In our Govie Spotlight series, WashingtonExec showcases government leaders driving transformational change and innovation. Get to know a bit about their background, drive and advice for aspiring leaders.
Featured: Young J. Bang, principal deputy, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics & Technology, U.S. Army
Bang’s journey in government started with his time at the U.S. Military Academy West Point, leading him to join the Army. His service spanned until the dawn of the dotcom and telecom era. Except for a brief period during those years, he consistently supported government through consulting roles. His connections paid off when a senior Army leader, and a West Point classmate, invited Bang to return and contribute to the country’s digital transformation efforts.
Below, Bang reflects on his time in government and what he’s learned.
What is the most rewarding part of working in government?
Working with some amazing people and delivering capabilities to our warfighters faster than ever before. When I first joined the Army, new weapons systems and capabilities took over 10 years to build and even longer to field. Now, with Army modernization and digital transformation, we are racing through like gang busters and developing news systems and fielding them in as short as a couple years once we get a validated requirement!
What is something you wish you knew when you were rising in your career?
Work with people you like to get things done! Life is too short to work with people who you don’t like, or others who create too much drama.
What advice would you share with the next generation looking to join the government or help make a positive, transformational change?
Disrupt the status quo! Every organization has bureaucracy and nay-sayers… figure out the process and then hack it. Meaning figure out a path to “yes” and work with like minded people who share your enthusiasm in making progress! Move forward, everything doesn’t have to be perfect, you can always adjust course as you are going… as long as you are making forward progress!