News | Nov. 3, 2020

Outside 80: Service after service

By Elizabeth Szoke DCMA Public Affairs

Editor’s Note: DCMA acquisition professionals spend their 80-hour pay period contributing to the agency’s warfighter support mission. “Outside 80” is a series of articles designed to highlight how team members serve their communities outside of those 80 hours.

Carley Salmon spends her Defense Contract Management Agency hours battling unseen threats as a Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Assessment Specialist.

“My job duties include assessing DIB compliance with cybersecurity requirements within their contracts to safeguard government information,” Salmon said. “How a company protects the designs and digital data provided to them by the government is equally as important as the end product. It’s our job to ensure companies are doing their part to safeguard the products they make for the warfighter.”

Salmon has been with the DCMA team for five years, first starting out as a DCMA contractor prior to becoming a federal employee.

“I like working at DCMA because this is the ‘unsung’ mission; the behind-the-scenes work that protects our warfighter,” Salmon said. “As prior service, I understand what it’s like to receive the product at the end-of-the-line.”

While she enjoys supporting the warfighter mission from a new perspective, Salmon admits that there’s something she enjoys even more.

“It’s kind of selfish, really, but I think it’s okay to be selfish in this sense,” Salmon said. “Giving back to others makes me feel good. To know that I can reach others in a positive way and impact their life, even in a small manner, is rewarding.”

Last month, Salmon volunteered at a flag-moving tribute where she was among veterans and first responders from the central Virginia area where they carried the American Flag and Freedom Flag along the Capitol Trail from Williamsburg to Richmond. The trail is approximately 66 miles in distance, so the volunteers treated the event like a relay broken up into running, biking and rucking. Once the teams reached Richmond, they presented the flags to the Virginia governor and lieutenant governor.

“Participating in this event, as well as many others, makes me feel good,” Salmon said. “It’s as simple as that. I feel connected to the community and love meeting these amazing, selfless and patriotic people along the way.”

Among the volunteers were Fort Lee community members, as well as another DCMA employee, Omar Delgado. Salmon encourages other DCMA employees to join them for next year’s event.

Salmon served six years with the Rhode Island Army National as a 1st Lt. Black Hawk helicopter pilot where she earned multiple awards to include the Army Commendation Medal and multiple deployment medals. She left the service shortly after beginning her work with the agency and says she fills the time she would have been spending in uniform volunteering in the community.

“I look at it as a service beyond the uniform,” Salmon said. “As a service member, when you’re wearing the uniform, you know the work you are doing day-in and day-out is supporting the greater good. So it can be hard transitioning to civilian life and no longer have that ‘greater purpose’ anymore.”

Salmond feels that her community service enhances and strengthens her DCMA skills. Her connection to the military community and veterans allows her to keep a direct relationship with the warfighter, which keeps her invested in her DIBCAC mission of safeguarding important systems. Her community contributions have not gone unnoticed as she earned Fort Lee’s Spring 2020 Outstanding Civilian Service Award.

“I was very humbled and honored to have been nominated and selected,” Salmon said. “It was something I did not expect. I am a true believer that I am a reflection of those I interact with, so receiving this award is as much a testament to them as it is me.”

Salmon encourages those who have a desire to be involved to look into programs in their area.

“Working for DCMA has enabled me to be as involved as I am,” Salmon said. “The support from my leadership in my activities outside of work has been extremely encouraging and I’m grateful for the support.”