Cathy Dickens


Ms. Mary (Cathy) Dickens retired after a 37 year career as a civilian manager with the U.S. Army and joined COLSA in July 2015. Prior to departing Civil Service, Ms. Dickens was the Deputy to the Commanding General, US Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM), Redstone Arsenal, AL. In this position, she managed a multifaceted and diverse organization with an annual budget of over $18B (~$4.1B in direct OMA and AWCF resources and ~ $14B customer reimbursable and FMS funding) and a global workforce of over 9,000 military and civilian employees. Prior to that position, she served as the Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting and Executive Director of ACC-Redstone managing and directing an acquisition program consisting of contract awards of $25B annually and active contracts of $110B.

As Senior Vice President of Business Management Operations at COLSA Corporation, Ms. Dickens is responsible for providing executive leadership and oversight in the financial, human resources, contracting, subcontracting, proposal and pricing functions. Her organization provides business services across all programs and geographical locations. Ms. Dickens serves in a key role in providing financial stewardship and overall compliance in the business functions with a focus on driving efficiencies and continued growth. She leads the efforts in business growth through the proposal process, working with Government and Industry partnerships. She plays a key role in developing and leading strategic planning initiatives for COLSA Corporation.

Ms. Dickens was selected as One of the Women to Shape the State for Alabama in 2020. She was recognized with 3 Civilian Meritorious Service Awards, the AUSA Civilian of the Year Award, the Secretary of the Army Specialized Contracting Award, the Frank S. Besson Award, the Knight of the Honorable Order of St. Michael and numerous commendations for outstanding contributions during her career with the Army. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Athens State University and a Master’s of Science degree in Management from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Ms. Dickens serves as a member of the Athens State University Board of Trustees, International Women’s Forum Board and as a member of the AUSA Civilian Advisory Committee. She is a member of AUSA, NCMA, NDIA and the Army Aviation Association of America.

Ms. Dickens has two married sons, two grandsons and a granddaughter.

National Armaments Consortium (NAC)
Executive Committee Member Application Form


Explain how your background, training, experience and/or personal qualities support your candidacy to assume a governance position on the Executive Committee. Provide vitae as a separate attachment.

I have an extensive background in the Defense Industry. I spent over 30 years supporting the Army as a federal civilian in contracting, logistics and program support across the Aviation and Missile portfolio. I supported aviation and missile weapon systems as a contract specialist, contracting officer, Principal Assistant Responsible for Contracting and as the Deputy to the Commanding General.

What do you see as the most significant challenge(s) facing the business type you will represent and how would you propose to address those challenges if elected?

The most significant challenges continue to be the rapid evolution of technologies and changes in the market to include competition for technical personnel. Many of the tradition Government contracting methods result in significant delays, inability to actually propose innovative solutions, limitations on growing the type of work force we need due to outdated education and experience requirements. I believe my background and understanding of these issues would allow me to propose methods and processes that would allow the flexibility we need in OTAs and still provide the protections required for the Government as well as industry.

Please describe the importance of the NAC to your organization and provide a synopsis of the participation in NAC/DOTC since becoming a member (e.g., number of proposal submissions, awards, industry days and membership meeting attended).

The opportunity to participate in NAC/DOTC has been extremely beneficial to my company, COLSA Corporation). We consistently attend industry days and have submitted several white papers. We currently have a critical program TStorm that was awarded through the Aviation and Missile Technology Consortium. This OTA has allowed us to support the Threat System Management Office in critical drone technology and will ultimately evolve into a program of record that we have an opportunity to support.


I have read and understand the NAC Consortium Member Agreement (CMA) and the Ordnance Technology Base Agreement. Upon being elected as an NAC Executive Committee member, I agree to abide by all the requirements and uphold the responsibilities of this position as stated in the CMA and the Executive Committee Member position description.

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