U.S. Army Graduates Fifth Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt Class

Washington, D.C. (July 25, 2008) – On Friday, 18 July 2008, the U.S. Army, in keeping with its long-term strategy to become a self-sustaining Lean Six Sigma/Continuous Process Improvement (LSS/CPI) organization, graduated its fifth LSS Master Black Belt (MBB) class. The class, MBB08-03, graduated six Army officers and five Department of the Army civilians. 62 Master Black Belt Candidates have graduated from this course since the first class graduated in August 2007.

The Army’s Lean Six Sigma Program Office was honored to have Mr. J.D. Sicilia, the Director of the Department of Defense (DoD) Lean Six Sigma Program Office, as the guest speaker at the graduation ceremony. Mr. Sicilia emphasized the Department of Defense’s, and the Army’s, goal of becoming self-sustaining and discussed how he has utilized his MBB skills sets to complete Lean Six Sigma projects within Government. Mr. Sicilia also discussed the Department of Defense Lean Six Sigma mission and the ongoing DoD-wide effort to determine the enterprise-wide challenges we are facing, identify those we can collectively solve, develop action plans, and begin implementation. The DoD effort focuses on four areas which impact the DoD: (1) Strategic Alignment, (2) Consistency of Approach, (3) Integration and (4) Human Capital. The impact that these areas have upon the ability to conduct enterprise-wide projects will be discussed with the Deputy Secretary of Defense at the 22-23 October 2008 Breakthrough Convention.

Colonel Nick Amodeo, the Director of the Army Lean Six Sigma Program Management Office, provided the opening and closing remarks. Colonel Amodeo congratulated the MBB candidates for having completed a rigorous course and set of requirements over a three month period. Colonel Amodeo spoke to the students of the road ahead as Army Master Black Belts who will be expected to lead transformational changes; conduct large scale, enterprise-wide projects; provide direction as a subject matter expert on the application of LSS methods to the command’s leadership, Project Sponsors, and Belt practitioners; and assist the command’s Deployment Directors in recruiting, training, and coaching LSS belt candidates.

Upon completing the remaining certification requirements, the MBB candidates will become their respective commands’ “in house” experts for disseminating knowledge and training/coaching Belt practitioners. They will also take direct leadership roles in conducting large, complex enterprise-wide LSS projects.

Master Black Belt Graduation Participants: 1st Row (left to right):
COL Nick Amodeo, LTC Peter Gerepka, LTC Charline Gerepka,
Ms. Sherri Weller, Ms. Linda Benedik, Mr. Lee Campbell,
MAJ Carlus McConnell, Mr. J.D. Sicilia 2nd Row (left to right):
CPT Christopher Krupar, Mr. Joe Kendig, LTC Jeff Kemp,
COL Steven Eikenburg, Ms. Charleen Carroll
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