By Kris Osborn, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Public AffairsSeptember 1, 2011
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Sept. 1, 2011) -- Two female Army acquisition officers have been tapped for promotion to the rank of major general.
"The fact that they are accomplished in their respective fields is the key point. They just happen to be women Soldiers," said Heidi Shyu, acting assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology. "Both of them have done tremendously well in their careers. Talking to both of them, you realize their dedication and their focus on doing the right thing for Soldiers."
Brig. Gen. Camille M. Nichols, Program Executive Officer-Soldier, and Brig. Gen. N. Lee S. Price, Program Executive Officer-Command, Control and Communications-Tactical, were nominated in June for promotion by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta.
Both Shyu and Lt. Gen. Bill Phillips, the military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, praised the individual merits of Nichols and Price, while also pointing out that, not too long ago, there were not as many women general officers in the Army ranks.
"What's important to know is they didn't get a lower bar to jump over. They met the same bar and they have succeeded in their careers as a result of it," said Shyu, who pointed out that there were not as many female leaders when she began her own career.
In fact, in 1990 there were only four female generals in the entire Army. Last year, there were 44. Today, there are six female major generals on active duty in the Army, two lieutenant generals and one general. The National Guard has two female two-stars and the Army Reserve has one female two-star.
Nichols has embodied values of Army excellence throughout numerous leadership positions during her career. A graduate of West Point in 1981, Nichols has more than 20 years of experience in Department of Defense acquisition.
"I enlisted in the Army to 'be all that I could be', and I have been both blessed and amazed by the institution's ability to see potential in me and provide me the opportunity to work with and for such great people," Nichols said. "I am honored and humbled to be in this position and am committed to serve our Army and work tirelessly to honor the memory of those who have sacrificed so much for our country."
As the PEO Soldier, Nichols has been immersed in a range of key developmental programs such as the Improved Carbine competition, Individual Gunshot Detection, body armor technologies and ongoing efforts to lighten the load Soldiers carry in theater.
Price said effective leaders are ones who inspire individuals to excel as a team member.
"For me, it has always been about the team," Price said. "I truly believe that if you take care of people, then the people will take care of the mission. The mission comes first and it is the number one thing that we are judged by. But it takes people -- the Army is people."
Price has spent 36 years in the Army, and is the only female selected for the rank of general officer while serving the special operations community.
As the PEO C3T, Price has been managing the acquisition and development of a host of key communications programs and emerging technologies. Her office was heavily involved in successfully integrating technologies for the recent network integration exercise this past July, where six programs were placed under formal test and as many as 29 emerging technologies were evaluated from a system-of-systems perspective.