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News | March 27, 2024

My DCMA: Nate Wilson, supervisory quality assurance specialist

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Central Region Public Affairs

My DCMA showcases the Defense Contract Management Agency’s experienced and diverse workforce and highlights what being part of the national defense team means to them. Today, Nate Wilson shares his story.

My name is Nate Wilson, and this is “My DCMA.” I am a supervisory quality assurance specialist at DCMA Huntsville.

My job duties include supervising a team of eight quality professionals at Boeing and Northrop Grumman in Huntsville, Alabama. My team provides quality oversight on different programs, including the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Missile Seeker, Integrated Battlespace Command Systems, and the Integrated Air and Missile Defense.

One of the great things about working at my location includes living in north Alabama. The Huntsville area is growing rapidly, and it is in one of the most beautiful areas of Alabama and in the United States, especially for an outdoorsy person like me.

I have been a part of the DCMA team for 16 years. I joined DCMA in 2008 after serving in the Army. I served as an Army military police officer for four years. I went to basic training and advanced individual training at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Later, I was stationed in Wurzburg am Main, Germany, for two years. I spent the remainder of my enlistment at Fort Stewart, Georgia, which included deploying to Saudi Arabia and Iraq for eight months during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. I recently learned that my great-grandfather was also stationed at Fort McClellan, then known as Camp Shipp, in 1898 during the Spanish-American War.

I like working at DCMA because I can see and touch important aspects of various programs that are valuable to our national defense, and I feel like I am contributing to the efforts of the Department of Defense in that regard.

DCMA is important to America’s warfighters because we are the independent eyes and ears of the buying commands. We ensure that taxpayers and warfighters get the products and services they are paying for and urgently need to defend our nation.

The agency has changed over the years. DCMA has gone almost full circle from commodity-based multifunctional teams to stove-piped functions, and back to systems-based teams. We went from performance-based management to increased physical surveillance efforts and now back to more process-based surveillance. We also went from the agency’s one book guide to vague instructions, then to well-defined, but overly prescriptive instructions, and now to more broadly stated manuals. I hope that we will eventually settle more toward the middle of all these wide variances in workforce structure and policy.

My future career goals include that I want to continue to improve my skill set in the technical field and increase my contribution and grow my areas of responsibility to the agency in whatever direction my career takes me. My goal for my team this year is for us to continue to increase our effectiveness in providing oversight for the important and critical programs we cover.

My favorite hobbies include hunting, kayaking and prospecting for gold. I tell people that “yes, there is gold in Alabama to look for.”

Something unique about me is that I was recently honored by the Air Defense Artillery Association with an induction into the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara. Membership in the order is by nomination from the O-6 level and is highly sought after, especially within the officer ranks. I was nominated by Army Col. Ryan Ocampo, the DCMA Huntsville commander, and I was inducted July 27, 2023. Both Christopher Boily, quality assurance director, and I were nominated and inducted at the same time. The order is a military honor society for Army and Marine Corps artillery, including field artillery and air defense artillery. It is named after Saint Barbara, who is the patron of those who serve in artillery.