Staff action control officer appreciates the stability of a civilian career

By Rachel PonderOctober 25, 2023

Stephanie Sterrett
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Stephanie Sterrett is a staff action control officer with the U.S. Communications-Electronics Command.

(Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Kief, CECOM PAO )
Staff Action Control Officer Stephanie Sterrett, with the CECOM command group, sings the national   anthem
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Staff Action Control Officer Stephanie Sterrett, with the CECOM command group, sings the national anthem during a retirement ceremony Sept. 27, 2023.
Photo by Sean Kief, CECOM PAO
(Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Kief, CECOM PAO)

Stephanie Sterrett, a staff action control officer with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, knows the value of a government job.

“There is stability there and the possibility for upward growth and things I can learn,” she said. “I have always felt strongly about that.”

Sterrett said she was happy when she “finally” secured a government job last year. As a staff action control officer, she maintains the SharePoint staffing tool used to submit awards, contract approvals, civilian appointment orders, meeting minutes, tour extensions, and other staffing actions.

Supervisors and employees submit actions to the SharePoint staffing tool, and she reviews and edits them before sending them to CECOM Senior Commander Maj. Gen. Robert L. Edmonson II for final approval.

“I like seeing the end results; things like awards and star notes identify and recognize people for their hard work,” she said, “I like being a part of that process because in other positions, you don’t always get to see the end results.”

Her other responsibilities include serving as the government purchase cardholder for the command group and ensuring members of the command group are issued and maintain active campus badges.

Serving ‘was the most fulfilling’

Sterrett, a Harford County native, has held various jobs in her career. She worked as a phlebotomist at Perry Point VA Medical Center, an armed security guard, a shipping and receiving dispatch coordinator, a quality assurance technician, and a facility specialist at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C.

She holds an associate degree in general studies and plans to return to school to complete a bachelor's degree from Southern New Hampshire University.

One of the highlights of her career so far is serving in the Army as a human resources specialist. She said she was influenced by her dad and other family members who had served.

“It was always kind of in the back of my mind, seeing those figures in my life in uniform,” she said. “I don’t think I initially sought to join the military, but the traveling and the school benefits [tuition assistants] won me over.”

Sterrett, who served for six years, said she enjoyed serving as a Soldier because it gave her purpose to support other Soldiers.

“It was the most fulfilling,” she said.

In addition to following in her father’s footsteps, Sterrett considers her mother a role model.

“She is a lot stronger than she gives herself credit for; she kind of powers through,” she said.

Passion for performing

Sterrett also sings the national anthem for military events like retirement and promotion ceremonies on post.

“I love music; it has always been a part of me,” she said. “Even before I knew I had a talent for singing, I was always singing, just because I love it.”

Performing gives her an outlet to express herself and show more emotion.

“Sometimes it’s hard to put things into words,” she said. “But you find that song or that one thing that someone wrote in a song, and it perfectly says exactly what it is you need to say.”

Sterrett also sings in Eat the Cake Band, a local musical group she describes as “hip-rock and soul.” They perform at gigs on the East Coast a couple of weekends a month. Performing makes her feel “free.”

“It’s definitely a lot of fun; it’s a whole different world up there,” she said. “Energy is a tangible thing; I can really feel the energy from the crowd; a lot of times, the crowd is just as amped as we are.”

Sterrett said she appreciates having nights and weekends free to pursue her passion. She appreciates the work-life balance working for CECOM provides.