Photo of Maj. Stuart Anderson
Maj. Stuart Anderson at IPPS-A headquarters office (U.S. Army photo by Susan McGovern)
Susan McGovern, Strategic Communication Specialist, IPPS-A
May 28, 2024

Born in Fort Knox, Kentucky, Maj. Stuart Anderson grew up in an Army family committed to serving others. 

Anderson, the Department of the Army Systems Coordinator (DASC) for the Integrated Personnel and Pay System — Army (IPPS-A) Increment II and Operational Medicine and Information System – Army (OMIS-A) programs, enjoys helping people solve problems. “As a former assistant program manager, I understand the pressure to get stuff done and make progress,” Anderson said. “I try to make myself a Swiss Army knife by being as useful to leaders as possible.”

“DASCs are our acquisition staff officers in the Pentagon,” said Mr. Patrick McKinney, IPPS-A’s deputy project manager. “They are essential to our success and ensure that HQDA understands our programs. A DASC like Maj. Anderson is worth his weight in gold.”

Before joining the Army Acquisition Corps, Anderson deployed to Afghanistan twice as an officer in the Military Police Corps. He also served as an Army Congressional Fellow for Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Army liaison to Congress. 

Anderson answered nine questions about his career and life. 

What do DASCs do?
DASCs support the Army Acquisition Executive (AAE) by providing advice to Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) leaders about a program’s cost, schedule, risk and performance. We also represent the programs during the Army Program Budget Briefs to Congress.

Our primary function is in our name: coordinator. For example, IPPS-A Increment II requested a waiver from the Army’s Earned Value Management (EVM) reporting requirements because EVM is incompatible with Agile. I coordinated the process to obtain the Deputy for Acquisition Systems and Management’s (DASM’s) approval of the waiver. 

At the end of the day, my goal is to provide unbiased recommendations to the AAE, DASM and Military Deputy/Director of the Army Acquisition Corps that serves the interests of the entire Army.

What is the best advice you received?
Answer the question that is asked and anticipate the follow-up question. 

We always talk about having your bottom-line up front, but to be truly effective you need to ensure your bottom-line up front actually answers the question. 

Don’t interject answers to what-if scenarios. Answer the question that is asked.  

Don’t overwhelm senior leaders with too much information. If you ask me what time it is, I won’t tell you how a watch is built. 

Name one thing that can instantly make your day better.
Getting any kudos from a peer makes my day. I appreciate kudos from supervisors, but when it comes from a peer — who is not required to evaluate my performance — it means a lot. 

Who inspires you?
My dad always puts the needs of others before himself. He enlisted in the Army and served for 20 years before retiring as a logistics officer in 2000. In 2007, he grew tired of watching news reports about Soldiers getting killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. He wanted to help, so he rejoined the Army and deployed to Iraq in 2007. My sister was deployed to Iraq then too. He later deployed to Afghanistan when I was also in Kandahar mentoring Afghan police. There were times when I sat in the same meetings with my dad in Afghanistan.

Who is your hero?
My mom, a cancer survivor and retired Army civilian, is a true hero. Her husband served in the military for over 20 years. Both her children served in the Army and had two overlapping deployments with her husband. All the meanwhile, she was working as a full-time nurse and taking care of the home. She has been a bedrock of support and love for our family through the best and worst times.

She retired from her nursing career but continues to serve others. She has traveled to South America twice to support Team Rubicon, a veteran-led humanitarian organization. 

Describe the IPPS-A culture. 
IPPS-A is like a family. It’s been molded by a lot of friction and pressure. Bonds are built when any organization completes difficult missions.

IPPS-A is Agile. It’s in the blood.

IPPS-A is innovative. They rely on dashboards and power-business-intelligence tools instead of PowerPoint charts and Excel spreadsheets to track performance.

Describe your leadership style.
I tend to be empathetic. If someone brings me a problem, I instinctively tend to view the problem from their perspective. I think, “What conditions or circumstances are creating a challenge from the individual’s viewpoint?” rather than immediately try to solve the problem at hand. I want to understand the root of their problem from their vantage and then figure out how I can help.

Do you have any book recommendations?
I enjoyed Stephen Ambrose’s “Crazy Horse and Custer.” Ambrose does a great job describing the perspectives of two great leaders and the events leading up to the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Ambrose explains why Custer was the way he was and how his upbringing led to him to the decisions he made at the Battle of Little Bighorn. The book also explains how Crazy Horse’s culture influenced him and his decisions.

If you could thank one person for the role they played in your life, who would it be and why?
My wife has supported me during my entire Army career. She’s been through two deployments and multiple training events. Through it all, she never said, “I don’t think you should take that assignment.” She's a phenomenal mother who runs her own business. I wouldn't be able to do what I do without her support.

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