ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Illinois – Army Contracting Command-Rock Island (ACC-RI) welcomed Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, Commanding General (CG) of Army Contracting Command (ACC), as she made her first visit as CG to Rock Island Arsenal (RIA), Oct. 26-27.
Beeler partook in a working lunch on Oct. 26 with ACC-RI leadership, including Jay Carr, ACC-RI executive director; Mark Mower, ACC-RI civilian deputy director; and Col. Lynda Armer, ACC-RI military deputy director. Beeler received overview briefings from the center’s seven directors, who detailed their missions and answered questions on current issues.
After the overview lunch, Beeler sat down for a meet and greet with the Soldiers assigned to ACC-RI, asking them to share more about themselves, their experience in acquisition and how they support ACC.
Beeler also shed light on her leadership journey with ACC-RI participants during a virtual Executive Interview Program event, Oct. 26. Beginning her presentation by outlining her reasons for joining the Army, she then shared several personal examples of the hard lessons she learned and how she turned those into a benefit to her career and leadership philosophy.
Beeler said the willingness of an individual to work effectively in a team to accomplish the end goal – even if it is outside person’s job description – not only benefits the employee and the organization, it is a good indication of people who possess leadership attributes. Subsequently, Beeler said, good leaders pair that information with an analysis of the personalities and talents of each employee on their team, and then organize it to the best effect.
“Nobody comes to work to fail on purpose, so how do we put those people in the right spot doing the right things – the things that they’re passionate about and that are in their skill set?” asked Beeler. “Maybe they need to be pushed a little bit into something that they might be uncomfortable with initially, but may eventually find it beneficial to them and ultimately, beneficial to the organization.”
In identifying ACC’s leaders, Beeler said the most important thing is curiosity; those people who are interested in what ACC is doing and why. Over her career, Beeler said she has sat on many civilian hiring panels and one thing she focuses on is whether the applicant is continually pursuing professional growth opportunities and the growth of others. Additionally, she seeks to understand how people handle challenges, explaining that she is not interested in hypothetical questions to help gauge a person’s leadership potential; she wants concrete examples of what they have done in the past.
“I want them to describe a situation where they overcame a challenge or had a difficult conversation,” said Beeler. “Describe to me the scenario and what the outcome was. Those questions help me understand a person’s leadership thought process and how they analyze a problem and take action to address that challenge.”
On Oct. 27, Beeler and Carr hosted a virtual town hall for the ACC-RI workforce. In providing an ACC enterprise update, Beeler discussed the meaning and intent behind ACC’s revamped mission and vision statements, explaining that each and every ACC employee should be able to see themselves and the purpose of their work in the statements.
She also addressed the Army’s priorities of people, readiness and modernization, with her added priority: reform and adapt.
“We will all need to be particular in scrutinizing the way we do business in the future to deliver faster, better and cheaper,” said Beeler. “It is really on us how to manage data to target those opportunities and I want to know from the workforce what tools will help do our job even better.”
During her trip, Beeler also held a meet and greet with the center’s Intern Homeroom; attended in-person meetings with leaders of U.S. Army Sustainment Command (ASC) and Joint Munitions Command (JMC), and held virtual meetings with Joint Program Executive Office Armaments & Ammunition (JPEO A&A) and Program Executive Office Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS). She also took a tour of the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) as well as a tour of RIA with ASC’s historian.