ne of the biggest persuasion points for recruiting employees to a federal career is the promise of growth and promotion opportunity. There are all sorts of possibilities for a young federal employee to choose their path and make their own career. Michael Hind’s career is the "poster child" for career progression in the federal government.
After spending several years working for the 414th Base Support Battalion in Germany, Hind had reached the limit for time he could work overseas. He was put into the Priority Placement Program, where he had first right of refusal on the next job that opened in the southeastern United States, the same area where he had left. When a GS-5 admin assistant position opened in the Emergency Management Division at the Charleston District, Hind had to take it or lose his spot in the federal government. He took it.
Hind was finishing up his bachelor’s degree in Germany and asked his future boss if the transfer could be put on hold so that he could complete his studies and his boss agreed. Turned out, this was the first of many examples that this boss showed Hind on how to be a leader who cares about his people.
"He told me some things about the Corps and how this organization takes care of their people," said Hind.
That was in 2003. Fourteen years later, Hind has progressed through the ranks to now be the chief of the Emergency Management Branch.
Hind’s role has shifted numerous times, serving as both the security officer, natural disaster project manager and combinations of both before being chosen last year to lead the group.
"A mentor told me that you can train anyone to do a job, but you can’t teach them drive," said Hind. "The Corps has been good to me and I’ve had the drive and motivation."
Hind believes that the camaraderie is great in the EM office and wants to make sure that stays.
"EM has a good rapport with the other offices in the district and I wanted that to continue," said Hind. "We have the right staff to continually improve and enhance the program. It’s my job to carry the mission forward and remove the roadblocks from my people and reward them for doing great work."
Hind has a lot of plans to continue to develop and prepare the district for future emergencies, including getting more training for the entire district staff in emergency response, as well as improvements for the District’s education and outreach to the community for emergency preparedness. He plans to create manuals for each emergency operations role on the Crisis Response Team so that anyone can learn the role while creating materials for the public to ensure their families are better prepared. Hind is also a big believer in the Emergency Management Accreditation Program, which identifies aspects of emergency response that a district isn’t doing well and finds way they can improve.
"I want to make sure EM’s strategic plan is driving us to best-support the district, division and USACE as a whole," said Hind. "We need input from other leaders early in our processes to create a much better plan and EMAP is helping us get there."
Hind has already dealt with a major disaster in Hurricane Matthew while serving in the chief role on a temporary basis in October 2016 before he was chosen for the full-time role. The emergency operations response went smoothly and can only get smoother as Hind’s vision begins to take shape while preparing for anything that forms during the current hurricane season or any other emergencies that come his way.