REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – To say Bettye Lee Long-Walden, known as Lee to her family and friends, is up for a good challenge would be an understatement. She has been tackling challenges large and small in support of the nation’s defense for more than 25 years.
Long-Walden is the deputy program manager for Multi-user Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) Automated Review System (MEARS) in the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command office of the Chief Information Officer/G-6 directorate. Her team supports warfighter capabilities and Army readiness by increasing the speed and efficiency of the contract management and engineering change process for implementing work orders and deviations to weapon systems and products supported by AMCOM. All of this boils down to better support to Soldiers and a cost savings to the federal government.
“I enjoy working with our team on challenging tasks to provide capabilities to support the needs of our warfighters,” said Long-Walden, who transitioned from working for a contractor to federal service back in 2010. “Our efforts decrease costs, reduce risks, increase readiness rates and increase stock availability for Army aviation and missile systems. All of this results in an annual savings of approximately $7.5 million for the Army.”
Even before joining AMCOM as an Army civilian, Long-Walden’s government contractor years were filled with challenges and opportunities. She embraced supporting the Department of Defense while advancing professionally.
“I was the training director for a contract with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command and quickly moved into software development, technical leadership positions, and program management,” said Long-Walden. “Throughout the years as a government contractor, I also provided support to the Integrated Materiel Management Center, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Logistics Support Activity and AMCOM.”
All this experience dovetailed perfectly in to her current position, supporting AMCOM’s Software Engineering Services directorate. According to Timothy Mitchell, AMCOM’s chief of command applications, she has excelled with every new challenge given to her.
“Ms. Long-Walden led a cross-functional integrated product team to implement Team Foundation Server (TFS) as the central, authoritative tool for application lifecycle management for AMCOM CIO/G-6 and AMCOM Logistics Center,” Mitchell said. “The TFS implementation project exceeded everyone’s expectations by successfully migrating 67 products from two existing tools into one comprehensive application lifecycle management tool. The team completed the conversion a month ahead of schedule which yielded a large cost avoidance for the command.”
The TFS implementation increases the efficiency of software development teams, reduces costs and assists in reducing AMCOM’s IT Portfolio, according to Mitchell. Implementation of TFS was recognized as an Army improvement initiative and received an advanced rating for application lifecycle management from Microsoft, which is recognized by both industry and government as a standard of excellence.
“Lee is a valued AMCOM CIO/G6 team member. Her experience, work ethic, and drive are the reasons for her success and she is an invaluable asset to both AMCOM and the Army Materiel Command,” Mitchell said.
Long-Walden received additional recognition for her TFS implementation efforts. She was awarded the Department of Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service for exceptional service.
She views this recognition as one of the best highlights of her federal career. But she also loves all the job has to offer.
“As the Deputy Program Manager, I get to see the big picture and work on a variety of tasks involving finance, accounting, contracting, and information technology,” said Long-Walden. “I enjoy the challenge of leading major information technology projects that lead to increased efficiency, effectiveness, and cost savings for the Army.”
Long-Walden’s work ethic and success led to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – selection for an Enterprise Talent Management (ETM) shadow experience at Headquarters, Department of Army, Office of the Chief Information Officer/G-6 located at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. She was one of only four Army civilians selected for this prestigious opportunity in FY20.
“Lee exemplifies the dedicated Army professional and is a life-long learner,” said Shirley Perkey, AMCOM’s chief information officer. “Her selection for the Army’s shadowing leadership experience speaks volumes and is just another step in her professional progression.”
The shadowing leadership experience offers an excellent opportunity for a select few up-and-coming future senior leaders to observe multiple Senior Executive Service, General Officer and General Schedule-15 leaders as they tackled the most challenging problems facing the Army today.
“These experiences allowed me to see firsthand what it takes to truly excel as a civilian senior leader,” explained Long-Walden, who’s home town is Athens, Alabama. “I really enjoyed accompanying and observing senior leaders at the Pentagon. I watched how SES and GOs worked together as partners to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Army.”
She also accomplished a major educational goal and received top honors for her accomplishment.
Through the Army’s CP-34 Information Technology career program, Long-Walden competed and was selected for an Army Civilian Scholarship through the Academic Degree Training program to earn her advanced degree. She graduated from the University of Management and Technology in September 2017 with a Master of Science in Management and was inducted into the Delta Epsilon Tau International Honor Society for superior academic achievement. She was also selected as the 2019 Distance Education Accrediting Commission’s outstanding graduate.
She attributes much of her success to those around her and the opportunities available through the Army.
“Most of all, I thank God for the opportunities and successes in my career,” said Long-Walden. “I am especially grateful for the love and support over the years from my parents, husband, and daughter. Faith and family are cornerstones to my resiliency and success. The CP-34 career program and the Army offer so many rewarding and challenging opportunities and experiences. You just need to apply and then apply yourself and you will reap the rewards of your labors.”