Major General Frank R. Faykes, CDFM.
ASMC: What is the hardest part of your job?
Maj Gen Faykes: From the perspective of developing the budget, it's maintaining the proper balance in the budget between readiness and modernization. We've got to recapitalize our older weapons systems to remain the dominant air and space force for the twenty-first century.
ASMC: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Maj Gen Faykes: I really enjoy working with the superb professionals here in the Pentagon, both military and civilian. I call my staff the "New York Yankees" of financial management. They are absolutely great.
ASMC: How has financial management changed over the past five to ten years?
Maj Gen Faykes: In the early 1990s the centralization of accounting services in DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service) was the big change. Now we are centralizing customer services. We are working in the Air Force to make our financial systems as good technically as our weapons systems. This transformation is key to the changing role of the financial manager from financial historian (knowing only what had happened in the past) to true financial advisor (providing decision support).
ASMC: Will all these initiatives survive changes in leadership?
Maj Gen Faykes: If it's the right thing to do, it will outlive those who started it! I'm absolutely certain these changes will make us a twenty-first century financial management organization.
ASMC: What education, training, and certification should every Defense financial manager have?
Maj Gen Faykes: I'm a big proponent of education at all levels. I believe financial managers should pursue the best and most appropriate education they can. Work on professional certifications such as the Certified Defense Financial Manager, a relevant master's degree, and even professional military education will make them better at what they do. Reach for a breadth of experiences and if they are geographically mobile, it's even better.
ASMC: What was the best military job you ever had?
Maj Gen Faykes: If you mean aside from this one, it was serving as a squadron commander. There is no better job than command for those of us who proudly wear the Air Force uniform.
ASMC: We understand you ran 50 miles on your fiftieth birthday.
Maj Gen Faykes: I am a runner and I love competition. I've been running for 27 years, covered 52,000 miles, and have run in 20 marathons, so it seemed like the next big challenge. The whole neighborhood turned out and we made an event of it!
ASMC: Any last thoughts?
Maj Gen Faykes: Everyone needs to strive for balance in his or her life; I call it the triad, a balance of the physical being and the mental and the spiritual aspects of life. You need this balance to deal with the challenges and opportunities life throws at you.
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|Publication:||Armed Forces Comptroller|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2007|
|Previous Article:||CDFM recognition.|
|Next Article:||From the National President.|