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News | May 26, 2022

My DCMA: Rajiv Shetty, contract administrator

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, Rajiv Shetty shares his story.

My name is Rajiv Shetty, and this is “My DCMA.”

I am a contract administrator at DCMA Americas based in London, Ontario, in Canada. My job duties include a full range of contract actions, including funds lifecycle management, payments, and monitoring contractor performance, systems, policies, and procedures in accordance with contract requirements. I also serve as a warranted administrative contracting officer limited to transactions at the simplified acquisition threshold.

Some of the great things about working at DCMA Americas include collaborating and making friends with seasoned professionals, traveling across the different regions in Canada, and maintaining relationships with the agency’s host-nation partners. In fact, I work at the same location as Lori Hosie, who was one of the first local nationals to become an ACO and receive a warrant within DCMA.

Another awesome aspect of working in DCMA Americas is the chance to play a part in intriguing additional duties. For example, DCMA Americas’ leadership entrusted me with the role of fund control official. In this capacity, I track available travels funds and ensure DCMA Americas has enough money for proposed mission travel. It is a cool function, in which I gain insight of the bigger picture and get to interface with the senior leadership team and the budget analyst in order to achieve a common objective.

I have been a part of the DCMA team for four years. Prior to joining DCMA, I served six years in the Air Force. In this capacity, I held a variety of positions to include radar, airfield, and weather-systems supervisor and acting section chief for the Shaw Air Force Base honor guard in South Carolina.

In 2018, I joined DCMA through the Keystone program and began working at DCMA Northrop Grumman El Segundo, California. DCMA’s Keystone program caught my attention because it was an awesome opportunity for people wishing to enter a new career field. Upon graduating from the program, I worked at DCMA Los Angeles.

I like working at DCMA because I believe in the mission and what it stands for — providing excellent support and services for our nation’s warfighters. Additionally, I enjoy the interactions with my team and other functional groups, including engineers, quality assurance specialists, industrial specialists, and program integrators. We rely on each other in order to adapt to the ever-changing challenges of the Department of Defense.

DCMA is important to America’s warfighters because our actions carry significant impact. Through our actions, we possess the power to influence and support our military members. We possess the power to ensure the United States remains the most lethal and combat-ready military in the world.

The agency celebrated its 20th anniversary almost two years ago. Twenty years ago, I arrived in the United States from Uganda, Africa. I attended middle school in Santa Rosa, California. While I have lived in numerous places, I consider Santa Rosa — which sits at the northwestern gateway to the Sonoma and Napa Valley of California’s famed wine country — my home base. I never could have imagined that, 20 years later, I would support the Department of Defense from Canada.

Change is not just a fact of life, but it is something we must accept. Since the pandemic started, working from home became standard and onsite classes started moving to a virtual format. Our agency’s solidarity and resilience during these challenging times never ceases to amaze me. With DCMA Americas personnel returning to the office for a few days a week, I cherish the opportunity to learn and enjoy lunch with my colleagues and interface in-person with our host nation partners.

Currently, I am attending the Defense Civilian Emerging Leaders Program, also known as DCELP. It is a program designed to develop entry and emerging-level civilian personnel at the grades of GS-7 through GS-12 in a full range of leadership competencies. This program gives participants the opportunity to interact with other diverse professionals, and the training provides essential tools to flourish in a fast-paced DOD environment. Overall, attending this leadership program prepares me to take on a leadership position and develop collaborative solutions to ensure my team, customers, contract management office, and the agency at large, are all operating at their best.

My goal for this year is to utilize the lessons learned from DCELP and bring it to my workplace. I will begin utilizing my enhanced communication abilities and risk management skills to interact with my team and other functional groups in my everyday job, making me a more effective leader. My enhanced strategic thinking abilities will manifest in effectively assessing and applying best practices and business judgment in the workplace. This will directly impact interactions with the agency’s customers, contractors and my fellow DCMA employees. Finally, I aim to live in accordance with my core values and keep a smiling face and a loving mind.

My additional professional goal is to grow as an individual and support the acquisition process at various operational and buying activities’ levels. I believe traveling to other geographical locations and the exposure to different organizations is pivotal for learning and will solidify my leadership skills.

My favorite hobbies include spending time with family and friends, lifting weights at the gym, traveling, and meditating. Regardless of my schedule — work, family, community and friends — I apply effort to maintain a peaceful and positive state of mind. I begin each day by remembering and practicing my why, which is to regard the happiness of others as important as my own and to offer victory to others. By using my daily obligations as a way to practice my why, my mind remains peaceful and happy.

Something unique about me is that I was born in Saudi Arabia. I have lived in the Philippines, India, East Africa, Germany, various places within the United States, and now Canada.