AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Interview with our AWS Military Fellow

For the final installment of our AWS Military Fellowship Q&A series, we have the interview with Master Sergeant Kelly Butler (KB), U.S Army Acquisition Non-Commissioned Officer.

How did you get involved in this program? What attracted you to the AWS Military Fellowship?

KB: I began my journey as a combat engineer and was changed over to a government acquisition specialist in 2009. I have been stationed in Louisiana, Hawaii, and Illinois recently. This specific program has been around for a while and one of my previous supervisors completed this program and recommended it to me. Seeing value in working with industry, I submitted my application and went through the process and was eventually assigned to AWS.

What are your focus areas here at AWS? What are your focus areas within the Department of Defense (DoD)?

KB: I plan to engage senior AWS management to better understand the Senior Manager level input into strategies for project planning, project execution, and the procurement function throughout all phases. I also intend on learning about corporate culture, policies, and about AWS contracting/procurement processes during my time here.

What are some lessons learned at AWS that you are able to bring back to your role in the DoD?

KB: Amazon is customer obsessed. And this can be translated to my life within the DoD as being warfighter obsessed. Basically everything we do is for the warfighter to help keep us safe. Specifically in my day-to-day duties within AWS, I am learning about processes to move quickly and efficiently. These processes can be very helpful within the DoD.

What military values are you able to transfer to industry?

KB: Within the Army we live by leadership, loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage. As far as being a soldier with my acquisition background, I am able to relate to the Amazon Leadership Principles. I notice that this group operates as a team and practices selfless service.

Give an example of what has been your favorite part about your time at AWS?

KB: I have enjoyed working with outstanding people in the organization. I feel like a member of the team, since everyone is willing to share knowledge and experiences. I am set up for success during my training here, and am able to take initiative on projects that are important to me. And since I am not coming from an IT background, I am enjoying learning about the different services that AWS provides.

Previously we featured our discussions with Lieutenant Colonel Maria Schneider, U.S. Army Acquisition Officer and Captain James Thomas, U.S. Airforce Communications Officer.

We are so thankful for all of the fellows’ insight and for sharing their experiences with us. Looking forward to the great work they will do here at AWS and beyond.