AMC Hall of Fame inducts former CECOM civilian

By Susan Thompson, CECOM Command HistorianSeptember 22, 2023

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A ceremony held September 21, 2023 at the AMC Commander’s Conference at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL, inducted former CECOM Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel (G1) Deborah Devlin into the Class of 2023 AMC Hall of Fame. Ms. Devlin was honored along with five other individuals, including Gen. (retired) Ed Daly, Lt. Gen. (retired) Larry Wyche, Lt. Gen. (retired) Gwen Bingham, Mr. Jim Dwyer, and Command Sgt. Maj. (retired) James Sims. Since 2012, the Army Materiel Command Hall of Fame has preserved the command's history and recognized the exceptional leadership, service, and dedication of former AMC members for their remarkable efforts. CECOM selects individuals to nominate to the AMC Hall of Fame from those who have previously been nominated for the C5ISR Hall of Fame. Nominations for the Class of 2024 C5ISR Hall of Fame will open in November 2023.

Ms. Devlin began her civilian career in May 1980 as a personnel management intern and then management-employee relationship specialist for the Department of the Navy. Her career then took her to Germany with US Army-Europe until her relocation to the Fort Monmouth Civilian Personnel Office, where she served from 1989 until her appointment as the Deputy Director for Personnel and Training for the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command in 1992. She was appointed as the Director of Personnel and Training for CECOM in August 1998, which later transitioned to become the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel.

From December 2006 until she retired in July 2010, Ms. Devlin led a series of efforts to ensure the smooth transition of CECOM and the Army Team Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance workforce from Fort Monmouth, New Jersey and Fort Belvoir, Virginia, to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, in accordance with a Base Realignment and Closure 2005 decision to close Fort Monmouth and establish a C4ISR Center of Excellence at APG.

Ms. Devlin took an innovative and proactive approach to BRAC human resources planning and implementation that was widely recognized throughout the Department of Army as the gold standard for others to emulate. Her exceptional personnel management and recruiting resulted in CECOM and Team C4ISR retaining more than 60% of the workforces when initial BRAC estimates projected just 25%. Her management training program ensured that the new and transitioning personnel were properly trained. Leveraging Knowledge Management, she ensured personnel were provided the continuing education to support the command’s top KM priorities which included the collection and storage of millions of documents. Her intense effort and leadership resulted in CECOM and Team C4ISR employees gaining access to maximum benefits as they moved from New Jersey to Maryland. Her efforts to identify training requirements for BRAC and beyond in the planning stages resulted in what is nothing short of a miracle in the public domain.

A key component of the Team C4ISR BRAC human resources strategy, as conceived and articulated by Ms. Devlin, was the advance recruitment of employees in anticipation of significant losses in 2010 and 2011. She spearheaded the development of hiring plans for all organizations and a methodology to track progress against those plans. She sponsored an extraordinarily robust College recruitment program, with attendance at 55 College/University career fairs in 2009. Under her leadership, recruitment efforts expanded to mid-career candidates as well, with attendance at 32 job fairs in 2009 geared to mid-career candidates and specific skill requirements. She also took advantage of all existing tools to expand the candidate pool and expedite hiring, including the Expedited Hiring Authority available for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Workforce employees, the Army Wounded Warrior Program, and the Partnership for Public Service.

Ms. Devlin also put plans in place for an exceptional transition of the CECOM and Team C4ISR training program to APG. Her thorough assessment of training requirements early in the BRAC planning phase identified training space requirements across Team C4ISR at Fort Monmouth. This assessment would translate into her proposal to consolidate all training space authorizations from all the Team C4ISR organizations. This effort resulted in the creation of a building. That building is Mallette Training Center located at the C5ISR Campus at APG. From 2011 to the present, Mallette Training Center has provided facilities for the Defense Acquisition University to deliver required classes to over 10,000 students, Army Logistics University to provide courses to over 2,000 students, as well as to support CECOM Human Resources Professional Development to hundreds of CECOM employees every year. The state-of-the-art facility is a legacy to the exceptional leadership that Ms. Devlin provided during one of CECOM’s most trying times in its history. Her efforts continue to impact CECOM’s current recruitment and training programs.

Deborah T. Devlin distinguished herself as an outstanding leader and visionary in the human resources area throughout her distinguished thirty-year career. She received many awards, including the Department of Army William H. Kushnick Award in 2001 and two Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service medals (2006 and 2010). Always the consummate professional, she has been an honorable mentor and role model, highly respected by senior leaders, peers and subordinates alike.