HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Dorothy Febbi, Hanscom’s Operational Contracting Division chief, will retire next month after 35 years of civil service.
When the Lowell, Massachusetts, native graduated from Worcester State College in 1986, she had never been exposed to the military or government workforce before. However, an opening for a management analyst position at Fort Devens, Mass., changed her entire professional trajectory.
“If you had told me in college that I would work for the DOD, I would have thought you were crazy,” she said. “Thirty-five years later, and I’ve had experiences that can’t be recreated anywhere.”
Once the mission began to draw down at Fort Devens following the base realignment and closure process, Febbi had to look for other ways to serve. Determined to stay connected to the DOD, she took another trainee position at Hanscom in 1992.
The rest, she says, is history.
“I love this job because there’s no question about what we bring to the fight,” she said. “We sign the dotted line to obligate the government, and the decisions we make mean so much to the warfighter and our mission partners.”
Febbi discovered a passion for her work and a connection with her peers during her time at Fort Devens. She recalls donating blood with her coworkers during the Gulf War, and lining the streets as a sendoff for deployers to the Middle East.
“My heart was totally in it, and I really felt like we were supporting the mission,” she said.
In her time at Hanscom, one major impact Febbi made was signing for the last Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) production aircraft in the late 1990s; an aircraft that was critical to national security following 9/11.
“That was really an a-ha moment,” said Febbi. “Knowing an aircraft I bought was protecting our country and my family was a huge moment for me.”
Even with such crucial contracts and impacts under her belt, Febbi says it’s the people she’s met along the way that have meant the most during her career.
“To everyone I’ve had the chance to serve with, I want to extend a huge thank you,” she said. “Thank you for the opportunities and my successes that would not have been possible without you, and thank you for sharing my passion.”
In her next chapter, Febbi is looking forward to new opportunities and some welcome change, like celebrating her son’s wedding in October and traveling with her fiancé.