ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Meet Cyndie McMullen: wife, mother, friend, co-worker, supervisor and U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command budget branch supervisor. June 1 McMullen walked out the glass doors of ATEC for the last time since coming to work for them in June 1986.

After 42 years of federal civil service, McMullen has decided that it's time to retire -- a decision she did not make lightly.

For McMullen, knowing that it was time to go didn't ease the apprehension she felt about no longer serving in a vital role of a cohesive and loyal team in the ATEC Budget and Programming Division.

True friends that have made her feel like a major part of the work they do to ensure Soldiers have the necessary capabilities for success across a broad range of operations, she said.

McMullen started working for the U.S. Government straight out of high school in 1968. She worked as a secretary for Veterans Affairs for 15 years until landing an internship in 1986 with the Test and Evaluation Command as a program analyst. That internship would later propel her into her current position as a budget branch supervisor with ATEC.

Along her journey, however, she also became part of ATEC's history in the making. McMullen originally worked for TECOM, a subordinate unit of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, which was re-designated as the U.S. Army Developmental Test Command, a new subordinate command under ATEC.

The reorganization of the command meant that TECOM would no longer report to AMC, but to ATEC, and that was a major change for us at TECOM, recalled McMullen.

Along with these adjustments came another round of consolidations as ATEC streamlined the command again under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure law. In late 2011, DTC was disestablished and absorbed into ATEC HQ, which was moved to Aberdeen Proving Ground from Alexandria, Va.

"I do believe the last reorganization was a positive move," she said. "This command will succeed in its mission because of the dedication and expertise of its employees."

And she would know, since McMullen herself is extremely devoted to ATEC and her coworkers. She is considered a true leader and mentor, and she is committed to excellence in everything she does, according to her colleagues.

"Cyndie is one of the most dedicated people I know," said Christine Rivera, a fellow budget analyst. "She is one of the first people in the office in the morning and one of the last to go home."

But McMullen prefers to see herself as simply someone who is willing to help with whatever needs doing, and someone who others can count on to get the job done.

"The Budget and Programming Division is a very close-knit group of people. They have made my job so much easier and they are true friends," said McMullen. "We all know we are here to support the Soldier."

McMullen feels confident that after she retires her team members will continue to provide the best support possible to keep Soldiers safe. She will also continue to do her part by volunteering more in her local community and throughout Maryland as a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

ATEC may be losing a highly regarded and dedicated employee, but in her place, ATEC will gain something just as valuable: a lifelong friend and staunch supporter of the organization and its mission.

"I am proud of the work ATEC does to support the U.S. Soldier and our country," said McMullen.