Army civilians support the nation, the Army and its Soldiers in times of war and peace by improving the readiness of the force. During the month of August, Aberdeen Proving Ground and the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command is highlighting Department of the Army civilians who are committed to selfless service in support of the protection and preservation of the United States.

John Dougherty, U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC)

What's your current duty station and where are you from originally?

Dougherty: "My current duty station is the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center [Army Test and Evaluation Command] located on Aberdeen Proving Ground. I am originally from Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania in the Poconos."

How long have you been with Aberdeen Test Center? Do you have experience with other commands or as a service member?

Dougherty: "I have been at ATEC for 12 years and I started directly out of college. ATEC has been the only command I have directly served, but I have worked closely with our partners at the Yuma, Arizona and Redstone, Alabama, test centers and have done work for PEO Ground Combat Systems, PEO Simulation, Training & Instrumentation, and PEO Ammo as part of my duties at ATEC."

What are your main responsibilities? What does a typical workday consist of?

Dougherty: "I serve as a Senior Test Officer at ATC for the M1 Abrams family of vehicles. My responsibilities include developing test plans, executing those test plans and reporting on tests involving the automotive and fire control systems on the M1 tank. I also serve as a testing and vehicle subject matter expert to the U.S. Army Evaluation Center at ATEC, PM Main battle tank systems and the Marine Corps PM Tanks. A typical day for me can vary widely depending on what test activities are currently executing. A day can be on an ATC firing range, holding a range clearance, it can be in a tank on the range shooting, on a test course supervising the execution of automotive tests, or in my office writing reports and doing analysis on data taken on the range. Sometimes it wouldn't necessarily be at ATEC, often we are required to travel to remote ranges to execute tests. Everything depends on what the program needs to meet its test objectives."

What do you enjoy about your work?

Dougherty: "I enjoy the variety of what I do. In my job I'm not always at a desk, I'm not always in the field and I'm not always having to travel. It is a good blend of everything. The prototype nature of the equipment we test is also a major influence. I like when I see a system I have worked on go to the field, I get a feeling of personal satisfaction knowing that I was involved in the process."

What advice would you give a civilian who is considering employment with the Army?

Dougherty: "My advice to someone considering employment with the Army is that the Army is an excellent employer. As an Army employee, you have the opportunity to make a difference though the work you do. I would suggest that someone take advantage of any opportunities that are available to better yourself as an employee. That can be through training, continuing education and leadership opportunities."