“Women have been making the world go round since the beginning of time,” said Project Director Sensors Aerial Intelligence’s (PD SAI) Business Management Division Chief Sonju Goeggel with a little bit of tongue in cheek when asked about National Women’s History Month. While that answer might be vague, what is clear, however, are the significant contributions, accomplishments, and successes of women in military technology, the business world and beyond. Enter three professional leaders at the Army’s Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors (PEO IEW&S) whose wealth of knowledge, experience and insight show just why that notion about women making the world go round probably rings true.
Army Major and Assistant Product Manager for Mounted System Platforms (under Project Manager Intelligence Systems and Analytics (PM IS&A)) Chalonda Estelle recently drew on her professional leadership, expertise, and passion for others to mentor tomorrow’s potential leaders during a Female Mentoring and Morale Program executive team activity organized to advise and provide professional guidance to the University of Central Florida Military Science IV Army ROTC Cadets. She offered insight on what they can expect should they decide to join the Army after graduation.
“The students appreciate not only a ROTC graduate providing words of wisdom, but insight to the daily life of a soon to be officer,” Estelle said. “As the Army continues to push our upcoming female officers into the Combat Arms branches, I found it interesting that most females were excited about the opportunity to serve in a male-dominated field.”
“Paying it forward is what I've done since I pinned on second lieutenant, and I aspire to continue having the ability and platform to do so. Sharing my learned lessons with the students this Women's History Month continues to provide the blueprint for what's to come.”
Estelle has racked up a slew of honors, titles, and accolades during her military career including serving as the Distinguished Instructor, Deputy, and Writer for the Logistics Basic Officer Leader Course at Army Logistics University, Fort Lee, Va., and as a Contingency Contracting Support Officer for the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division, Fort Campbell, Ky. She joined the Army Acquisition Corps family in August 2021 and was assigned to PM IS&A where she is responsible for the cost, schedule, and performance of $90M worth of Army Intelligence Tasking, Processing, Exploitation, and Dissemination cross-domain solutions.
Managing behind-the-scenes business processes and activities that support the systems and products delivered to warfighters downrange keeps Goeggel passionate and driven about her leadership position at PEO IEW&S. She is excited to know that her back-office work keeps Soldiers equipped with what they need to ensure overmatch on the battlefield.
“It is a great feeling knowing that the work that I do enables capabilities to the warfighters,” she said. “We work on really cool systems.”
At PD SAI, Goeggel’s leadership and professionalism ensures the successful management of budgets, programs, costs, contracts, and human resources activities for the Program Management Office. She has a vast amount of experience in the world of Army acquisition, logistics and technology (about 15 years, four at PEO IEW&S) and is, by all accounts, a veteran in the field. She previously worked at Program Executive Office Command, Control, Communications – Tactical (PEO C3T) and Program Executive Office Missiles and Space (PEO MS) where she was involved with the AN/TPQ-53 Radar System.
Goeggel said setting aside a month to highlight the remarkable achievements of countless women around the world is key to ensuring all are recognized for their unwavering dedication and commitment to their respective professions. “It’s important to highlight women and get an understanding of the work they do whether that be in our arena or in other businesses. Women have been making the world go round since the beginning of time,” she chuckled. “By telling the story, sharing our successes and failures, that’s the only way we continue to progress.”
As a Logistics Support Manager at Product Manager Data and Analytics within PM IS&A, Mary Devoe Marcle draws on her expertise and professional leadership (backed by 23 years of military service in both the active-duty Army and Army Reserve) to plan, coordinate, and provide logistics and product support for three Army Acquisition programs. She also leads the Product Team for Capability Drop 1 (CD1), a combined hardware and software system which provides digital intelligence capability for Army intelligence analysts (35F) at the battalion level.
On any given day, Marcle and her team track the sustainment of CD1 systems providing software updates, conducting tests, and interacting with helpdesk representatives to ascertain system findings that are reported from the field. Her team is also involved in the logistics planning for the Army Intelligence Data Platform (AIDP) and Intelligence Applications (Intel Apps) programs.
Marcle has worked in the Army Acquisition field since 2009 when she joined the government civilian workforce while simultaneously serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve. Her excitement about delivering technological solutions to the warfighter and being around knowledgeable professionals has not wavered.
“I like it because no two days are ever the same,” she said. “Things are always changing, which keeps the job interesting. I also get to work with really great people who are very professional and super knowledgeable about their field. I learn new things every day.”