Ms. Kathy Callahan was recognized on Thursday, 17 December, 2020, for her forty-two years of superior service in support of the Department of the Army and the Nation. During a heart-felt farewell, she was awarded with the Superior Civilian Service Award. This is the second highest award of the Department of the Army Honorary Awards for Army civilian employees.
Ms. Callahan’s long civil service journey began in 1974 when she served as a GS-3 Vehicle and Weapons Registration Clerk in Bad Germany, where she met her husband Cal. Over the next forty-two years, Cal witnessed first-hand Kathy's extraordinary career. In each of her many roles, Kathy's vision, tenacity, and decency served her well. She progressed from a clerk to a management analyst, to a contract administrator, an operations research analyst, and finally as the Chief of the Army Strategic Management System Program in the Office of Business Transformation.
Even though her retirement ceremony was held virtually, it could not stop a multitude of family, colleagues (past and present), and friends from gathering together to outpour their deep respect and genuine regard for this local hero. Those that knew her best thanked her for her leadership, her great work saving lives during OEF and OIF (in her job testing and evaluating the equipment soldiers used on the ground), and for being an inspiration, a great mentor, and a genuinely good human being. The many virtual meme photos of people clapping, and her daughter-in-law’s photo of a beer can with the caption "This one is for you Mom," only put an exclamation mark on what a clear pleasure and honor it has been to serve with her.
Kathy's legacy as a civil servant is a real American story of dedication. Not only dedication to the nation, but more importantly a dedication to the welfare and happiness of every person who was lucky enough to fall into her orbit. Kathy has positively impacted the Army community and family in ways too numerous to mention. She will be missed, and the Army family wishes her joy and happiness in her retirement.
Additional well wishes from the Undersecretary of the Army and Director of the Office of Business Transformation:
“Your 42 years of selfless service have positively impacted the people and organizations you have worked with in ways too numerous to mention. In particular, I offer my sincerest appreciation for your years of dedication and commitment to HQDA. You have been an invaluable asset to the Office of the Under Secretary in support of our Chief Management Officer responsibilities. I am truly grateful for your significant contributions in the development and execution of programs and initiatives that have reformed business operations management in support of the Army's people, readiness, and modernization priorities.”
Honorable James E. McPherson, Under Secretary of the Army
“We all know the Army values—you are the embodiment of each—particularly selfless service. Your strategic SMS vision and your tenacity in articulating its capabilities have been exemplary. More important, you have maintained a laser focus on customer service. Suffice to say that you have been a model public servant—for that, you have the grateful thanks of the Under Secretary, OBT, the Army, and the Nation.”
Robin P. Swan, Director, Army Office of Business Transformation