Faces of TRADOC: Andrew Henderson – Administrative Officer G-8
Editor’s note: The Army’s People Strategy focuses on the entirety of human performance, developing leadership and optimizing performance for all components of Army readiness. Faces of TRADOC supports the Army's People Line of Effort by highlighting exceptional TRADOC team members through their stories. The campaign highlights the Army’s greatest asset, our people.
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – In January 2008, at only 17 years old, Andrew Henderson began working with the Fort Monroe civilian personnel advisory center as an intern. Despite his age, when the CPAC director was looking for young talent, his mom, a career Army civilian working in human resources, immediately thought of him. Since then, Henderson has become aware he is the often the youngest person in the room, but that hasn’t stopped him.
After a year with CPAC in human resources, an opportunity in the TRADOC congressional activities office opened for Henderson.
“I jumped at the chance to get to TRADOC,” he said.
Another year later, Henderson was offered a permanent position in the Secretary General Staff office. By this time, he realized he was always the youngest person in the room. He remembered sitting in a meeting with congressional staffers taking notes when the deputy command general at the time took notice of him.
“As soon as the meeting was over Gen. Val Court b-lined over to me and asked me who I was,” he said.
After a conversation with the DCG, Henderson realized TRADOC was interested in watching him grow and develop.
“Even when I was young, they took a chance and I'm just grateful every day that they did,” he said.
Now 14 years since he started his career as an Army civilian, Henderson is an administrative officer and personnel operations specialist in resource management. Part of his job involves supporting the same internship program he once belonged. He knows first-hand how important it is to take the opportunity to let the next generation find their bearings and share their perspective with TRADOC.
“It was all I could do but to jump on the opportunity to help this next round of people,” he said. “It’s a chance for new people to come in and ask questions that help us grow as an organization.”
In his role, Henderson also works to support the resource management team. He said despite being incredibly shy in his youth, his time at TRADOC has allowed him to come out of his shell. Now he proudly has a certificate over his desk calling him the “customer service guy.”
“I think over the years, I have developed some care and patience that’s needed in customer service,” he said. “My main focus is on the customer, an organization, and enabling them to do their jobs.”
When he was approached by G-8 to take on the role, he felt validated in his journey and development. He explained he thought if they were willing to invest in him and take a chance by giving him this role, it was proof he was doing the right thing.
Henderson believes development is never done and continues to look for chances within the organization to be a leader and to challenge himself, prepared with what he has learned throughout his career.
“I realized that going from a deathly shy kid to now, being the ‘customer service guy’, is a big transition, but I wouldn't have it any other way,” he said.
Why do you serve?
My mom was a career Army civilian and, I wouldn’t call it family tradition, but it was kind of my way to also support federal service and it didn't have to be in uniform. It was an opportunity to serve the country, to serve the Army in a role that I don't think a lot of people realize is out there as a civilian.
And why do you continue to serve?
I think there are a lot of opportunities for growth and development. And the teamwork that is federal work. There's a lot going on, it's very busy. The teamwork where we all get to work together for a unified mission, moving in the same direction, keeps me coming back day after day.
What is your personal mission statement?
To create a space within any organization I work for to perpetuate growth, learning, and development, while being an expert in my craft who my team and others can rely on.
How have you seen yourself develop?
Having been an intern and learning the ropes as I went and having those people invest in me, to now being the person who those people are leaning on and asking for help has been a huge perspective shift for me. I think some of that has helped me be a better person, to help the interns, those who come through the G-8 specifically. Helping them navigate how to be an Army civilian, how to be a government employee, how to be an employee of any professional workforce; this is a great opportunity to learn.
It’s that transition from being the person who TRADOC invested in to learn and now being that person for TRADOC.
What would you say to someone thinking of working at TRADOC?
Absolutely take the opportunity. I'm blessed beyond belief to have gotten the opportunity. It was hard work and focus on what I was doing that has led to these opportunities.