U.S. Department of Defense | Senior Budget Analyst
In accounting, numerical accuracy is indispensable-especially when you work for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
Before launching her career, Carmelita Chadwick earned an undergraduate and graduate degree through Baylor’s five-year Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program, while simultaneously completing Baylor’s Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program.
“I had actually planned on attending the University of Alabama,” she said. “However, I decided to attend Baylor after visiting the campus and earning an ROTC scholarship.”
Through her time in the MAcc program, Chadwick said she realized the versatility of an accounting degree.
“Some people hold the misconception that accounting is boring work,” she said. “It was actually the program at Baylor that opened my eyes to the many careers (in government and the private sector) you can have through studying accounting.”
Chadwick also learned the importance of time management through her enrollment in the MAcc and ROTC programs.
“Balancing the demands of the MAcc program and ROTC proved challenging during my undergrad years,” she said. “I learned that it was important to plan and maintain a disciplined schedule. This lesson has remained with me.”
Chadwick became an active duty commissioned officer and served six years in the Air Force after graduation. With both her parents having also served in the Air Force, she was no stranger to military life. During her service, Chadwick was stationed in California, Kuwait, Iraq, and Kyrgyzstan (to name a few), with her final destination in Washington, D.C., at Bolling Air Force Base.
After her time in the Air Force and working a few years in the private sector, Chadwick now works in one of the world’s largest office buildings: the Pentagon. She serves as a senior budget analyst for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller, specifically on the Contingency Operations team. In this capacity, she functions as the senior analyst for the Cost of War reporting and Overseas Contingency Operations (formerly Global War on Terrorism – GWOT) budgeting.
“Since serving in Iraq and other contingencies, I wanted to get involved in reporting the cost of war and formulating war and disaster-related budgets,” she said. “Our every day purpose is to provide the timeliest and best analysis we can for senior level decisions.”
Operating a multi-billion dollar budget requires extensive management, and Chadwick has dealt with regulations throughout her active duty career to now joining the administrative side of military operations.
“During my service in the Air Force as an on-the-ground forward deployed comptroller, we poured over DoD financial management regulations for help with making informed decisions,” she said. “Now I’m the one actually writing these regulations for others to follow when engaged in supporting contingency operations.”
Following financial regulations takes a conscious effort, and ethical decision making in accounting has become more important than ever as white-collar crimes and scandals continue to shake the business world. Chadwick stressed the importance of understanding business ethics and using them when making decisions.
“At Baylor, I feel like the emphasis on ethics helped prepare me for decision-making throughout my career,” she said. “The business world is not always black and white-there is a lot of gray area. Especially in the accounting field, questions arise all the time and you want to respond ethically in the right way, in a way that can withstand audit, and that your conscience is comfortable with at the end of the day.”