A couple years ago a customer asked me why I’m a defense contractor. He, a retired Marine, and I, a retired Sailor, often exchanged quips and sea stories laughing about shared past experiences - often feeling a bit aged. My serious quick response caught me off guard nearly as much as it did him. “I’m still serving.” Pregnant pause, awkward. What did I mean by that? I’ve reflected on that moment several times since. And even more as I complete this year in my role as President of TASC (Tidewater Association of Service Contractors).
Why am I a contractor? Why spend the time in this small local group? TASC has been around for 30 years. When TASC was founded, in the late 80’s, the Department of Defense made a conscience decision to outsource anything not determined to be inherently governmental. Personally I could be the attorney for the prosecution or the defense on the subject. Statistics could be manipulated to show which is a better cost savings, pay contractors now and avoid long term costs associated with retirement of government employees, or keep more government and active duty roles. Classic pay now or pay later. The TASC mission of promoting integrity and competition in contracts, facilitating communication between the government and contractors is a worthy cause - especially when you think of your current work as a mere continuation of service. Serving those who serve. Being good stewards of our tax dollars, and the precious Navy funding I once worked so hard to get programmed and budgeted.
Why do I spend time on this TASC activity anyway? The whole work-life balance equation means, like most everyone, juggling between work, family, raising children and managing carpools; staying current with professional education while also teaching Sunday School, being a wife, mother, manager, coach, golf mom; reading about foreign-policy, taking graduate classes, cleaning, washing, shopping--life is demanding. Overwhelming at times. So I’m always looking for that BOGO (Buy One Get One). Multitasking. A few years ago, after I attended a Regent University leadership luncheon and heard John Maxwell speak, I subscribed to the Maxwell bible--terrific: one email provides a bible verse and a leadership lesson. I realized TASC is like that. Where else can you spend a lunch with friends, colleagues, and others who view being a contractor as the opportunity to serve, while also doing business development or marketing for your day job, combined with professional development and collecting donations for the Virginia Wounded Warriors? Way more than a BOGO: meeting people with all different backgrounds--TASC board and membership includes not just contractors but lawyers, accountants, cleaning company owners, IT experts. TASC is comprised of a full spectrum of professionals.
TASC sponsors the Tidewater Government Industry Council (TGIC). TGIC is a unique forum providing a way for contractors and government customers to discuss current issues impacting services contracts including unintended consequences of policy decisions, providing written comments and inputs to DoD leaders.
TASC provides community service: Navy Seal Foundation fundraiser combined with special viewing of Lone Survivor, a social at a brewery while collecting donations for cribs for new struggling parents. Where else? TASC. Again, way more than a BOGO.
Often at work we’re dealing with red tape, playing mother-may-I with corporate HQ, complying with the FAR. Not so with TASC, totally local run and lead, governed by our all-volunteer board and guided by our by laws. Again unique.
Join us. Let’s start a new 30 years. firstname.lastname@example.org or on our linkedin site TASC-TGIC.