Joyce Allen (Left), Secretary of the General Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, poses for a photo with Command Sgt. Maj. Otis Cuffee, former Command Sgt. Maj. for TACOM, following an awards ceremony in 2006
1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Joyce Allen (Left), Secretary of the General Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, poses for a photo with Command Sgt. Maj. Otis Cuffee, former Command Sgt. Maj. for TACOM, following an awards ceremony in 2006 (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
Col. Santee Vasquez (Left), Chief of Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, presents Joyce Allen (Right), Secretary of the General Staff TACOM, with a Meritorious Civilian Service Medal at her retirement ceremony Dec. 9 at the Detroit Arsenal, Michigan.
2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Santee Vasquez (Left), Chief of Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, presents Joyce Allen (Right), Secretary of the General Staff TACOM, with a Meritorious Civilian Service Medal at her retirement ceremony Dec. 9 at the Detroit Arsenal, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Ted Beaupre) VIEW ORIGINAL
Col. Santee Vasquez (Left), Chief of Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, presents Joyce Allen (Right), Secretary of the General Staff TACOM, with a Meritorious Civilian Service Medal at her retirement ceremony Dec. 9 at the Detroit Arsenal, Michigan.
3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Col. Santee Vasquez (Left), Chief of Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, presents Joyce Allen (Right), Secretary of the General Staff TACOM, with a Meritorious Civilian Service Medal at her retirement ceremony Dec. 9 at the Detroit Arsenal, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Ted Beaupre) VIEW ORIGINAL
Joyce Allen (Right), Secretary of the General Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, receives a 20 year Length of Service Certificate in 2011 from Col. Jan Hooper (Left), then Chief of Staff TACOM.
4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Joyce Allen (Right), Secretary of the General Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, receives a 20 year Length of Service Certificate in 2011 from Col. Jan Hooper (Left), then Chief of Staff TACOM. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo) VIEW ORIGINAL
Joyce Allen (Right), Secretary of the General Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, narrates a quarterly awards ceremony in 2009 and provides opening remarks as Maj. Gen. Scott West (Left), then Commanding General TACOM, and Command Sgt. Maj. Otis Cuffee (Center), then Command Sgt. Maj. TACOM, looks on.
5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Joyce Allen (Right), Secretary of the General Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, narrates a quarterly awards ceremony in 2009 and provides opening remarks as Maj. Gen. Scott West (Left), then Commanding General TACOM, and Command Sgt. Maj. Otis Cuffee (Center), then Command Sgt. Maj. TACOM, looks on. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo ) VIEW ORIGINAL
Joyce Allen (Right), Secretary of the General Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, presents a retirement shadowbox to Kathy Giffin (Left) in 2008.
6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Joyce Allen (Right), Secretary of the General Staff Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, presents a retirement shadowbox to Kathy Giffin (Left) in 2008. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. — It takes a lot of knowledge, experience, and persistence to earn promotions in civil service. That’s how Joyce Allen reached the pinnacle of her career after the first eleven years of government civilian service with U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command at the Detroit Arsenal.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in merchandising and marketing from Eastern Michigan University in 1982, Allen worked as a teacher for the Pontiac School District.

When she came to TACOM in 1991 she started out as an intern working as a supply management specialist at the age of 33. In her first nine years, she went from being an intern in the Integrated Logistics Support Center working her way up to Case Manager and then Program Manager in the Security Assistance Foreign Military Sales Directorate.

“Entering federal service at 33, I set pretty high goals [for myself],” Allen said, “I committed myself to chart a path that would lead me to a leadership position.”

Allen earned her master’s degree in general administration from Central Michigan University in 1998.

In 2000, Allen became an Executive Staffing Officer in the Secretary of the General Staff’s Office. Two years later, she was promoted to become the TACOM Secretary of the General Staff acting as key advisor to the TACOM Command Group regarding administration and coordination of Command operations.

“When I found out that I got the position, I was thrilled for the opportunity to work more closely with Soldiers,” Allen said, “I knew there would be a lot required of me facing the many challenges that comes with being a leader.”

Allen was the first African American to hold the position and is the longest serving SGS in TACOM history completing just over 18 years.

Annette Riggs, Deputy Chief of Staff for TACOM, described Allen as a person who went out of her way to do her job efficiently and effectively knowing the reputation of the SGS Office was on the line.

“Joyce showed that you could make a difference in a big way by doing the small things,” said Riggs, “things that nobody notices unless something goes wrong.”

On December 31, Allen will retire after 29 years of federal service and she plans on adjusting to a daily retirement routine, spending more time with her husband Steve, and helping others through charity work.