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News | Dec. 21, 2023

Lt. Gen. Gregory Masiello takes charge of DCMA

By Thomas Perry DCMA Public Affairs

Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Gregory Masiello relieved Army Lt. Gen. David Bassett as Defense Contract Management Agency director during a change of leadership ceremony here at Larkin Hall Dec. 20.

Dr. William LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, who served as the ceremony’s presiding official, thanked both three-star generals, their families and DCMA team members for their commitment to “service before self.”

“We are recognizing the careers of these two incredible officers,” he said. “We’re also recognizing all that you have done behind the scenes. So, thank you for all the sacrifices that your families have made over the years, and we know the sacrifices that you’ve made, moving around, dealing with all the uncertainty, particularly this last year, and just thank you for loaning your father, your son, your brother to the country for the time period that they served. I also would be remiss to not thank all the senior leaders — really all the members of DCMA and the workforce that’s in attendance live and virtual. DCMA you are the backbone of the acquisition workforce for the Department of Defense. You are the backbone, and you are professionals. We couldn’t do anything without you.”

In his new role, Masiello leads a DOD agency of more than 10,900 civilians and military personnel who manage more than 225,000 contracts with a total value of more than $3.72 trillion.

Masiello, who served as program executive officer for Air, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault and Special Mission Programs, which provides fleet capability and capacity, supporting development and sustainment of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, special mission aircraft and aviation anti-submarine warfare equipment and aircraft, spoke about the importance of relationship building and team member support.

“I’m going to start I think, where Dave Bassett just left off. The number one thing is to take care of people. And I think that’s our workforce. That is also the people that work in industry,” he said. “So, it’s not exclusively a government right to be taken care of. This is the human endeavor that I was talking about. The perspective part that I have is the people that are downrange that are waiting for the stuff that we deliver and that we are accountable for.”

The incoming commander told a story about a 20-year-old picture he keeps with him of a young Marine in Afghanistan.

“He’s literally sitting there waiting on the stuff that if we deliver on time and with the right quality, maybe he’s not waiting for that part,” said Masiello. “So, I keep that individual (picture) because, in my mind, he symbolizes in any service — happened to be a Marine in this case — but in any service, the people that we send downrange on behalf of our nation."

During his three-and-a-half years as DCMA director, Bassett focused on delivering quality products to America’s warfighters.

“When I came on board, I talked about a new vision for this agency,” said Bassett, who began his agency tenure as the Defense acquisition challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. “And we created a vision that I wanted every single employee in this agency to see themselves as part of. It started with the idea of it being a team and a lot of what this agency does is teamwork. A lot of vision statements have it, particularly in acquisition, we talk about we’re going to develop, we’re going to produce, we’re going to sustain, and I said, ‘we’re going to deliver; that’s what matters.’”

DCMA provides contract administration services for DOD, other federal organizations and international partners and is an essential part of the acquisition process from pre-award to
sustainment. The agency receives nearly 1,000 new contracts, delivers more than a million-and-a-half items and authorizes more than $650 million in payments to contractors every business day.

Masiello is now responsible for this global warfighter-support mission. It is a challenge he is excited to embrace.

“I personally think this is going to be a great time, and it’s an amazing job,” he said. “We will work well with each other and with industry. And we’ll fight for the right budget for the right workforce that we’re supposed to have.”