An expert and a professional: Finance Officer navigates COVID-19 funding shortfalls

By Emily ONeillMay 27, 2020

U.S. Army Capt. Gregory Hacker poses for his official portrait in the Army portrait studio at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Mar. 3, 2020.  (U.S. Army photo by Monica King)
U.S. Army Capt. Gregory Hacker poses for his official portrait in the Army portrait studio at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Mar. 3, 2020. (U.S. Army photo by Monica King) (Photo Credit: Monica King) VIEW ORIGINAL

With the vast majority of the ASA (FM&C) workforce teleworking, Capt. Greg Hacker, a program budget analyst in the Army Budget Office, is handling remote work challenges with unmatched enthusiasm.

"COVID-19 has affected the medium of how I accomplish my daily duties, but it has not stopped me from being innovative to maintain continuity of operations," Hacker said.

Hacker is responsible for the daily management of Operation and Maintenance, Army (OMA) appropriated funding across seven Army Commands and Direct Reporting Units. After maximum telework was implemented for the organization, Hacker maintained communications with team members and Commands virtually, continuing his analysis in a different environment.

"We all enjoy working with each other, and we build upon each other's skills," he said, describing his team as close-knit and diverse.

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

At a very early stage in his military career, Hacker said he learned how critical resources are to ensuring the Army has the best equipment and talent to win anywhere, anytime. His assignment at the Pentagon began over two years ago when he was a first lieutenant, a rare opportunity for a junior Army officer.

Col. Andrew Hyatt, director of Operations and Support in ABO, and one of Hacker's supervisors, said he's been performing the duties of a job that's typically reserved for higher grade personnel. "He's a hard worker with a great attitude," said Hyatt. "The time Greg has spent here learning about strategic level issues will set him apart from his peer group for many years."

Hacker attended The University of Alabama, receiving his commission as a Finance Officer through Army ROTC and earning a B.S. in Finance. He went on to receive a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Business Analytics from The University of South Carolina.

Now, he's using his education and training to help the Army identify funding shortfalls and cost savings during COVID-19.

When the pandemic began, he was tasked with identifying funding shortfalls across Army Commands related to increased unfinanced requirements, and shaped requests for additional Army funding from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He also provided financial analysis on cost savings from recent cancelled and postponed Army activities.

"My education was a stepping stone in helping me learn how to use the technology which allows me to excel in my profession," he said. "However, my mentors were my foundation to help me understand the important role I play as a Soldier, a leader, a Financial Manager and Comptroller."

Hyatt said that Hacker will move on to his next assignment this summer, leaving a hole in the organization. "If I could have five more Capt. Hackers, it would be great," he added.

Hacker encouraged that if someone is interested in a similar career path, they should take advantage of opportunities, and broaden their skillset to become a better leader.

"The Army has an abundance of opportunities to offer, and our Nation deserves an Army that is ready," he said. "Not just with equipment, but also with people who are experts in their profession."