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News | Aug. 15, 2019

New Deputy Director: Mission First, People Always

By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs

In 2006, Col. John Lyle retired from the Air Force. He had reached a professional crossroads. Behind him lay years of honorable military service. After examining the options ahead, he took the first steps in pursuit of a civil service career.

Luckily for Lyle, his second career was invigorated by experience, to include a three-year stop at Defense Contract Management Agency — the organization that recently named him its deputy director.

“My prior contact management office experience is quite dated, so I will use it, but temper it with prudent input from current CMO leaders and headquarters staff prior to recommending or making decisions that would impact the agency,” he said.

To read more on Lyle’s extensive acquisition experience, click here. To read his new command blog, click here (login required).

“John is a prior DCMA CMO commander and has an impressive record through several dozen increasingly challenging active duty and civilian acquisition positions,” said Navy Vice Adm. David Lewis, the agency’s director. “He served in a command assignment with DCMA during a pivotal time, leading our Northrop Grumman office in Melbourne, Florida, from 1999 to 2001, as the agency transitioned away from the Defense Logistics Agency to the independent organization we are today.”

Today, the two defense acquisition leaders share an office wall for the same independent organization Lyle helped launch almost 20 years ago. During the last two decades, DCMA’s warfighter support mission has shifted to meet customer needs: the technology of acquisition, the agency’s policies and structure, defense budget spending, America’s global adversaries, and much more. To meet the challenges that often accompany change, Lyle relies on his flexibility.

“My leadership style is situational depending on the people I’m leading, required mission to accomplish, and time to accomplish it: maturity level, experience, education, required mission and tasking, time for completion, etc.,” he said. “My motto has always been and continues to be: ‘Mission First, People Always.’”

As for the plans and decision making that will impact agency team members, Lyle said he “learned a long time ago new leaders must be careful not to use the ‘new broom’ technique when assuming a new role. I will observe and assess the organization before discussing possible changes with the director.”

During a recent global all hands, Lewis demonstrated the important continuity role Lyle will soon play. Lewis explained that while he has only one or two years left with the agency, Lyle could be second in command for at least five years, so much of what the pair will begin, Lyle will finish.

“The agency will benefit greatly from John’s broad experience across a wide cross section of our customer base, and exceptional leadership experience, both in uniform and as a civilian, at all levels of our defense acquisition organizations,” he said. “The entire DCMA family can look forward to his dynamic leadership, which will deliver outstanding results for our warfighters.”

Due to the high-paced operational tempo of Department of Defense contracting, Lyle will most likely leave DCMA with ongoing initiatives himself.

“We have many challenges facing the defense acquisition and contracting community over the next 10 years,” he said. “From budget reductions, the balanced budget reform act, to an inexperienced workforce, to information technology, we have many more challenges than resources to address them. But, as has always been the case, from the most junior to the most senior, I’m impressed by the dedication, professionalism and intelligence of our workforce to address the challenges.”

That workforce includes approximately 12,000 civilians and military personnel at more than 1,000 locations. Their responsibilities help execute worldwide contract management responsibilities covering more than 19,000 contractors and more than 345,000 active contracts with over $250 billion in unliquidated obligations.

DCMA represents a large number of people with critical responsibilities and billions of dollars on the line. For Lyle, he spent his professional career preparing for his current position, and he seems excited to get started.

“I’m humbled and honored to be your deputy director, especially as your first Tier III (Senior Executive Service) deputy director,” he said. “DCMA has a reputation of being a value-added mission partner, and I’m eager to help add to the accolades.”