Machinist credits team for organizational success

By Katie Davis Skelley, DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center Public AffairsMay 15, 2024

Mark Miller is a machinist with the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center’s Fort Eustis team.
Mark Miller is a machinist with the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center’s Fort Eustis team. (Photo Credit: Haley Myers, DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center Public Affairs) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (May 15, 2024) – For Mark Miller, it’s a team effort.

Miller is a machinist with the DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center’s Fort Eustis team, designing and creating the aircraft parts that are utilized by the Systems Integration & Demonstration branch of the Technology Development Directorate. He is part of a team of highly skilled machinists, technicians and engineers -- many of whom started their career working in industry together.

It is unique that many on the team have known each other for so long, but Miller said that it has made them stronger.

“All of us in here individually are really good at something,” Miller said. “As a team, we're really awesome together.”

For Miller, he inherited his love for the trade from his father.

“My father was a machinist for the Air Force,” Miller shared. “When I was in high school, trying to figure out what I want to do with my life, I signed up for a trade school. So, I went half a day to trade school, my junior and senior year. I always was going out to the shop with him. It was just something that interested me that I thought I would like. I took the classes and just absolutely loved it. I took some college out of high school -- I was taking some design classes -- and it just wasn't really a fit for me. I liked being in the shop and like making things, so this is just kind of the career path that presented itself.”

That career path led Miller to Fort Eustis first as a contractor in 2010 and then two years later, a civil servant position. But he was well-familiar with the organization, having worked with them over the years on the industry side. Starting out in a contractor capacity can be a viable career path and “for people who are interested in civil service, it shows there are multiple options to get there,” Miller said.

Miller credits the state-of-the-art equipment and software in the shop that contributes to not just his enjoyment of the job but also to quality of work they are able to produce, saying that it would match up to anything found in industry. But what is inimitable at Fort Eustis, he said, is that the team actually does their own programming.

“Most machine shops have a programming department and then you just make the part out on the floor,” Miller said. “We're a little unique here, we do everything, so when they give me a job I do it start to finish.”

While Miller enjoys shepherding the newer, younger members of the team, he said that doesn’t mean that he is not still learning and gaining knowledge himself. There is always something new to learn, regardless of how long one’s been on the job. His advice was to be open to those experiences.

“Just the other day, I was having a hard time programming something and one of the younger guys said, ‘Why don’t you do this?’ and put together something I had never seen before.

“We can all learn from one another.”


The DEVCOM Aviation & Missile Center, headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the Army’s research and development focal point for advanced technology in aviation and missile systems. It is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command. AvMC is responsible for delivering collaborative and innovative aviation and missile capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, development and life cycle engineering solutions, as required by the Army’s strategic priorities and support to its Cross-Functional Teams.