PEO Perspective March 2017
March is Women’s History Month, and this year’s theme “Honoring Trailblazing Women,” recognizes women who have bravely made their mark in labor and business. Counted among these are extraordinary women who serve in today’s Armed Forces as senior leaders, Soldiers, Army Civilians, spouses, mothers, sisters and daughters.
Women have served in the United States Army since 1775, and stories of trailblazing women make up the rich fabric of our history. Included among these are COL Oveta Culp Hobby, the Director of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and the first secretary – and the first female secretary – of what would become the Department of Health and Human Services. COL Hobby was also the first woman to be awarded the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal in 1945. A more recent trailblazer, LTG Nadja West, last year became the first black female lieutenant general, is the highest-ranking woman to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy, the first black surgeon general and the first black female major general of the Army's active component.
MG Camille Nichols, Director, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, is an Acquisition Corps trailblazer. She was commissioned as an Engineer Officer upon graduation from West Point – among only the second class to include women – and served in increasingly critical acquisition leadership roles throughout her more than 40 year career, including Director of Business Operations, Office of Business Transformation, and PEO Soldier. She also holds the distinction of being the first Commanding General, Army Contracting Command, having assumed command in 2012 from GEN Ann Dunwoody (Ret.), the first woman to serve as four star general in the U.S. Army. MG Nichols, who entered the Army in the 1970s as a member of the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), also served as a legislative liaison, is Airborne and Air Assault qualified and was a member of the 1984 Olympic Handball Team. "You can potentially go as far as you would like to by serving," said MG Nichols in an interview last year. "I think that's a testament to the military institution and I would encourage everyone to do some type of service to their nation, to give back for the freedoms that we have."
At PEO EIS, women lead and play critical roles in our mission to connect the global Army, with women performing vital roles in the areas of acquisition leadership, program management, budget, human resources, training and IT.
Among our own trailblazers is Ms. Terry Watson, Deputy PEO EIS and former Acting PEO. Under Terry’s leadership, PEO EIS consistently exceeded budget obligation goals, executing over $3.5 billion in funding. Terry is a prestigious FCW FED 100 winner this year in recognition of her tireless championing of PEO EIS programs to ensure that Army leadership, DoD stakeholders, Congress and customers around the world understand that the Army is powered by EIS and knows where to look when an innovative IT solution is required to accomplish the mission. She will be honored, along with COL Harry Culclasure, PM AESIP, at the FCW awards gala March 30.
In addition, LTC Nicole Reinhardt, Product Manager Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army (IPPS-A) Increment II, is a finalist for this year’s Women in Technology Leadership Award, which recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of women leading the way across the technology industry. LTC Reinhardt is an exemplary Army Soldier and leader, and we are proud to have her represent the PEO EIS team.
Please check the website and our social sites throughout the month of March as we spotlight other outstanding women in the PEO EIS workforce as part of our Workforce Spotlight series.
On March 9, I join former PEO EIS Doug Wiltsie, Director of the Army’s Rapid Capabilities Office; Gary Martin, PEO C3T; and Mark Kitz, PEO IEW&S, in a panel moderated by MG Bruce T. Crawford, CECOM Commander, at AFCEA International’s 2017 Army Signal Conference. The morning panel, which explores the theme of “Shaping the Network – Enabling the Force,” will take place at the Waterford in Springfield, Virginia. For more information, please visit: https://www.govtechworks.com/events/2017-army-signal-conference/.
Powering the Soldier mission is the motivating factor behind everything that we do. PEO EIS is proud to be part of the Army team, providing critical services to support Army readiness. Thank you for all that you do in support of this great Nation.BG Patrick W. Burden