REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- One employee works closely with private and public entities on community development projects in support of Fort Benning. Another focuses on the Army’s mission to disable unserviceable ammunition. Yet, another spends the work day communicating the mission of a command charged with delivering materiel capabilities to warfighters around the globe.
All three are among the 10 employees recognized by the Army Materiel Command as Employees of the Quarter for third quarter, fiscal year 2021.
Each quarter, AMC recognizes an employee from its headquarters at Redstone Arsenal as well as one employee from each of its 10 major subordinate commands for outstanding and innovative contributions that have a direct impact on AMC’s mission goals. The recognition program also highlights their ability to progress a culture of achievement and productivity, contribute to a positive work environment, increase retention and improve employee engagement and overall morale.
“This outstanding group of employees represent the innovative and impactful contributions the AMC team makes all across our worldwide enterprise,” said AMC Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Walter Duzzny.
“The power of AMC is found in the capabilities, expertise and knowledge of the valued employees who are dedicated to ensuring installation and materiel readiness throughout the Army. Congratulations to this group of employees for their exceptional work and their positive impact on our command mission and priorities.”
For employees like Brent Widener, a supervisory physical scientist who works for AMC’s Installation Management Command; Sara Sack, a Commercial Demilitarization Execution team lead for the Joint Munitions Command; and Jeff Jurgenson, a Public Affairs specialist with the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, employee recognition means leadership is taking notice.
“Recognizing the value, hard work and contributions of Army employees, particularly those at the Garrisons, demonstrates leadership understands and appreciates what we do,” Widener said.
All three said the recognition they received is shared with their co-worker team as most projects are too large for just one employee to accomplish.
“While it’s an honor to be recognized, the real value of awards like these is that they highlight what the entire team can achieve,” Jurgenson said. “We don’t accomplish the mission on our own – it takes a dedicated and professional organization and it’s important to take every opportunity to share credit with those we serve with and to understand that any success we may have relies on our fellow teammates.”
Widener, who works in the Fort Benning’s Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division, was nominated for his efforts to coordinate meetings between Fort Benning’s Garrison commander and installation personnel, and state and local private and public entities to implement community development initiatives that benefit both the installation and the community.
“Opportunities to collaborate, find common ground around shared objectives, and ultimately make effective changes to mindsets, outcomes and status quo makes this job very interesting,” Widener said. “Being able to effectively support our community, both inside and outside the installation boundary is strategically important. Fort Benning is bigger that what lays within our fence-line, and this project recognizes and builds on this reality.”
Collaboration is also part of Sack’s job overseeing multiple demilitarization commercial contracts, especially when the team shrinks temporarily to just two employees.
“Third quarter was an intense time due to the retirement of one employee who was in the same job for over 35 years and an urgent military state activation of another employee. The commercial demil team was reduce to me and a new employee who was on board for less than 30 days to handle the entire mission,” she said, adding she also had to provide support during this time to the new Conventional Ammunition Contract 2020 multi-family contract consisting of eight different ammunition families.
Jurgenson collaborates regularly to gather information that can be used to share Army messaging with the public. During third quarter 2021, his public affairs work supported SDDC operations associated with Atlantic Resolves and Defender-Europe 21.
“A key aspect of this support is to work closely with our allies, partners, adjacent and higher commands, and U.S. Embassy personnel to convey the Army, AMC, SDDC and U.S. Army Europe and Africa message to our key audiences and stakeholders,” he said. “Our command plays a critical role in providing strategic maneuver options for commanders in this theater and it was great to be a small part of the team that told our story to the media, and to the U.S. and international public.”
An advantage to the collaborative team approach, each said, are the professional and talented employees, supervisors and leaders they get to work with every day.
“It’s enjoyable to work with all the different people and the variety of issues that come across my desk,” Sack said. “With more than 35 years of government service, I have worked at multiple locations – U.S. Army Defense Ammunition Center and School in Savanna, Illinois; Tooele Army Depot, Utah; Johnston Atoll, Pueblo Army Depot, Colorado; Army Reserve Command, Army Sustainment Command and now with the Joint Munitions Command, which has diversified my skillsets and improved my understanding of the mission.”
Just being considered for employee recognition is an honor, they said, and receiving such recognition is validation of both their contributions and their work ethic.
“I put my focus on what is in front of me every day and how can I best support the customer. My dedication toward work comes from strong family and work values that my parents instilled in me working on a farm in a small town,” Sack said.
Working for the Army has also allowed them to see strong work ethics in other employees.
“I’ve worked with many team players who are focused on selfless service for others,” Widener said. “Those who come in with a positive attitude and a conscious effort put people first in the ultimate path to mission success.”
Mission success starts, first, with a commitment to the mission, Jurgenson said, a commitment he has seen over and over again in his work at SDDC.
“It takes a real commitment to AMC’s unique and vital mission; a willingness to learn and grow, and a desire to see others succeed; and an understanding of how AMC contributes to the larger Army and Department of Defense enterprise,” he said.
The following employees were recognized as Employees of the Quarter for third quarter, fiscal year 2021:
· Winnifer Caffie-McGee, division chief, Army Contracting Command, for providing leadership, professionalism and dedication to the team that led to increased overall productivity and morale.
· Darryl A. Guidry, supervisory accountant, Aviation and Missile Command, for providing leadership, superior technical ability and diverse financial knowledge that ensured overall efficiency in accounting and audit processes.
· Aldo Gutierrez, computer engineer, Communications-Electronics Command, for his efforts and contributions as the Project Lead to the Army’s Reprogramming Analysis Team Mission Data Set Developers.
· Jeffrey R. Jurgensen, public affairs specialist, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, for continually demonstrating the ability to innovate and accomplish the mission beyond the call of duty.
· Jason K. King, country program manager, Security Assistance Command, for being one of the top performers within his Division, for managing and completing the most difficult projects and for assisting others on the USASAC team.
· Ralph E. Langford, management and program analyst, Army Sustainment Command, for his always positive personality and can-do attitude that have fostered an environment of improved motivation, productivity and initiative within the Logistics Readiness Center.
· Jody A. McInerney, logistics management specialist, Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, for accomplishing mission requirements through Coronavirus-2019 constraints, and ensuring her team’s responsiveness to the field and taskers remained at the highest level of mission support.
· Jerre W. Quinn, financial management systems analyst, Financial Management Command, for providing leadership that ensured the Army met the standard of achieving a less than 10% improper pay rate for military and civilian pay.
· Sara A. Sack, commercial demilitarization execution team lead, Joint Munitions Command, for her candid input and expert contributions to the enterprise that reflect on her selfless service and dedication to the ammunition and demilitarization mission.
· Brent N. Widener, supervisory physical scientist, Installation Management Command, for leading a team to engage rural local communities around Fort Benning, Georgia, to strategically identify and implement compatible development projects and initiatives, which will directly protect the installation’s mission.