PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo. -– Dr. Alexa L. Gordon used to help Soldiers get into the military. Now she helps them out in a different way – through assisting the deputy commanding general for USASMDC.
Gordon, a Department of Defense civilian family medicine physician from Clinton, Maryland, supports Brig. Gen. Guillaume Beaurpere, U.S. Space and Missile Defense Command deputy commanding general for operations, on support functions, focusing on operations like facilities issues and construction projects.
The position came about through her application with the Defense Senior Leader Development Program, which links develops senior civilian leaders with the potential and aspiration to serve as senior executives to leadership development opportunities. With this nine-month assignment at SMDC, Gordon said she is treading into unfamiliar waters in a command totally new to her.
“This is a broadening assignment designed to help me develop leadership skills that help me move beyond the technical expert and into an Army civilian leader,” Gordon said. “This program will hopefully help me to perhaps someday gain employment in the SES (senior executive service).”
Gordon graduated from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island this last summer, where she gained her master’s degree in national security and strategic studies as part of the DSLDP, before landing the temporary position at USASMDC. Prior to that, she worked as a primary physician at military treatment facilities and VA clinics, and as a medical officer and branch chief with the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command.
“Army Space is completely new to me, but I find it fascinating,” Gordon said. “In fact, the Army beyond the medical field is somewhat new to me. I worked at MEPS, (Military Entrance Processing Stations), so I would see these kids coming in with stars in their eyes focused on an exciting career in the military, but I didn’t really know specifics about the career fields they were going into..”
Gordon said she brings to the command an outsider’s perspective to SMDC, which presents the opportunity to look at tasks and projects from a different view.
“I have noticed that in some of the meetings I have been to, the view has been operationally focused without necessarily seeing how that connects to the civilians out in the community, whose support we need,” Gordon said. “A lot of civilians in the community might not really appreciate what is going on here, because they simply don’t know.”
Gordon said initially there were to be many opportunities for community outreach programs that she would develop, but COVID put a damper on that. She said she is happy to be of assistance to the DCG-O though, and hopes her position gives her a broader idea of how SMDC the command
functions, as well as the Army as a whole, while developing her leadership skills in a highly technical and strategic command.
“This (position) is taking me out of my comfort zone,” Gordon said. “It’s a great opportunity, and I encourage any Army civilians, or Soldiers retiring or getting out of the Army who want to make the Army a career on the civilian side of things, to look into this program, which is just one of several Department of Defense civilian talent management programs out there.”
For more information the DSLD program email: firstname.lastname@example.org