Not that she’s counting, but Marsha Cuffee has been a government employee for 18 years and five months.
Then again, the Havre de Grace, Maryland, native said she’s always loved numbers.
Of those 18 years and five months, Cuffee has been with U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command for more than 14.
Her husband is an Army veteran. Her father retired from the Army. Her brother is a Navy veteran and her father-in-law served in the Marines. So, though the history of military service came through those in uniform, Cuffee has continued that family tradition in her own way.
“After graduating from Virginia State University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, I started my government service career as a [U.S. Army Materiel Command] fellow,” she said.
The AMC Fellows Program is a five-year program that was established in 2000. Candidates are recruited into the program at college fairs and through AMC’s website where they rotate through a series of on-the-job training assignments throughout their tenure.
The former high school basketball, volleyball and track athlete spent the first 14 months as a fellow in Texarkana, Texas, where she earned a master’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M University-Texarkana. Her first rotational assignment after that was at AMC’s Logistics Support Activity.
Cuffee grew up thinking she’d be a math teacher because she likes to help people and, even now, feels a sense of accomplishment when she helps others reach their goals.
“My high school teacher, Ms. Wensell, was my inspiration,” she said. “I loved numbers. However, it wasn’t until after college that I learned about another career in mathematics and that was an [operations research system analyst].”
Now working as an ORSA in AMCOM G-8 Business Analytics Division, Cuffee helps to develop data analytics tools that contribute to effective management of financial resources.
“By doing this, we are ensuring that the Army can make better use of its resources, thereby providing the best support to our warfighters,” she said. “This career allows me to still utilize and enhance my mathematics skills, as well as be a teacher to some.”
Cuffee’s supervisor echoes that sentiment and said she often mentors others on data analytics.
“Ms. Cuffee’s high level of involvement and personal leadership in this process created an environment of learning and success. The tangible benefits of the training path she created directly improved the AMCOM G-8 workforce in both efficiency and effectiveness,” wrote Trevyn Kyle, AMCOM G-8 Business Analytics Division chief, in an award nomination.
“My [personal] motto is my high school motto: ‘Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve,’” Cuffee said. “I’m in the serving phase right now; however, learning is a lifetime. Before I started a family, I used to volunteer weekly at the Salvation Army and was a math tutor to anyone in need. This is how I served my community. At work, I serve on a team whose mission is to support the warfighter.”
With nearly two decades of government service and countless achievements under her belt, the wife and mother of two still wants to pursue more.
“I hope to become a subject matter expert in this field through successful end-to-end project management practice and hands-on experience,” Cuffee said. “I look forward to engaging in continued learning opportunities so others in the field think of my name when looking for help in using data analytics or needing a second opinion. I will be able to accomplish this goal through skills and experience acquired in my organization.”
If what’s behind her is any indication of what lies ahead, people might want to remember the name Marsha Cuffee.