AFLCMC Executive Director receives 2019 Presidential Rank Award
By Brian Brackens, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs
/ Published March 02, 2020
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Kathy Watern, the Executive Director for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), was recognized in December with a 2019 Presidential Rank Award in the Distinguished Executive category.
She was nominated for the award due to her leadership and service as the senior civilian in the Center responsible for the acquisition, modernization and sustainment of the majority of Air Force weapon systems.
The Presidential Rank Award honors exceptional members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) who have made extraordinary and lasting contributions to the federal government, and is considered to be the most prestigious civil service award.
Winners in the distinguished category represent one percent of the SES workforce across the federal government.
“What an honor to be recognized with this award,” said Watern. “However I can’t take full credit for it. The credit belongs to our amazing AFLCMC team that excels every day in defense of our nation and allies.”
As executive director, Watern’s focus is on developing the workforce and ensuring AFLCMC has the workforce it needs to do the mission.
“You are only as good as your workforce,” Watern said. “They are the foundation of every successful organization and mission.”
A workforce initiative she has led includes working to shorten the time it takes to hire new employees, by using expedited hiring authorities, where candidates are able to interview with hiring officials, receive a job offer, negotiate pay, complete fingerprinting, initiate background checks, all in one day.
Watern was also instrumental in helping stand up Kessel Run, the organization that has revolutionized the way the Air Force builds and delivers software capabilities.
One piece of career advice she gives is to always be willing to help do what it takes to get the job done.
“‘How can I help,’ are the magic words you can say to your boss and teammates,” said Watern. “Those simple words can make a big difference.”