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News | Jan. 11, 2021

My DCMA: Peter Beville, protocol specialist

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

My DCMA showcases the Defense Contract Management Agency’s experienced and diverse workforce and highlights what being a part of the national defense team means to them. Today, Peter Beville shares his story.

My name is Peter Beville, and this is “My DCMA.”

I am a protocol specialist in the Strategic Communication Division based at DCMA’s headquarters here. I have been a part of the DCMA team since 2019. I plan and orchestrate VIP visits, ceremonies, meetings and special events for both civilian and military personnel throughout all levels of DCMA. In my short tenure with DCMA, COVID-19 has drastically changed the protocol of events and presented many challenges. I took on these challenges to implement protocol procedures and recommended guidelines to keep everyone as safe as possible. Thankfully, we have persevered proved successful in meeting not only the intent of the events, but the importance of the events for those personnel in which the event was held.

I like working at DCMA because of the genuine spirit of cooperation and shared goal of helping the warfighter, which keeps me engaged and excited about my protocol responsibilities. I can attest to the importance of supporting our warfighters as I served in the Navy for 30 years as a master explosive ordnance disposal technician. While in the field, it’s important to receive the equipment you need when you need it. It literally makes a difference in whether or not you will make it off the battlefield and back in the arms of your family.

I was promoted to the rank of chief petty officer in 1999, while stationed at Naval Weapons Station in Point Mugu, California. As a chief petty officer, I was not only graded on my knowledge of Navy customs and traditions, but also on my ability to teach the subject matter. It was at this point in my career that I understood the importance of protocol and what it meant to have good order within the military structure. As retired Army Gen. Burwell B. Bell once said, “Organizations that move forward without effective protocol officers are organizations headed for a shipwreck.”

Protocol is most noticeable when it is absent. I firmly believe in the importance of systems under which protocol falls. These systems explain the correct conduct and procedures to be followed for business or diplomacy to be successful. My goal is for DCMA to continue to build upon those principals and standardize protocol norms under which the agency operates. This includes ensuring protocol consistency during events and advising and training staff on protocol customs and courtesies.

With every new point of contact I make or inquiry that I field, I take it as a new opportunity to increase the overall awareness of the benefits of having an in-house protocol professional on the team. It allows the agency to go beyond the scope of common knowledge or common beliefs of protocol etiquette.

Last year — 2020 — was without a doubt, a monumental year. The agency, as a whole, had to overcome a lot of obstacles, all while celebrating its 20th anniversary. I am a consummate optimist. I have faith that the outcome of these challenges will make the DCMA team more resilient and capable and we will build an even better organization over the next 20 years. I am excited about my future with DCMA, and I look forward to all of our lives someday returning to normal.