At Amentum, we celebrate our people, our cultures, and we recognize the value of diversity and inclusion. In May, we’ll focus on Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month while shining a light on one employee at a time. Today’s Q&A is with David Ling, PM for Enterprise Training Support Contract – Joint Chiefs of Staff/Non-Joint Chiefs of Staff SMEs.
How did your military service prepare you for a successful career at Amentum?
Military service required that I honed leadership, organizational, and teamwork skills. They apply directly to what I am doing now in Amentum. Secondly, 30 years in the Army ingrained a disciplined approach to all facets of life and work.
What is your professional and personal background?
Born and raised in South Carolina, I graduated from West Point in 1981 and commissioned as an Infantry officer in the US Army. I commanded up to brigade level and retired coming out of Iraq in 2010 to our horse farm just outside of Charleston, SC. I began working for ATS/PAE in 2011, serving in various capacities within the company and transitioned over to Amentum in the acquisition.
Describe the work you do and how you think it makes a positive impact.
I am privileged to lead an expandable team (20-45 pax) of subject matter experts (SME) who build, design, write, and facilitate certification exercises for Army commands that would respond to natural (earthquakes, hurricanes) and man-made (nuclear detonation, major chemical/biological events) disasters inside the US. This is part of DOD Defense Support to Civilian Agencies under the Stanford Act. When a command is certified, our team knows the soldiers of the commands are ready to directly help our citizens in what might be the worst days of those citizens’ lives.
What are some of your accomplishments and/or what has been your proudest career moment?
Everything that I have accomplished has been the result of having a loving family, exposure to senior positive influences, great people around me, or exercising strong values. I owe thank you notes to many.
What do you enjoy about working for Amentum?
The most enjoyable and important aspect of working for Amentum is that senior leadership provides the freedom to do what is needed to produce the best value or service for the customer.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about two areas. First is experiencing the outdoors. Whether it’s backpacking, fishing, hunting or working on my farm, I’d rather be outside doing something. Secondly, I look forward to leading teams to accomplish a mission by teaching, coaching, and doing with them. This applies to building houses for Habitat for Humanity, training a group of novice mountain hikers, or leading the SMEs under the ETSC JCS contract.
What’s your career advice?
Never be afraid of stepping forward to do what you love. If you stumble and fall, rub some dirt on the wound and go again.
What does safety mean to you or do you have a favorite safety tip?
My favorite safety tip came from my grandfather who taught me to “look twice, check twice, and measure twice.” It works.
What’s the best invention in the world and why?
The invention of the microchip is rivaled as the best invention only by the swiss army knife. Micro processing gave us near total information access and nearly unlimited communication through a small smart phone. The swiss army knife is self explanatory.
What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?
First and foremost, I am an American. I am also so very proud of my Asian blood line. My father escaped from Communist China in 1949 and came to the United States. He lived the loss of his native country and fully adopted America as his new home. My southern mother and he raised my siblings and me to cherish the freedoms, privileges, and rights that we enjoy while embracing the responsibility of service continuing to build our great nation.