The Bayonet

Tuesday, May. 13, 2014

New deputy to the CG to manage civilians

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Fort Benning has a new official overseeing all civilian employees, as Donald Sando was promoted to deputy to Maneuver Center of Excellence Commanding General Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster during a ceremony April 22.

Sando is also the director of Capabilities Development and Integration, and will maintain those responsibilities in addition to his new ones.

"The new duties aren't overwhelming," Sando said. "The biggest change is overseeing contracts and civilian personnel, and as we face continued budget pressure over the next few years, making sure that we manage the talent of our civilian workforce and the investments in the infrastructure of the Maneuver Center will be key. We'll need to make sure that we're making wise, informed recommendations and wise investment decisions."

As CDID director, Sando has overseen the development of new concepts, doctrine, training and equipment for the Maneuver Center of Excellence to include divisions analyzing developments in optics, small arms, robotics, mortars and vehicles, as well as the Maneuver Battle Lab. CDID also manages TRADOC Capability Managers for Soldier requirements, Infantry, Stryker, Reconnaissance and Armored Brigade Combat Teams.

Sando, who retired from active-duty service in 2008 after a 27-year military career, said his experiences at CDID and across Fort Benning during his active-duty military career have helped to prepare him for his new duties.

"I've been very fortunate to continue to work with the team here in an area that I think I have a broad background and pretty good amount of experience, both from the operational Army and the institutional Army," Sando said. "Having established personal relationships both here at Fort Benning and throughout the Army and TRADOC helps me advance the initiatives that I think are important here. ... Having held a number of positions here at Fort Benning I think gives me a perspective of the different training and leader development aspects, the doctrine development and the capabilities development."

Sando's promotion advanced him to Senior Executive Service, Level 2, making him the civilian equivalent of a major general. The SES was established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. It is made up of civilian employees forming a cadre of highly competent senior executives with solid executive expertise, public service values, and a broad perspective of government. Above all else, Sando said he is excited about being able to serve the MCoE and the Fort Benning community in new ways.

"Fort Benning is near and dear to my heart, and I continue to have passion for Soldiers and what they do," Sando said. "The great thing about serving at Fort Benning is when you feel sorry for yourself ... you can go out to any of our graduations at the National Infantry Museum or elsewhere and see these young men and women who continue to come to the colors to serve our nation and it makes it all worthwhile. The diversity of the activities that go on here, the importance that we have in preparing our Army for today and setting the stage for future success make it a great place to serve during very exciting times."

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