REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama – After more than three decades of federal service, Marsha Bailey, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Logistics Center utility directorate director, has decided to retire.
After graduating from the School of Engineering and Logistics, Texarkana, Texas, she was assigned to the U.S. Army Aviation Systems Command, St. Louis. In 1997, Bailey moved to Huntsville as the aviation mission was transferred and merged with the missile systems to form the aviation and missile command.
Bailey’s first job with the federal government was as a supply management intern at the School of Engineering and Logistics at Red River Army Depot.
“Upon graduation, I was assigned to the Apache section in the then-Material Management Directorate as an inventory management specialist,” said Bailey. That directorate was later known as the Integrated Material Management Center and, now, ALC.
During her career, Bailey has deployed and taken on a few special assignments.
She was once selected for a 120-day assignment at the Fort Lewis Logistics Center, which afforded her the opportunity to work retail supply and maintenance.
“In 2015, I was detailed as the assistant program executive office deputy director for Missile and Space for four months, which gave me an opportunity to expand my skill set by learning about the missile systems since my experience had only been in aviation,” said Bailey. “From January to July 2016, I was detailed as the acting director for aviation, supporting all AMCOM aviation platforms.”
Bailey stated that there have been many moments during her 35-year career that have given her the opportunity to grow and develop.
“In late 1990/early 1991 as Apache units were preparing to deploy to support Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, I was a GS-11 item manager for the [aircraft auxiliary power unit] clutch assembly,” said Bailey. “There were shortages of supply and the vendor could not meet the required schedule. I worked with Fort Eustis, Virginia, to remove the clutch assemblies from training aids, ship them to the vendor for repair and then shipped them to theatre to support critical requirements. The day after they arrived in theatre, I received a ‘pick-me-up’ bouquet of flowers with a note that stated, ‘Thanks for your help with the APU clutches’.”
Bailey went on to state that at that moment she realized an action she had completed at her desk in St. Louis had impacted and allowed a unit defending the country to complete their mission 6,000 miles away.
“From that day forward, I never looked at releasing a requisition as a routine part of the job, it was my contribution to ensuring the soldier in the field gets the right part, at the right time and at the right place,” said Bailey. “To this day, I keep that mug and the card on my desk to remind me every day that an action I take in my job, no matter how small or routine it seems, matters and supports a soldier in the field. The card may have yellowed with age, but not my passion for supporting the soldier.”
Bailey took a moment to reminisce about employees who she has mentored within her directorate who have been promoted into other organizations.
“They call to thank me for the support, mentoring and preparing them for career development,” said Bailey. “It is a very proud and humbling moment for me.”
According to Bailey, some of the aspects she will miss about her role with the directorate are teamwork, camaraderie, personnel and the mission.
Bailey stated that most people discuss how they plan to travel for their post-retirement plans, but fortunately, she had the chance to travel a lot during her career. Although it isn’t her primary focus, she still plans to travel a bit amongst a few other plans.
“I have visited all seven continents, but there are still many places around the world I hope to visit,” said Bailey. “I still have six states left to visit and I hope to be able to begin those travels next year. As a fan of University of Kentucky basketball (I bleed blue) and St. Louis Cardinals baseball, once everything is back to ‘normal’, I hope to attend more games in person.”
“I have several projects to complete on my house and then I plan to volunteer at some animal shelters in addition to having more time to spend with friends and family in Kentucky,” said Bailey.
There are a few people whom Bailey cites as responsible for helping her grow as a person and in her career. Three of them are Mary Marcucci, Bill Andrews, and Tom Pieplow who have all retired.
“To my [Utility Helicopters Project Office] family, keep up the good work. I have complete confidence in your abilities to continue to support the soldier,” said Bailey.
To be successful in a career in the federal government, Bailey stated that it’s not just a job.
According to Bailey, employees need to be hardworking, dedicated, supportive and accountable.
“Don’t be afraid of change—adapt and adjust,” said Bailey. “There are difficult and trying moments but the sense of accomplishment is well worth it.”
After 35 years of service, Bailey admits that although there were trying times, she wouldn’t change anything.