News: DCMA Sunnyvale XO goes extra mile for Air Force Academy Admissions
Story by Matthew Montgomery
SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Air Force Capt. Jonathan R. Czarney was recently selected by the Air Force Academy as the Air Force Additional Duty Admissions Liaison Officer of the Year for northern California. Czarney has claimed this award two years in a row, a major accomplishment considering the amount of time he contributes outside of his normal duties with the Defense Contract Management Agency.
“As an ALO, I serve locally to educate and mentor students interested in the Air Force Academy and the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps,” said Czarney. “It was an honor to be recognized because our unit, which covers the San Francisco Bay area, has many talented officers participating in the program.”
The ALO program is supported by a group of reserve, Air National Guard, active duty and retired Air Force officers who connect with high school counselors and administrators to inform them about educational opportunities unique to the Air Force.
“It’s inspiring to work with a group of outstanding, like-minded people who strive to spread the word about the academy and AFROTC,” said Czarney. “Their performance sets a high standard of conduct and I always strive to meet their expectations, showcase the professionalism of the military officer and educate young people about the opportunities available to them through Air Force programs.”
Czarney holds two primary positions with DCMA. He serves as a program integrator while performing additional duties as the executive officer for the DCMA Lockheed Martin Sunnyvale commander.
“Capt. Czarney is extremely dedicated to the DCMA mission, but also to the Air Force recruiting mission,” said Air Force Col. Henry Pandes, DCMA LMS commander. “His energy level to recruit future officers is inspiring. It takes time management skills and a true commitment to the demands of both his DCMA job and ALO responsibilities."
According to his award nomination, Czarney successfully managed critical programs for DCMA, volunteered in the community and maintained his ALO obligations while deployed to Bahrain.
“Participating in the ALO program has helped me to manage my time more effectively with DCMA,” said Czarney. “I think it has also helped me act more professionally in the office.”
When interacting with students, parents and school administrators, Czarney feels military personnel are under the microscope where words and actions carry more meaning. “I’ve realized DCMA is similar because there are few military members in a predominantly civilian agency on a contractor’s campus,” he said. “We are always being watched because we usually stand out with uniforms and short haircuts.”
In order to be effective in the program, Czarney said a busy schedule and little free time have become his normal life. “I never watch TV and I often feel like I’m scrambling to meet deadlines. What free time I do have I use to focus on what’s important to me – training for sporting events, spending time with my family and helping students,” he said.
His wife is also active. Together, they participate in triathlons, road biking and running events. “It is a challenge to balance work, family and working with students,” said Czarney. It usually means contacting students and parents during lunch breaks, in the evenings or on weekends.
Czarney uses his evenings and weekends to participate in college fairs, meet with applicants and visit schools. “College fairs are probably some of my favorite events because they give me an opportunity to interface with hundreds of interested students from a wide spectrum of backgrounds,” said Czarney.
Although the program is demanding, Czarney said he wouldn’t be participating if it weren’t rewarding. “Last year, one of my candidates received both an Air Force Academy appointment and an AFROTC scholarship,” he said. “She accepted the appointment and is excelling as a freshman at the academy.”
Czarney feels a sense of pride when one of his applicants is accepted into a program. However, the main reason he participates in the program is more personal.
“I participate in the program because no service academy or ROTC representatives visited my high school to talk to students about scholarship opportunities available through the military,” he said. “By chance, I found out about ROTC while in college and got involved. After successfully completing field training between my sophomore and junior years, I was offered a two year scholarship.”
“Now I feel like my way of giving back is by showcasing the professionalism of the military officer and educating young people about the opportunities available to them through the academy and AFROTC,” said Czarney.