More than two dozen Army G-6 cyber teammates and former colleagues gathered to bid farewell to senior program management analyst Charles Lankford on May 12, 2021 as he prepares to retire following 33 years of federal civilian and military service.
Cybersecurity Implementation and Synchronization Director Nancy Kreidler described Lankford’s selfless service and dedication to the organization as doing a tremendous job for the Army community, often with little fanfare. She talked about Lankford’s patience as his colleagues learned about the budget and his willingness to teach anyone who asked. Lastly, she recognized the many people who turned out for his ceremony, both in person and virtually and noted it was a testament to his character.
Division chief Major Lambert shared Lankford’s long and varied career with the Army as an officer, contractor and government civilian employee with ceremony attendees.
Lankford’s federal service began as an air defense artillery (ADA) officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, then he transitioned to active duty for 19 more years in uniform dual-tracked in ADA and comptroller specialties. It was in the latter role that he began working as a senior budget officer in 1998 on the Army Staff for the Director of Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications and Computers, which would later become the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO)/Deputy Chief of Staff, G-6 (DCS G-6).
Military and civilian comptrollers are the Army’s trained specialists who manage resources, including planning, programming, budgeting and executing authorized and appropriated funds as well as fiscal law, activity and service-based costing, manpower management, contracting, management controls, competitive sourcing, financial operations, and the legislative process.
Following active military service, Lankford remained with the CIO/G-6 staff as a contractor senior budget analyst for several years with the Policy and Resources Directorate until 2009 when he was hired as a federal civilian employee to serve as a senior program management analyst.
When the CIO and DCS G-6 staffs realigned in 2020 into separate offices advising the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army, respectively, Lankford concluded his service with the DCS G-6 Cybersecurity Implementation and Synchronization Directorate.
In recognition of Lankford's steady and outstanding performance, Kreidler presented him with the Army’s Superior Civilian Service Award, the Army retirement certificate, and a folded United States flag. She also presented daughter Charleetah a dozen yellow roses as an expression of thanks and appreciation.
“My thoughts [today] are for my extended family,” Lankford said as he concluded the formal portion of the retirement and award ceremony. “The budget execution team and policy and resources teams are extended parts of my family.”
He plans to initially remain in Virginia, then will consider other locations after his youngest son completes his undergraduate university education.
When asked by an interviewer his advice for someone entering federal service, Lankford shared the following suggestions: “Knowledge is power so seek all the information you can. The second thing is build a network of professional friends to advise you and share information. There is always someone who has gone through what you may be experiencing and can provide valuable recommendations or feedback that can make your life a lot easier.”
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