Gary Davenport is the chief of the Evaluation and Assessment Division in the U.S. Army Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment Activity. (He reminds readers that the software used by the Army adds 15 to 20 pounds to the subject.
Gary Davenport is the chief of the Evaluation and Assessment Division in the U.S. Army Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment Activity. (He reminds readers that the software used by the Army adds 15 to 20 pounds to the subject. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

Gary Davenport has supported the federal government for nearly two decades – most of it as a civilian.

Like many who chose to serve, Davenport enlisted in the Army after 9/11 and served for four years as an electronics technician and set off on a path that would take him to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command.

Not only is he a veteran with a great sense of humor, but his wife was in the Navy and both their fathers served in the Marine Corps.

As a calibrator in the Army, Davenport worked on computers to automate testing procedures and noticed an issue that caused overheating issues.

“I devised a method to temporarily repair the defect in the field rather than having to send all computers back to the manufacturer/government contractor for refit,” said the native of Oregon City, Oregon – though he said doesn’t get to go there anymore. “The contractor was impressed with my design and gave me a job when I left the Army. After a few years as a contractor, I was converted to federal service and have been working diligently to serve where I can.”

After exploring the origins of his federal service, it’s no wonder Davenport made his way to U.S. Army Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment Activity where he is now the chief of the Evaluation and Assessment Division.

“Though I had no idea I would be doing this work, I feel like every job I had in the past prepared me to be the best I could at this one,” Davenport said.

And he is absolutely an MVP in his field. So much so that he was at the helm of developing the career map for Wage Grade 3378 precision measurement equipment calibrators who support the Army.

According to USATA Enterprise Support Director David J. Hargett, Davenport’s supervisor, the implementation of the 3378 Series Competency Map Davenport built provides a standardized framework and career-enhancing information that did not previously exist for nearly 300 Army civilians who fall in that field.

“The competency map outlines the leadership, functional and core competencies as well as academic training and certification objectives for the successful career development of this unique job series,” Hargett noted.

“I love being part of the big picture,” Davenport said. “I’m honored to work for my country and wake up every day thrilled that I have the opportunity to make a difference for my country and warfighters.”

The Evaluation and Assessment Division of USATA has the mammoth responsibility of certifying the Army’s test equipment and ensuring it meets or exceeds Army mandates.

“This test equipment is used to optimize field-level equipment, improving communication capabilities, weapon accuracy and survivability,” Davenport explained. “The organization as a whole is a force multiplier, providing opportunities and capabilities for our warriors to excel in every way.”

One could say what he describes as “a relentless will to succeed” and his love of “finding a solution where none seems to exist” have served him, USATA, the Army and the warfighter well. It’s what drives him.

Though he has several guiding principles, Davenport said there’s one that resonates to his very inner being.

“At one point in time – many years ago now – several back-and-forth emails and phone calls ensued to get a particular pressure gauge into the system so our technicians would have the authorization and guidance to calibrate it,” he said. “Near the conclusion of our [conversation] with the fielding agency, someone muttered into the phone, ‘All this for a gauge.’”

“That’s right! All this for a gauge,” Davenport said he retorted. “We are going to get this right regardless of the perceived benefit. That gauge might be attached to a pressurized line which is attached to the air output valve of an environmentally enclosed room. That gauge might signal when the air is at the correct pressure to ensure the safety of the team when in the room. You’re right, we’re doing all this for a gauge – and we will do it all again tomorrow.”

If that account doesn’t reveal Davenport’s character and work ethic, nothing will.

“I feel like I’ve well surpassed any goals I could have had for myself,” he said. “I have a fantastic team; each one is great at their job and it makes my job very easy.”

The fact that Davenport was among those named Time’s Person of the Year for 2006 now makes perfect sense.