By Ms. Michelle Harlan (USASAC)April 13, 2011
NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. - As a recent college graduate and young government employee, one person at the Army Security Assistance Command's New Cumberland office has quickly made an impact on his team.
Matthew Starner began his USASAC career as a logistics management specialist through the Student Educational Employment Program in 2008, which offers students the opportunity to gain direct work experience within a federal agency. Starner hit the ground running and was immediately working alongside case managers and helping them with foreign military sales cases for the Pacific Command region's Pacific branch.
"I am constantly busy and I like solving problems," Starner said. "Each situation is unique. The biggest challenge is coordinating between different agencies involved."
USASAC provides the Army with security assistance programs, including FMS of defense articles and services to eligible foreign governments.
Upon completion of his bachelor's at Penn State-Harrisburg in 2010, Starner continued to work on the PACOM team by tracking the life cycle of major items - from requisition to delivery. He also oversees the Repair and Return Program for Taiwan.
As personnel moved to positions outside of the Pacific Branch, Starner used his experience with the program to support employees as they joined him on the team, according to David Buckman, Starner's supervisor and Pacific Case Management Branch Chief.
"Thanks to Matt's intelligence, knowledge and patience, he was able to train each of the newly hired employees," Buckman said. "Matt is always willing to help his team in any capacity."
His ability to step in and help as the workload continued to increase and the work force transitioned did not go unnoticed by Starner's peers. During a recent employee recognition ceremony, Starner received a commander's coin from USASAC's commander Brig. Gen. Christopher Tucker for his significant contributions to the Taiwan FMS program by not losing sight of numerous active cases.
"This award was another example of Matt's diligence and willingness to assist regardless of whether or not the task is part of his position description," Buckman said.
"I think my work is very rewarding," Starner said. "When people ask what I do, I tell them we (USASAC) aid their government. It helps our position in the world by helping other countries."
Starner is working on his MBA through Penn State-Harrisburg and plans to continue to develop his career with USASAC into a FMS country case manager.
"This young man has a very bright future ahead of him," Buckman said. "I believe he will excel at any job he performs."