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, Jeff Decker shares his story.
My name is Jeff Decker, and this is “My DCMA.”
I am an engineer at DCMA Detroit, but I am based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
My job duties include performing program surveillance on the infantry squad vehicle with GM Defense and monitoring the Transmission HMPT Operational Reliability Program, also known as THOR, at RENK America. I also provide technical support to negotiations, review engineering change proposals and evaluate requests for variance reviews for contractors within the region.
Some of the great things about working at my location include being close to Lake Michigan. I enjoy the incredible summers west Michigan has to offer. I also get to interact with a variety of defense suppliers in the region that I would never have known existed if it were not for this job. Grand Rapids is a great small city. It is big enough to host a variety of concerts and minor league sports teams and other events you could want, but still small enough that it’s easy to run into people you know around town.
I have been a part of the DCMA team for almost three years. My previous experience includes working as a civilian with the Navy at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and working in the private sector outside of the defense industry.
I like working at DCMA because of the mission and the work-life balance, including flexible hours. I enjoy interacting with my coworkers and working with a variety of contractors because each day is different.
DCMA is important to America’s warfighters because we provide on-site information and real-time feedback to our customers, ensuring that a contractor is reporting accurate information. We give unbiased input to allow better acquisition decisions to be made by our customers.
DCMA recently celebrated its 22nd anniversary. As we celebrate this accomplishment, I look forward to participating in future opportunities to be involved in various defense projects and teams. I think this pandemic environment has proven that agency employees can do a lot of work from anywhere. As a result, this is opening the doors to interact with others and be involved in projects that are geographically far from our homes.
Over the last three years, I have seen changes occur around the agency. The biggest has been the large shift to the remote environment and increased flexibility. I started with DCMA about nine months before the pandemic began, and I wasn’t teleworking at all prior to this shift.
As far as goals, one of my future career goals includes getting an international position in a non-English speaking country. I have been lucky enough to participate in DCMA’s Emerging Leaders pilot program. That program wraps up this summer, and I am looking forward to bringing the information I learned from the program back to my team and contract management office.
My favorite hobbies include mountain biking, camping and traveling. My wife and I have travelled to more than 25 countries. We have visited all of the continents except Antarctica. Something unique about me is that at 29 years old, my wife and I quit our jobs and backpacked around the world for a year.
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