RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, Texas -- Lisha Adams, Army Materiel Command's executive deputy to the commanding general, challenged the graduates of the Leader Development Level II Certificate Program to never stop learning at a ceremony, August 21.

"In a moment you're going to receive a certificate that says you're officially an educated person and a 'boot camp' survivor, but please understand education is not a destination, it's a journey," Adams told the graduates. "I hope that as part of the reflection of this hour, you're able to see the importance of your position, your role in influencing behavior, your role in supporting Army readiness and how this course allowed you to establish a network of trusted relationships."

Red River partnered with Texarkana College and Dale Carnegie to provide the 11-month certificate program which is designed to grow students' leadership insight using a hands-on learning environment. Class participants shape a new perspective, honing specific skills desirable in the performance of any successful leader.

Adams highlighted John Maxwell's daily dozen critical areas for success before telling a story about how she began her civilian career.

"If we focus on being ready we can be proactive, prepare today for tomorrow, make right decisions and manage those decisions daily," she said. "Small actions, or even lack thereof, result in large consequences."

Adams continued by talking about her first government job as a summer hire and working her way up to the Senior Executive Service (SES).

"I'm often asked what the one thing is that helped me achieve the Tier 3 SES status, and I believe it is attitude," she said.

Adams' first job as a summer hire was to ensure drivers were performing preventative checks and maintenance services. After receiving a crash course on her duties, Adams waited at the gas stations to perform preventative maintenance, such as checking oil levels and tire pressure.

"I quickly got the name dipstick," said Adams. "The next couple of summers I worked as a clerk typist and I would see people whose trucks I had inspected and they would say look there's Dipstick."

After working for a few summers, Adams wasn't sure she wanted to continue with a career as a civilian until after she spoke with a supervisor who ensured her that the Army needed people like her who wanted to work.

"I would see people doing the wrong things or taking lunches that were too long and I just wasn't sure I wanted to work for the Army," she said. "My supervisor told me we need people like you so he gave me a note card with information about a program in Texarkana, Texas."

Adams applied for the intern program (maintenance management specialist) at Red River in 1984 and began her current 35-year career as an Army civilian employee.

"I had no aspirations to be an SES, but as I progressed in my career I wanted to influence and I wanted to influence at a higher level," Adams said.

Red River's Leader Development Level II certificate Program consisted of 14 graduates: Emily Buchanan, Gary Clayton, Cynthia Dastillon, Jacob Horn, Christopher Hughes, Allen Irby, Kimberly James, Scott Mann, Steven Morgan, Nicole Phillips, Star Pitre, Tasandria Singleton, Hilda Smith and James White III.

Following the ceremony, Adams toured the Maneuver Systems Sustainment Center making stops by the Rough Terrain Container Handler (RTCH) production area and the Heavy Tactical production area.

Adams also presented the depot with the 2018 AMC Exceptional Organization Safety Award (Brigade Level). The award is given for outstanding achievement in the administration of the Safety and Occupational Health Program from October 2017 to September 2018. Accepting the award were RRAD Commander Col. Stephen M. York, RRAD Deputy Commander Patton Tidwell and Kevin Sharp, safety and occupational health lead for Red River.