A long-time Sierra Vista resident and senior civilian employee of the U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command, or ISEC, retired here at the end of July after a 33-year career.
While Steve Usry’s career had the traditional course of progressing through the ranks, it is not ordinary. What makes it unusual is that Usry spent his entire career in one organization. He started his civil-service career as an intern when ISEC was known at Fort Huachuca as the United States Communication-Electronics Engineering and Installation Agency.
Fast forward more than three decades. Usry ended his career as the director of business operations, responsible for the overall operations of an organization of 825 Soldiers, Army civilian employees and contractors who serve in at least 10 locations around the world, to include Southwest Asia.
“Being a part of ISEC as an intern when I was hired in 1980 to being the deputy, I’ve seen a lot,” Usry said. He has held positions at every level within the organization’s structure and left federal service as a manager of a $300 million Army communications-electronics and information technology command. Usry’s journey to the top has provided him the insight, knowledge and experience needed to lead and mentor a workforce which provides systems engineering, installation, and integration for customers including combatant commanders, the Army’s chief information officer in the Pentagon and other federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security.
Developing subordinates is one of Usry’s passions and a role he has taken very seriously.
“Steve has been a personal advisor and mentor to a number of leaders in the command to include myself,” said Albert Rivera, ISEC’s technical director. “Usry will leave the organization in the good hands of competent leaders, which he feels is critical in order to remain relevant and survive during the hard times of fiscal constraints.”
As ISEC’s top civilian, Usry’s duties and responsibilities spanned across many different areas. He has served as the deputy for four separate commanders, each with different leadership philosophies and styles. Usry’s consistency is one of the cornerstones of ISEC’s success. Instead of starting from scratch with each commander, he established processes and procedures where each one built on their predecessor’s successes.
“Steve is a true pillar of ISEC,” said Rivera. “His remarkable dedication, undeniable experience and knowledge of every aspect of the command’s operation will be difficult to replace.”
ISEC’s successes under Usry’s leadership have included information systems support and designed solutions for 830 new facility projects around the world, systems engineering for major headquarters relocations for the U.S. Southern Command and Forces Command, and communications engineering support in Southwest Asia.
Usry grew up in the footsteps of his father, William Usry, who had nearly 38 years of federal service, and retired from the government in 1988.
Following his own retirement, Usry plans to spend more time with his family, his wife Jacqueline and children, Amy and Scott. He also plans on doing more volunteer work and continuing his hobbies of hunting, shooting, motorcycle riding, scuba diving and golfing.
“While his daily dedicated service will be greatly missed, his true legacy will live on for years to come – Excellence in Engineering,” said ISEC Commander Col. Kris Kramarich.