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News | June 3, 2021

Army Reserve Soldier targets industrial base risks

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

Army Reservist Lt. Col. Jason Miller is on a mission to identify potential risks for the Defense Contract Management Agency Detroit.

“I recently coordinated with DCMA Detroit to find a project where I could provide value to the office and complete the work that otherwise wouldn’t have been done or would have added to the workload of the full-time office staff,” he said.

Miller’s civilian experience has prepared him to excel in his reserve career at DCMA. He has served as an assistant product manager for the Stryker and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected program offices at the Detroit Arsenal and is currently an Army civilian program manager on the Diminishing Manufacturing, Obsolescence Management and Reverse Engineering team at the Army Ground Vehicle System Center.

“I transferred to the DCMA Army Reserve Element, in lieu of going to a traditional unit, because I wanted to use the acquisition skillset I have developed as an Army civilian. Most of my acquisition experience is with the Army ground vehicle systems, so I wanted to support the DCMA office in Detroit where they manage those contracts,” Miller stated.

From March 19 to April 1, Miller created and implemented a project to show the industrial-base interdependencies for the seven major vehicle systems covered by DCMA Detroit.

The final product showed the first-tier supplier list for the major automotive components across the platforms, identifying many areas without diverse suppliers at that level, as well as several supplier profiles showing contractors who provide the same components to multiple prime contractors.

This project is the start of an in-depth analysis of the industrial base health with Miller continuing to work on the plan while on future military orders to look at various factors such Line Replaceable Units and Original Equipment Manufacturer categories.

Miller worked with Carlos Lago, the director of the Engineering & Manufacturing group at DCMA Detroit, to implement the project. Both agreed that by conducting the important project, Miller could look at suppliers across the major platforms provided by the prime contractors to identify risks and fragile points in the industrial base. Lago presented the plan to Ross Davenport, the contract management office’s deputy commander, to receive his input. Miller simultaneously presented the plan to Army Col. Lee Herring, DCMA’s Army Reserve Element point of contact and the Central Region’s Officer-In-Charge, who approved Miller’s two-week orders to support the Detroit office.

During his assignment, Miller researched extensively and received data on the agency’s suppliers from the program integrators for the various ground vehicle systems.

“I had to limit the scope of the project to just the first-tier suppliers to the prime contractors for select major automotive components due to time constraints and the magnitude of the Detroit industrial base,” he said. “I used this data to develop a briefing that showed that several suppliers are used across multiple systems for similar components in a way that it hadn’t been presented before. At the end of the two weeks, I provided a briefing to the Detroit DCMA commander, Army Col. Humberto Jones.”

Jones was pleased with Miller’s project and his effort to help the CMO.

“Lt. Col. Miller’s work will enhance our support to warfighters by better enabling us to mitigate supplier risk,” said Jones. “He has been an asset to the team. I am glad that DCMA utilizes reservists because they bring experience and knowledge to their positions. I look forward to seeing other projects led by Lt. Col. Miller.”

In addition to this project, Miller joined one of the Detroit’s CMO working groups.

“I also had the opportunity to sit in with an Integrated Product Team meeting on DCMA Detroit’s lessons-learned briefing for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle,” he said. “The IPT is designed to get DCMA involved early in the contract development for a developmental program to avoid long-term administrative costs and delays experienced with other programs.”

Miller provided feedback on how to better present the information to an Army program office.

“I provided several recommendations on how future contracts can be initially set up to improve contract administration and management, which was added to the brief,” he said.

Miller encouraged reservists to join the DCMA Army Reserve Element. He also encouraged agency leaders to learn more about reservists and the experience they can bring to support the workforce.

“The Army Reserve has a unit of acquisition professionals that support DCMA,” he said. “Many of these soldiers work in the defense acquisition workforce in their civilian careers. They use their Army Reserve time to not only maintain readiness, but to also use their acquisition skillsets to provide support to DCMA.”

Miller said he enjoyed working at DCMA Detroit. He plans to continue to serve the agency because he “believes in the agency’s mission.”

“I provided meaningful and actionable work while working with DCMA Detroit. I had a great experience while continuing to support my fellow warfighters,” he said.

The DCMA Army Reserve Element is led by Army Col. David Clark and Army Sgt. Maj. Tina Brown. The group consists of Reserve soldiers with Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act, also known as DAWIA, certifications in contracting or program management. If DCMA employees are interested in joining the DCMA Army Reserve Element, contact Army Maj. Nicole Thompson, the DCMA-ARE human resources officer, at  

“The DCMA Army Reserve Element has certified and experienced acquisition soldiers ready to support DCMA’s mission,” said Clark.