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News | Jan. 25, 2022

Air Force leader earns national recognition

By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs

As an Officer Training School instructor, Capt. Jared Hines helps mold and develop the next generation of Air Force and Space Force officers at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.

Not long ago, however, he served as the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle administrative contracting officer at Defense Contract Management Agency Palmdale, California. If Hines mirrors his agency performance at his new command, his students will achieve great success in the sky, their classroom and their communities.

As his DCMA tour ended, one of his last agency accomplishments generated national accolades and launched a renewed interest in his equal opportunity and diversity efforts. Hines earned a 2021 Blacks in Government Meritorious Service Award for his professional acumen and promotion of diversity and inclusion.

According to his award citation, “His exceptional management of a $22 billion contracts portfolio resulted in funds recovery of $130 million and a $5 million dollars savings during contract negotiations. Additionally, Capt. Hines directed a team of 35 officers in executing the first virtual Air Force diversity and inclusion conference, hosting 1,000 Airmen across 38 states and five countries.”

Working virtually to mitigate COVID-19 obstacles, Hines and his team created a platform to discuss diversity challenges, while eliminating more than $1 million in travel expenses. The team developed more than 30 diversity-themed seminars reaching more than 30,000 Defense Department members.

His efforts paralleled DCMA-wide initiatives to promote and support Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute’s national mission to “develop and deliver innovative education, training, research and collaborative solutions to optimize total force readiness,” said Linda Galimore, DCMA’s Equal Employment Opportunity director. “The virtual events were met with great enthusiasm. Capt. Hines’ impact will be missed across the agency. He really made a difference and worked hard to champion diversity at all levels.”

His impact was embraced by his former leaders, which proved vital as calls for expedited social justice change grew louder across the nation.

“He has a passion for helping and mentoring others, and it’s inspiring to see what he’s been able to accomplish both within DCMA and at a service-wide level in the Air Force,” said Air Force Col. David Ferris, commander of DCMA Palmdale, in a previous article highlighting Hine’s earlier successes, his promotion and his life prior to military service.

Galimore said leadership’s support of equal opportunity and diversity efforts often drive positive change. “It is often the key factor in an initiative’s success or failure. At DCMA Palmdale, command support was vital to Capt. Hine’s success.”

Hines said he appreciated his leadership’s support, much of which came while the country battled a pandemic and Department of Defense workplace environments shifted to meet mission priorities.

“During my time at DCMA, I had the fortune of being empowered by my commander, Col. David Ferris, and my Contracts director, Mr. Stephen Cleare, to not only get after the DCMA mission but also lead during times of uncertainty and adversity as our nation was impacted by social justice issues,” said Hines. “To address these issues, I was able to conceptualize the vision for a DOD-wide virtual conference called The Great Gathering: Fighting a War on Three Fronts. This virtual conference was developed to bring to the forefront some of the battles that minorities face that may not be easily understood by our majority brothers and sisters — the war fought within, the war against injustices and the actual war we fight as members of the armed forces.”

These “battles” can be difficult to understand and challenging to discuss in professional environments because people often struggle to view national vulnerabilities from a global perspective, said Hines.

“Our struggles with justice, diversity, equity and inclusion, whether we believe it to be an issue or not, has been witnessed on a global scale,” said Hines. “As a matter of national defense, we cannot afford to have internal chinks in our nation’s armor that adversaries can take advantage of. It is important that we start taking the diversity and inclusion conversation seriously because we are undoubtedly stronger together. Through diversity, we become more innovative, we become more aware and we become more culturally competent. This is extremely beneficial to organizations that are trying to maintain a competitive advantage amongst global competitors.”

The Great Gathering event proved popular, maxing out registration in just 48 hours. For Hines, it was a victory on many levels. His mentee, Air Force 1st Lt. Leon Davis led the conference and secured Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr. as the keynote speaker along with a guest appearance from Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass.

“To see Leon’s growth to execute such an impactful event, uniting people from all walks of life in such difficult times, was easily my most fulfilling moment,” said Hines. “The fact that he can tell his children’s children that in the nation’s time of need he was able to secure the first black Air Force chief of staff to speak on the behalf of the advancement of minority issues is priceless.”

After the announcement of his BIG award, Hines identified his team members, to include Davis, as key factors in his achievement.

“I have the distinguished pleasure of being the one individual, amongst many, who could have represented my team for this award,” said Hines. “Being granted this honor is due to having a tribe of people who are committed to supporting, loving and advancing one another, as well as the community of minorities. There’s a saying which states, ‘with the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains,’ and it is because of this belief that we call ourselves ‘Mountain Movers.’ I have had the privilege of mentoring, being mentored by and growing with this family of people who are dedicated to building a better military and world for generations to come. All I have is because of their efforts and their love.”