the overall case.
Part of the job of a CPM is to keep the Security Assistance Enterprise up to date with progress on all FMS cases. The Army SAE is made up of many organizations and directs Security Assistance programs and the foreign military sales process from start to finish. USASAC is a key part of the enterprise. Organizations covering contracting, acquisition, finance, logistics and training support all make up the FMS process. It is critical that these separate organizations work closely in order to effectively execute and manage FMS cases.
"Mr. Jester attended three program reviews [for the Jordan case] and kept the Security Assistance Enterprise up to date," said Costley. "He successfully shouldered the entire workload during the three-month timeframe completing actions associated [with the case]."
"He exemplifies the personal values and Army ethics stated in the Army performance appraisal system. He has given the best of his skills and abilities, always significantly contributing to the success of USASAC," said Costley.
Jester retired from the Army in 2007 and "knew I wanted to continue to serve. Working at USASAC allows me the ability to continue to contribute to the warfighter and our foreign allies. This job has given me the opportunity to work with some of the brightest and most talented people in the workforce," said Jester.
When asked, "Why is excellence important to you?" Jester shared, "one of the best contributions you can make to society is to be a positive example through your actions. It is your attitude at the beginning of a task, more than anything else that will determine its outcome."
"At the end of the day, we all have the same goal, to build partner capacity, support [combatant commands] engagement strategies, and strengthen U.S. global partnerships. If one fails we all fail; likewise, we can all share in the success of the FMS program," said Jester.
"I love what I do so it's easy to give 100 percent day after day," said Jester.