ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- As the director of the Communications-Electronics Command's Integrated Logistics Support Center, Liz Miranda serves as the command’s senior leader in developing a vision, strategy and implementation of plans necessary to achieve an integrated enterprise approach to logistics for Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) weapon systems. Miranda says her personal values and upbringing have played a big role in her career. APG News is highlighting the ILSC director as part of Women’s Equality Day.Tell us a little bit about your background. Was culture a big part of your family while you were growing up? If so, how does that play into your work ethic and personal values?Growing up, I had very hard-working grandparents. They owned a restaurant in Puerto Rico and would wake up every day early in the morning to prepare delicious food for their customers, friends and family. It was a family business, so it was expected that every single person in our family worked hard and helped out. Not only did we work hard, but we also appreciated spending time with each other. We knew at some point during our shifts that we would take a break and have a meal together. After our family break we would go back to attending our customers, many of which were friends and family. My parents were also hard-working and dedicated to their jobs, also very active in my sister’s and my after-school programs. My parents made sure we were always on time wherever we needed to be. From work to wherever we had to go, we had to be on time and not miss our responsibilities. Those values of hard work, selfless service, integrity and respect taught me at a young age knowing that if you work hard, you’ll get to where you want to be and I think that shaped who I am today.How would you describe your leadership style?My leadership philosophy is constant -- I execute in accordance with the Army values. The Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage drive my actions. I like to make sure my colleagues feel trusted and empowered. Maintaining a positive attitude also helps in accomplishing tasks. Balancing work and personal lives can be complicated enough already, so having a positive attitude has definitely helped me overcome challenges. The idea that if everyone sees obstacles as opportunities as opposed to problems would help toward the ability to succeed.What’s been the biggest adjustment for you during the pandemic at work or in your home life?At work, it’s been making sure that we take care of our people and the mission. The way that we were doing business before had to be adjusted to the pandemic. With most people being on 100% telework, you aren’t necessarily able to sit down face to face and see if your colleagues are having a good or bad day. With email and teleconferences, we’re often focused on the task at hand. So, making sure that everyone is OK has definitely been the biggest adjustment. Fortunately, maximum telework has been great in allowing us to continue to support the Soldier. I can proudly and honestly say that no requests from Soldiers have gone unanswered. The ILSC team has done amazing work and has been very successful maintaining the level of support we had before the pandemic.At home, I enjoy spending additional time with my son and husband, but I do miss the rest of my family. We try to leverage digital platforms to see each other and stay connected but it’s not the same. We are a very close family and we like to travel. I miss spending time with my family, who live across New York, Florida and Puerto Rico. We want to spend face to face time with each other so we definitely miss that.Project Inclusion has been a major effort for the Army. As a woman and minority leader, what kind of advice would you give to those who have experienced inequality or tension in their careers?I’ve been blessed by those who have afforded me opportunities. As a female and minority, you have to take responsibility for ensuring that you work hard, stay strong and persevere. When things don’t go the way you planned or think they should go, stay strong and ensure your voice is heard and acknowledged. What you say is important and should be considered. There’s always going to be someone who is not going to have the same ideas or perspectives as you. We must remain respectful and strong to ensure that our ideas are heard and acknowledged.What advice would you give to those who are seeking to become more inclusive?Unfortunately, we can’t change people’s behaviors, but in my opinion, being open-minded and focusing more on the positives than on the negatives makes us better. We’re going to have differences, it happens. Even with people of the same race and gender, we’ll have differences. I have differences with my sister and we’re the same blood. It’s being open-minded and respectful to other individuals’ views and backgrounds. Understanding that we don’t have to necessarily agree but that we have different backgrounds and those experiences have shaped who we are. Every individual has something to bring to the table; that’s what makes us strong as a nation. And if you have that perspective, the world is definitely going to be a better place. We all have an individual responsibility for that.What advice would you give someone who wants to be in a leadership role similar to the position you are in?It’s a cliché, but continue to work hard and be the best you can be. You always have to demonstrate that you are the best at what you do. Continue to lean in to demonstrate that you have the character, competence and the commitment in your role, regardless of your position in the organization. Last but not least, always treat everyone with dignity and respect. It doesn’t matter how many differences we have in terms of opinions and agendas, I will treat everyone with dignity and respect even if I disagree.What’s the best part about your job? What’s the most difficult part?The best part by far is having the opportunity to serve our Soldiers. I don’t know if it’s because my dad is a Vietnam veteran, my husband was a Soldier and a Navy sailor at some point and two of my brothers-in-law served. I just think that the Soldiers’ job is hard, risky and they put themselves out there unconditionally. We have the resources, ability and responsibility to make it better for them. It’s important work, so I’m proud of that.[The most difficult part] is to make sure that everyone feels that they are contributing to the success of the organization. Not everyone has the same mindset, not everyone has the same job. But it is my duty to make sure they feel included and proud of the support we provide to the Soldier. That they see how their hard work and commitment is making a difference for our Soldiers.What’s next for you in your career?I’ve been in the government supporting the Army for almost 27 years and it’s been amazing. Time flies when you’re having fun! I think the Army is already thinking about what’s next for me. When we accept these [Senior Executive Service] positions, we also sign a mobility agreement that basically says I’m willing to do anything and everything the Army wants me to do. I know that whatever the next job is that the Army determines for me, I will continue to have the enthusiasm, motivation and pride to serve. I’m open to whatever comes next, whether it’s back to the business side, logistics, or something completely different. It’s really cool that if you’re willing and open, the Army can give you a new opportunity almost anywhere. At the end of the day it’s all about supporting our Soldiers and I feel blessed to be a part of it.