“Don’t ever lose your momentum” is a piece of advice that stuck with Jennifer Williams, director of information management for the Security Assistance Training Management Organization, since the day it was given to her by a dean working at Virginia Tech. It is a mantra she has lived, and it keeps her focus on continually improving both professionally and academically by never giving up on being a learner.
This educational mindset, combined with her open-mindedness to pursue new opportunities and a willingness to initiate the change that she wants to see in the military, is what led to her nomination and selection as one of 10 recipients of Army Materiel Command’s prestigious Dellamonica Award.
The awardees were selected from more than 175,000 AMC employees, working across all global time zones, supporting the AMC mission in over 150 countries.
“Mrs. Williams provides invaluable leadership to a team that keeps SATMO communicating globally, and her performance has been key to the accomplishment of SATMO’s unique mission,” Brian Driggers, SATMO’s deputy to the commander, said. “She led her team to meet the communication challenges posed by our geographically dispersed security assistance teams serving worldwide on foreign military sales-funded security assistance training missions with an estimated value over $939 million during the award period.”
Williams has a natural ability to multi-task and manage numerous projects at once, which has enabled SATMO to effectively provide immediate actions to complex issues across the globe in a timely manner. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic in a remote work environment, Williams worked diligently to maintain a steady progression in supporting SATMO’s efforts. Her resourcefulness and adaptability allowed her to track IT connectivity to ensure a smooth transition with all SATMO employees to work through the challenges that arose with the pandemic.
“I am very invested in understanding how our management of IT assets and resources impact our end users and not just how it impacts the folks who are here at headquarters,” Williams said. “As a spouse of an active-duty service member, I’m aware of how that impacts your ability to communicate with folks overseas. I think the reason why I have a passion for our mission is because with security assistance training, we are training our allies and partners in the hopes that we can prevent the next requirement for our service members to be boots on the ground.”
She is grateful for the mentorship within SATMO, especially the individuals who have taken time to invest in her to teach her how she can be a mentor to those in her office. Despite the challenge of mentoring an office of predominantly service members, without a military background herself, she noted that she has received mentorship from command sergeants major, executive officers and more who are able to lift her up in the areas in which she does not have the same experience.
“I’m just really, really lucky that folks have taken the time to invest in me and help me continue to develop as a leader,” Williams said.
Williams’ nomination package expressed senior leadership’s confidence and admiration in her tireless efforts over the nine years she has been under AMC.
“Mrs. Williams lives and breathes the Army values of loyalty, dedication to duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage,” Driggers said. “Her industrious nature, application of her keen intellect and unrivaled work ethic, incredible initiative, resourcefulness and ingenuity have resulted in the accomplishment of visibly measurable and significant achievements for her directorate and the entire command.”
Over the past 24 months. Williams has played an active role in the migration across the Army enterprise, moving all standard applications to cloud-based resources. Working through the challenge of already having a set way of doing things across the Army is difficult. It’s fast-paced, complex and requires team involvement.
However, asking questions throughout the process on how each decision impacts the organization or how it benefits the capabilities in support of the organizational mission will be a helpful step, she said. It’s something that requires building a strong internal infrastructure for headquarters, especially when tackling over a short period of time.
“It’s all about how we can leverage this new technology and these new resources to not just maintain, but improve our connectivity, improve our data management, improve our knowledge management and improve our records management,” Williams said.
Although everything seems relatively seamless now, it’s an ongoing process impacting everything and everyone, and it takes time to get it right. From shared calendars to shared distro lists, situating these resources as fast as possible may be stressful, but it is crucial, especially with the geographic disbursement of our commands.
Despite the everyday stressors Williams experiences in her career, she never lets it box her in. She continues to go above and beyond her daily duties, and this can be shown in her volunteer work leading SATMO’s Soldier and Family Readiness Group. She understands military families and enduring the hardships of having loved ones overseas, which feeds into her dedication and passion for SATMO’s mission.
“Even though SATMO has such a small footprint here on Fort Liberty (formerly Bragg), we have a huge impact in terms of shaping what’s going to happen to many folks here on this installation,” she said. “I love our mission. I love the people that are here working at SATMO, and I just have a really strong passion for supporting them.”
The Dellamonica award, formerly known as AMC’s Personnel of the Year award, was renamed in honor of Louis Dellamonica, who served as the oldest and longest-serving Department of Defense employee before retiring in 2007, at age 94. He had more than 65 years of service.