U.S. Department of Defense - Missile Defense Agency

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Missile Defense Agency

MDA News Release

5700 18th Street, Bldg 245
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-5573

Missile Defense Career Development Program Welcomes 64 New Employees into Class 10a

April 30, 2010

The Missile Defense Agency welcomed 64 new employees into the Missile Defense Career Development Program Class 10a during an Oath Ceremony on Thursday, April 29 at the Von Braun Complex on Redstone Arsenal. Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly, Missile Defense Agency director, administered the oath of office to the incoming class.

The Missile Defense Career Development Program offers recent college graduates, and those seeking entry into the exciting world of missile defense, a two-year, fully-paid developmental assignment that allows them to experience the variety of challenges being addressed on a daily basis within MDA.  Each program participant will have a mentor; the mentor and protégé together create a two-year program containing rotational assignments across the agency that are tailored to the interests of the participant and the needs of the agency.

It is an exciting, hands-on approach to gaining the specific skills and experience on cutting-edge technology that will put them on a fast track to success in the missile defense community. The participants will acquire valuable technical and work-related skills through rotational assignments that include seminars, formal classroom and on-the-job training.

Selection for the Career Development Program is highly competitive. The class was selected from more than 1,700 applications by panels that rigorously evaluated each applicant's achievements. The members of Class 10a have diverse backgrounds and earned their most recent diplomas from 50 different colleges and universities located across the country. Twenty-four members already have a Master's degree, and two have doctorates.

Mr. John Crawford, Missile Defense Career Development Program "champion," described the Missile Defense Career Development Program as a vehicle for the Missile Defense Agency to recruit, train, and grow our future workforce.

"These participants will now begin their career with the MDA, accomplishing the most demanding tasks; excited about the new challenges on the horizon; and successfully helping the MDA move towards the future," said Crawford.

Lieutenant General O'Reilly reminded the Class 10a participants of the importance of the oath of office.

"You become a government official with this ceremony, and what distinguishes you is the oath of office," he said. "There is a level of trust, and there is also a burden and a responsibility upon taking this oath. It is important to understand that you are committing yourself and your perspective to the greater good of the United States."

"I honestly believe that the most important event in your government career is taking this oath of office at the very beginning," he added.

The Missile Defense Agency is a joint service agency of the Department of Defense, and is the single management agency for all U.S. missile defense technology development, testing and acquisition.