Letter to the Editor

I concur that the federal government is a few dollars short and too late on the effort to maintain the information technology expertise that is required to take us into the 21st century. The special pay rates that went into effect in January were way overdue. However, the raise missed the mark. It needed to include all grades.

I have been in the IT profession for 25 years — first as an active-duty Marine officer and then as a federal employee. I could have made more money on the outside, but I have stayed with the federal government because of patriotism.

If anyone thinks that you do not need to pay the upper grades better to stay, stop and look at the big picture. The Federal Employees Retirement System was designed to allow people to move from the federal government to the private sector more easily. There is no carrot — the Civil Service Retirement System — to dangle like the government did in the 1960s. This generation is now passing the torch, but there is no one to pass it to.

IT touches our lives every day. We have become dependent on it. Without it we cannot function. My Marine friends tell me, "IT is not a core competency. It does not put bullets downrange." There is one small error in this theory. The bullets have to get to the Marine in the field before they can go downrange, and they will not get there without information technology. IT also helps put those bullets downrange accurately.

We need to make sure IT professionals are just that — professionals. I am a strong advocate of a professional certification program for all IT professionals — both private sector and governmental. We require accountants, nurses, doctors and others to be nationally certified. Why is there not the same requirement for the IT professionals? These people affect our lives every day.

Harry McDole Jr. Marine Corps

WRITE US

We welcome your comments. To send a letter to the editor, use this form. Civic.com readers, use this form.

Please check out the archive of Letters to the Editor for fellow readers' comments.


Featured

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    OPM nominee plans focus on telework, IT, retirement

    Kiran Ahuja, a veteran of the Office of Personnel Management, told lawmakers that she thinks that the lack of consistent leadership in the top position at OPM has taken a toll on the ability of the agency to complete longer term IT modernization projects.

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

Stay Connected