Far East District efforts toward development for Korean National financial professionals pays off

Far East District
Published March 18, 2021
Far East District headquarters.

Far East District headquarters.

CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea - The Programs and Project Management Division (PPMD) for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Far East District (FED), took major steps in developing Community of Practice (CoP) financial professionals by enabling Korean Nationals to partake in U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Financial Management (FM)  certifications.

The most recent success story is that of Kyong A Kim, a PPMD program analyst for USACE FED, who was recognized by USACE Headquarters for her completion of the DoD FM Level I Certification Program. She is the first Local National (LN) recognized for completing this training, Corps and DoD-wide.

“I am honored to say that I was the front runner of this program for all local nationals,” said Nikolais Fernandez, chief of the Program Support Branch, PPMD in FED. “I first brought the idea to Pacific Ocean Division (POD). We had a conference call with all Outside Continental United States (OCONUS) districts and USACE Headquarters to review the inclusion of our LNs into this program.”

Through diligence and communication, USACE HQ agreed to recognize all LNs in USACE who complete the financial management training with a USACE HQ equivalent certificate of completion.

For FED, the financial management program requires local-level review and concurrence. Then, the packet is forwarded to the major subordinate command [POD] for further review. Finally, the packet is forwarded to USACE HQ, to ensure total program compliance.

Madine Sadaoka, a finance and accounting officer for USACE POD, a key supporter of this new initiative, facilitated dialogue between FED and USACE HQ. She reviewed Kim’s package and coordinated at POD for submission to USACE HQ for approval.

Timothy Lucas, the USACE HQ program manager of the FM Certification Program, coordinated to review and issued Kim with a certificate of achievement.

 “Kudos to Mr. Fernandez for spearheading this great initiative,” said Sadaoka. “I am very excited and happy that the door is now open to local nationals to participate in the DoD FM certification program and receive FM-related training and recognition by USACE HQ. I’m especially proud of Ms. Kim’s achievement.”

FED PPMD has plans to take a structured approach in building on each requirement to ensure the team is professional, trained and competitive in the finance field.

“Professionalizing the workforce always benefits the organization,” said Fernandez. “We are giving the team the tools and training they need to be successful.”