“Fulfill your obligations. Doing your duty means more than carrying out your assigned tasks. Duty means being able to accomplish tasks as part of a team.” – U.S. Army website, www.army.mil/values/.
In 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to spur the nation’s economy, which had fallen into recession. For Tina Cox, budget analyst, and her co-workers in the Operations Division, it meant an increased workload to learn the rules of the program and find suitable projects where money could be spent in a manner that provided the best value to the American taxpayer.
“The ARRA money provided an opportunity to do a lot of small projects that we hadn’t been able to do in the past,” said Cox.
Ensuring the money is there to accomplish the mission is the major duty performed by Cox for the Operations Division. It’s a job she loves, and it provides her an opportunity to serve her country.
“I treat the taxpayers’ money as if it were my own,” said Cox. “We have to accomplish the mission while doing what is right for the taxpayers.”
Cox has worked at the Jacksonville District for nearly 15 years, all in the Operations Division, and clearly takes a great deal of pride in the service she provides.
“Tina is dedicated to her mission as a budget analyst and to her fellow employees,” said Tim Murphy, deputy chief, Operations Division. “Her dedication is demonstrated with long hours and always being available for short-notice work, whether it’s day, night, weekends or holidays.”
“My mom raised me with a strong work ethic,” said Cox. “If it takes you 10 hours to get the job done, then you work for 10 hours.”
In addition to the strong work ethic instilled by her family, Cox says working at the headquarters of the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) also left a lasting impression.
“I was at USARC for five years, during Desert Storm,” said Cox. “The soldiers were great examples of duty and selfless service.”
Cox says one of the keys for success as she works with engineers and maintenance personnel is their willingness to involve her as projects are being scoped. This allows her to provide options before a course of action is chosen as opposed to developing a specific idea and then figuring out how to pay for it.
“We work close together to get the job done,” said Cox. “We have to – it’s the only way.”
“Operations Division is an action-oriented entity,” said Murphy. “Whether it is invasive species, water management, hydrosurvey, UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), multi-projects or our South Florida Operations Office, we are all focused on implementing solutions for our nation.”
When asked what people should remember about duty, Cox says attitude and approach make all the difference.
“You should be dedicated to your job,” said Cox. “You should take pride in getting the job done.”
“Duty doesn’t have to be hard or painful,” said Murphy, “it can be fun and exciting. We work hard but still enjoy our mission and are excited about seeing our accomplishments in place.”