REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – Christi Dolbeer has never let a challenge stand in her way.
It’s a work ethic formed in her childhood that she brings in support of the Warfighter every day at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center.
“I think we live in the greatest country ever and that a strong military is essential to protecting our freedoms,” Dolbeer said. “The job that we do to support our military and make sure they have the best weapons, and always have the advantage, is truly important.”
A Decatur native, Dolbeer remembers from an early age struggling with math. Her mom, who had a master’s degree in math education, would not accept defeat.
“I would say, ‘I can’t do this,’” Dolbeer recalled. “And my mother would say, ‘Yes you can. Keep trying.’”
If not for that encouragement, as well as the example of her father, a chemist, Dolbeer may not be where she is today – the acting director of the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center’s Technology Development Directorate. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and master’s in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and began her government career at AvMC as a co-op in 1991.
In her role as TDD acting director, she leads the men and women responsible for the center’s science and technology core competencies. AvMC serves as the Army’s focal point for research, development, and engineering technology for aviation and missile platforms across the life cycle.
“I definitely consider myself a servant leader,” Dolbeer said. “I want to help the people in the organization so they can do what they need to do to help the Army and the Warfighter.”
Dolbeer, an Army Acquisition Corps member, is recognized as a subject matter expert in propulsion, and has provided leadership in the areas of energetics, propulsion, warheads and fuzing, missile sustainment, controls and electronics, composite materials, corrosion prevention and control, platform integration and propulsion/energetic testing.
She offered this advice for those wanting to pursue a similar career path.
“Do your very best, whatever the job is, and try to find a group of people that you really enjoy working with,” Dolbeer said. “If you know what you’re doing is important, you work hard, and you like the people you’re working with, it makes it so much more rewarding. Don’t worry about failure. Just do your best and try to avoid regret.”
The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.