By Donnie Ryan, PEO STRI


A group of 13 new hires for the U. S. Army Program Executive Office Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO) Acquisition Academy Apprentice Program (A3P) raised their right hands and took the federal oath of office during a swearing-in ceremony in Orlando, Fla., on Sept. 11.


A3P is an 11-week talent management program consisting of more than 400 hours of classroom instruction in both virtual and in-person training environments, as well as familiarization trips to military installations.


Bob Wolfinger, acting deputy program executive officer for PEO STRI, spoke to the group on Patriot Day before administering the oath, taking time to honor the memories of the nearly 3,000 people lost, and paying tribute to all of the patriots and their families who have sacrificed their lives in defense of freedom.


“I remember when I took the oath of office in January of 1989, in the building across the street here,” said Wolfinger. “I tell you that to say this is a great organization, and in the blink of an eye, 34 years later, I’m still working for PEO STRI because I love the mission here, I love the people here, and I like what we do.”


Wolfinger told the Cohort 3 members that he hoped they find their time at PEO STRI as rewarding as he has over the past three decades.


“Today, when you take the oath of office, I ask that you honor the memory of the nearly 3,000 people who were lost on Sept. 11,” Wolfinger said before administering the oath. “America’s Army is the strength of our nation and our men and women in unform continue to epitomize resiliency, strength, and commitment to the country.”


Bruce Delaporte, PEO STRI director of talent management, also talked to the group about the importance of their roles in supporting our nation’s defense.


“This career that you have embarked upon is bigger than yourself; it’s about supporting the men and women in uniform that protect our freedoms,” Delaporte said. “What better a day to understand the importance of your decision to become a Department of the Army Civilian than on Patriot Day!”


The 13 students registered for Cohort 3 come from locations across the country and have a variety of technical backgrounds including Inventory and Logistics Management Specialists, Computer Scientists, and Computer, Electrical, and Electronics Engineers.


Several Cohort 3 members said they were excited to begin their federal employment careers this month, and the Patriot Day swearing-in ceremony held a special meaning for most.


“I am from Boca Raton, Fla., and just graduated from Florida Atlantic University this previous December and got my first government job at PEO STRI,” said Ryan Smith, a member of A3P Cohort 3. “My supervisor explained to me how useful and informative the A3P program would be in teaching me about PEO STRI.”


Smith said his expectations for the program are to understand acquisition better and have a better understanding of what happens at PEO STRI outside of his career field of engineering.


“Being sworn in on Sept. 11 felt as good as this day changed almost every American’s life and allowed us as civilians to make a difference to help the Soldiers that protect us,” Smith said.


Fellow A3P Cohort 3 member Norlen Nunez, a native of Cuba, said he has wanted to work for the U.S. government since a diplomat spoke at his high school and learned of A3P through the website.


“I expect to be more knowledgeable on the Army programs, develop very good soft skills, network, and develop hard skills for the Army,” Nunez said.


Nunez said swearing-in on Sept. 11 was significant because it served as a reminder of what he is supporting Soldiers to fight against.


Following graduation, Cohort 3 members will begin a three-year rotational internship program, serving on the staffs of PEO STRI project managers and project leads across the PEO STRI organization.


Photo by: Donnie Ryan, PEO STRI


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