MAJ Murray and her team at the Agency's Operations Centre in Brunssum, Netherlands, in addition to their colleagues in Mons, Belgium, provide NATO with constant support on IT incidents, requests for information and technical services.
While leading a very busy operational unit, MAJ Murray took also the critical role of Duty Control Officer, prioritizing the incident management of technological support work for more than 60 staff members.
On top of this, she provided mentoring to six international military and civilian personnel on the important responsibilities carried out by Duty Control Officers.
For her contributions to the Alliance, the NATO Secretary General awarded MAJ Murray with the Meritorious Service Medal, NATO's highest honour.
We asked MAJ Murray a few questions to learn more.
How have you contributed to the successful delivery of services to NATO?
The Operations Centre is responsible for continuous control and reporting of the NCI Agency's infrastructure and services. Every day, the work we all perform in the Operations Centre leaves a strong mark on NATO's footprint, whether we realize it or not.
The Operations Centre as a whole continues to excel at delivering services for communications and information systems to thousands of users across the NATO enterprise, thanks to everyone's commitment and dedication.
What leadership values have helped you manage and guide your teams at the NCI Agency?
Time is one of the most valuable things leaders can offer. Every chance I get, I share lunch time with my staff of the Operations Centre and every time I do, I learn something new about my teams. When you know a little bit about people's lives outside of work, you can sympathize with them and are able to help them overcome any challenges more effectively.
Equally important is to lead by example. I wouldn't ask others to do something that I am not willing to do myself, or haven't done already. This is an easy way to earn respect and loyalty from others.
Respect is one of the seven core values of the United States Army and in my opinion, the most important one. Therefore, I respect everyone equally and treat them the way I want to be treated.
How did you keep your focus while managing two demanding roles as Duty Control Officer and Head of the Brunssum Operations Centre?
Duty Control Officers are not only mission essential; they play a critical role in the success of the NCI Agency. They prioritize high visibility incidents and coordinate the activation of network-wide actions to restore connectivity to services that may affect a single user in a critical role, or hundreds of users in a four-star NATO Command.
I volunteered for the role of a Duty Control Officer and worked as such for seven days on average every four weeks. Time management was essential during those months, but because the location was the same within the Operations Centre, I was also available to my staff in Brunssum at all times.