US Defense Threat Reduction Agency Reviews | Glassdoor

US Defense Threat Reduction Agency Reviews

Updated May 28, 2017
53 reviews

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3.7
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53 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great mission, great people, good leadership, team environment (in 6 reviews)

  • Lots of smart people with an important mission (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • The senior management itself seems frustrated and discouraged (in 4 reviews)

  • Crazy obnoxious GS 15 non supervisor (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Program Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Program Manager
    Current Employee - Program Manager

    I have been working at US Defense Threat Reduction Agency full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Important missions of national importance.

    Cons

    Cons are in the eye of the beholder. I'm sure someone could find something to complain about. However, my time at DTRA has been exceptionally rewarding.


  2. "Good, Bad, and Ugly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The mission. Protecting the U.S. from weapons of mass destruction

    Cons

    The leadership. The most risk-averse team I've ever run across.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to take managed risks.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Best job I ever had, despite itself"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at US Defense Threat Reduction Agency full-time

    Pros

    Traveled around the world, met great scientists, and had opportunities to teach STEM to students, work in a service lab, and deploy with military units. Felt like one of the most important jobs in the world, fighting WMD every day.

    Cons

    Soul-crushing obsession with Obligation and Expenditures. The science takes a backseat to the economics, unfortunately. There is no advancement path for researchers, unless you want to become a program manager. The employee base is very old on average, with 60% or more eligible to retire or past retirement age in the next 5 years. For some reason, people just aren't retiring. The net effect is a calcified, archaic leadership class at the GS-15 level, with rays of light from the junior SES folks, immediately shut down by the absentee senior SES.

    Advice to Management

    Great organization with an important mission, but dear god is the leadership absent above the Directorate level. All decisions are mired in uncertainty, and the buck just keeps passing until there's a new director or at least some clarity on when there might be one.

    Also, in a world where Congress wants you to justify your existence, just passing money isn't sufficient. Invest in your research capacity, and they'll make you look great. See: FDHS, Ebola Mobile Labs.


  4. "Good place for mid-level to senior level engineers and scientists"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at US Defense Threat Reduction Agency full-time

    Pros

    Variety of technical and managerial challenges
    Good internal and external training opportunities

    Cons

    No bench level work - primarily project management
    Few opportunities for advancement without having to leave office or Agency


  5. "Terrific Mission but no leaders"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Belvoir, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Belvoir, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at US Defense Threat Reduction Agency full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Challenging and rewarding acquisition environment, International travel.

    Cons

    Focus on spending money at all costs even when they know it is wasteful and not of value to the U.S. Taxpayer. 5 years ago it was managed better but because of the budget rescissions they focus on getting money out the door, minimizing carryover above all else. No ability to move up in the organization, recently reorganized to a flat organization of GS15's and GS11-13. Someone has to leave or retire to get to compete for a position

    Advice to Management

    Replace many of the GS15's and SES's that came from HHS, TSA, etc. they were castaways for a reason. Allow some of the talented younger employees the opportunity to lead.


  6. "Great agency to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Belvoir, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Fort Belvoir, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Outstanding mission and an exceptionally talented team. Convenient location on Ft Belvoir avoids the beltway traffic for NorVA commuters

    Cons

    Undersized parking facility. Very senior staff limits upward mobility for many aspiring young leaders

    Advice to Management

    Continue thoughtful integration of new mission areas and new partners, including JIDO and SOCOM. Continue effort to train and develop young leaders.


  7. "DTRA - A great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    A great mission, great people, and a wonderful facility.

    Cons

    Parking can be difficult and the traffic around Fort Belvoir can be difficult at times.

  8. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Great mission, great people, good leadership, team environment

    Cons

    I do not have any negative comments


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at US Defense Threat Reduction Agency full-time

    Pros

    Real world missions, high job satisfaction depending what directorate you end up working in.

    Cons

    A lot of bureaucracy, which is to be expected from a large government agency. It can be frustrating at times.

    Advice to Management

    Keep investing in people's education, training, and provide them with new and challenging assignments to show their potential. To do otherwise would be to risk malaise.


  10. "Physical Security, Infrastructure (Utilities suach as Water, Power, Fire Protection sysyt , Stcuctural/ Security"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    I worked for DTRA is for the challenging position, they offered. It was a position where I demonstrated my in-depth of: Physical Security, Antiterrorism/Force Protection, world wide teaching of application of the blast programs. I was a reach back engineer for many DoD related issues.

    Cons

    I do not have any adverse rating for DTRA.


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