REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Oct. 27, 2021) – When it comes to shifting roles within the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, Deacon Aldridge will tell you it’s nothing short of easy.
“It was a good opportunity,” says Aldridge. “I really enjoyed my time at S3I, and my branch chief over there, Johnny Johnson, was very supportive. It couldn’t have gone any better.”
Aldridge recently transferred from the Software, Simulation, Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate, or S3I, into the Systems Readiness Directorate, or SRD. He now works in the Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) Engineering and Assessment Division and matrixed to the Cargo Helicopters Program Management Office under PEO Aviation. At S3I Aldridge says he was more technically focused, but at SRD he sees more of the management side, which includes foreign military sales and reliability improvement projects.
“I liked both, but I feel this was an opportunity for me to see something else, and see if this is where I want to take my career. I’m just always trying to learn new things.”
A native of North Alabama, Aldridge grew up in Hartselle and went on to graduate from the University of Alabama with a degree in mechanical engineering. After a quick move to Dallas, he missed home and moved back to the Tennessee Valley. He says Huntsville is a great place for a young engineer to start and continue their career because of the growing industry and opportunity. That opportunity, and the mission he serves at the Center, is what keeps him inspired to work every day.
“What you do here is something greater than you, there is a greater purpose to what you do… I feel like what I do makes a difference and that’s really cool.”
While it’s easy to get hyper-focused on your job and role, Aldridge’s greatest advice to any newcomer is to not feel stuck or cornered in the role you’re in now. He says if you are interested in trying something new, one of the best things you can do for yourself is learn about it. Go to events and hear from people in that division or directorate about what they do, what they see and how it connects to what you do.
“It’s easy to get bogged down on your job and role, but don’t be afraid to do things that make you feel uncomfortable,” Aldridge said. “That’s where I’ve learned the most.”
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.