Elissa Zadrozny’s sysadmin smarts opened the door to many roles

Elissa Zadrozny
Mission Area
Erika Christ, PEO EIS Strategic Communication Directorate
April 16, 2024

Elissa Zadrozny is the product lead for Logistics Information Systems at PEO EIS. She recently assumed that role after serving as deputy product director for Army Human Resource Systems (AHRS) at EIS for nearly four years. At AHRS, she helped lead the transition of the electronic Military Personnel Office to the Integrated Personnel and Pay System – Army, completing the final shutdown of a system that served the Army and its active-duty Soldiers for over 20 years. She also has worked in other civilian positions at EIS and with the Army G-6, the Department of Energy and the Office of Naval Intelligence. Zadrozny recently answered some questions about her life and career. 

Where did you grow up?  

On Long Island. I was born in Huntington, New York, on the north shore but grew up on the south shore in Patchogue. We moved at the end of middle school, and I graduated from Bayport-Blue Point High School. 

Tell us about your transition from active-duty Army to civilian service.   

My military occupational specialty was 74B Information Systems Operator-Analyst, which today is 25B — assigned to G-3 Operations at U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). I managed the time-phased force deployment data in the Joint Operational Planning and Execution System for special operations exercises and deployments all over the world. Meanwhile, in my spare time, I got my master's degree in information systems management and taught “Introduction to the Internet” for the local college. In July 2000, the government civilian system administrator of the Global Command and Control System (GCCS) at USASOC had left, and the position opened up right at the time I was transitioning out of the Army. Since I occasionally acted as the backup system administrator, I had more experience than most with GCCS. From then on, I was known as the “geeks” lady. The UNIX and Oracle experience I gained working on GCCS opened the door for many future IT roles. 

How have you adjusted to heading up a product office in a different portfolio?  

The hardest adjustment has been missing my team at AHRS. We have been through a lot together, but I know we are still family. Otherwise, it has not been too big an adjustment. My first PEO EIS job was with the Transportation Information Systems product office when the Transportation Coordinators’ – Automated Information for Movements System II passed milestone C and reached full operating capability. Some of the people I worked with 13 years ago are still supporting the system today. Also, deputy product lead, LIS, Cedric Sherard, was an assistant product manager at AHRS prior to Army retirement, so I am very fortunate to work with him again. He is the type of supportive leader you want to have as a deputy. Meanwhile, I am enjoying the process of learning about the other systems in the LIS portfolio — Standard Army Ammunition System, Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced, and Radio Frequency In-Transit Visibility — and getting to meet new people.  

Tell us about some of your interests and activities outside of the office.   

I play the violin and piano, and I like all kinds of music. I travel to different cities for music festivals and attend concerts of all genres — everything from classical to rock to country and pop, and my hometown favorite is Billy Joel, but my not-so-secret love is K-pop. I am a BTS ARMY. My son is an Army explosive ordnance disposal specialist, and I visit him wherever he is stationed. We like to go to movies, visit local museums, go hiking or kayaking. 

Who are some of your women role models or mentors, both inside or outside of the office?   

The women in my family have always been my mentors. My grandmother was in the Women’s Army Corps driving trucks during World War II. She would tell me to be whatever I wanted to be when I was older. My other grandmother is a retired occupational therapist and at 93 years old was living on her own until this year. My mother is a teacher; my aunt is a dentist, and getting an education was always a topic in our family. In my career, I was encouraged by women leaders like Terry Watson when she was acting program executive officer at PEO EIS; retired Col. Sandy Vann-Olejasz when she was the project manager for DOD Biometrics; and retired Col. Mollie Pearson, former product manager for Power Projection Enablers (P2E), who has been my cheerleader even post-retirement.  

What’s the best thing about working at PEO EIS?   

All of the great team members I get to work with both in my office, other program offices and the staff at headquarters. Nowhere else have I known a workforce as highly educated, trained and professional.  There is always someone willing to help when there is a problem. The team at PEO EIS is composed of the most dedicated and hard-working people who are focused on the mission and doing what is best for Soldiers.     

Anything else you’d like to share?   

When I went to college, I studied international relations and diplomacy and thought I would pursue a career in foreign service. Instead, I am very proud to have been a Soldier, a contractor and a civilian supporting the U.S. Army. I would tell anyone who asks that the Army, and in particular Army acquisition, is a great career to follow. If young people entering the workforce, and definitely women who want to learn, want to be challenged, have opportunities to expand, show their potential and have job satisfaction knowing they made a difference, then this is the place for them.   


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