FORT BELVOIR, Virginia –
“I had no idea where my career would go,” said George Atwood, Senior Executive Service, Defense Logistics Agency Logistics Operations (J3) executive director during a mentoring brown bag session at the McNamara Headquarters Complex Nov. 27.
Atwood began his career at DLA Energy in November 1994 as a GS-7 contract specialist and was the first DLA Energy employee to be selected to the senior executive service rank. He served as the DLA Energy deputy commander prior to his current assignment.
During the mentoring session, Atwood talked about his background, the importance of ongoing training in developing one’s career, and the path that led him to become an SES.
“No matter what grade you are, and you might be comfortable where you are in your career, but don’t let that stop you from striving to learn, train, broaden your perspective and your network,” Atwood said. “As you progress in your career, ask for feedback.”
There will be times when things don’t go the way you would want (such as not being selected for a position, or a briefing that was difficult) and by asking for feedback and finding ways to improve, you will be better next time, he said.
“Volunteer for new assignments, meet new people and expand your network,” Atwood said. “It’s important to develop a network of people to help work through problems, solve things or just come up with ideas on how to handle certain situations. Building networks and partnerships is instrumental in career development.”
Even as an SES, Atwood is finding ways to continue learning and growing as a federal employee and leader. He recently applied for the CAPSTONE General and Flag Officer Course, a joint service profession military education course at National Defense University.
“Get out of your comfort zone, keep improving and making yourself better,” Atwood said before taking questions from attendees.
Atwood served as the director of DLA Energy’s Procurement Process Support directorate and as the deputy director of DLA Energy Supplier Operations. Atwood also served as the associate director of the DLA Energy Acquisition Policy and Oversight Office and was responsible for providing acquisition policy and oversight for DLA Energy’s procurement programs. In addition, Atwood served as the DLA Energy Europe & Africa deputy director in Kaiserslautern, Germany, assisting in the execution of DLA Energy’s mission to support storage, transportation and distribution of bulk petroleum products for all U.S. forces and U.S. supported missions in the European and African theaters.