Col. David J. Luders becomes 47th commander of RIA-JMTC
July 15, 2013
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, ILL. (July 11, 2013) -- The Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center Commander Col. James O. Fly, Jr., was in command for more than 34 months. His tenure ended on July 11, when he turned the command over to Col. David J. Luders.
Col. David J. Luders became the 47th commanding officer of the U.S. Army Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (RIA-JMTC) at a ceremony held Thursday on Rock Island Arsenal.
Col. Luders took command of RIA-JMTC from Col. Fly J, who had served as commanding officer since Sept. 2010. Col. Fly's next assignment will be at Army Sustainment Command on Arsenal Island before retiring next year.
Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, commanding general, TACOM-Life Cycle Management Command, presided at the ceremony. The change of command ceremony was performed on a field adjacent to the manufacturing center where Maj. Gen. Terry passed the flag of command from Col. Fly to Col. Luders. With his position as commanding officer established, Col. Luders then passed the flag to RIA-JMTC's Sgt. Maj., Ceaser Roberts, Jr., for safekeeping.
Maj. Gen. Terry pointed out Col. Fly's wife, Ella, for her work with scholarship programs, Army families and with the community, and praised the Fly's for the work they had completed in the Quad City area.
Maj. Gen. Terry remarked that Col. Fly had accomplished much in his three years in command. "Col. Fly has been extremely successful in making the center's capabilities better known both inside and outside the government," Maj. Gen. Terry said. "Not only better known, but better performing and better looking too."
"This is all part of his efforts to make RIA-JMTC a great place to work," Maj. Gen. Terry continued. "Jim's determination to improve the center's ability to produce top notch results in quality, delivery and schedule has increased the arsenal's visibility and attractiveness to potential customers and business partners. Rock Island Arsenal is the first arsenal to hold three Secretary of the Army designations as a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence."
"My command here at the Arsenal has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined, and I will miss being a part of this phenomenal operation and team," Col. Fly said. "My wife, Ella, and my sons have called the Quad Cities home for more than four years, during which we could not have asked for better support from the community and Arsenal Island."
"Ella and I look forward to staying in the community for the near future," Fly said. "My son is getting close to graduating from high school and we think this is a perfect place for him to earn a high school diploma."
Maj. Gen. Terry welcomed Col. Luders to the arsenal by stating, "The Army always gets it right. They take away a great leader from an organization, but always replace that person with another outstanding officer and that is the case when it comes to Col. David Luders."
Col. Luders is the 47th commander of RIA-JMTC. He came to RIA-JMTC from the U.S. Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command, where he served as the military deputy commander of the G-3 (Operations) at Redstone Arsenal, Ala. Prior to that, he served as the Executive Officer (XO) for the Deputy Commanding General (DCG) of the Army Material Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
Col. Luders began by stating, "The Midwest work ethic is so evident in every person I meet. It has allowed us to ship only the best equipment from the factory to the foxhole for a century and a half. It takes a team to run this place, especially as we face the many known and unknown challenges that lie ahead. We will face these challenges together and I am honored to be part of a community and team that rises to every challenge. This Arsenal has done improbable things under the most austere circumstances. In accordance with our history here, we will channel that resolve that has allowed this Arsenal to endure and support the Soldiers for more than 150 years."
Col. Luders was commissioned in the Army Reserve as a second lieutenant and served in the Alabama National Guard following his graduation, from Marion Military Institute in 1986. After completing his bachelor degree from Birmingham Southern College in 1988, Luders was selected as a Regular Army officer and assigned to Ft. Benning, Ga., where he attended and graduated Infantry Officers Basic Course and the Ranger Course; he was then assigned to the First Armored Division at Vilseck, Germany and served as a Mechanical and Support Platoon Leader. He completed his tour in Vilseck in the Third Infantry Division from June 1991 to July 1992, as the Battalion S-4.
His combat service includes an assignment with the 4th Sustainment Brigade in Operation Iraqi Freedom where he was a battalion commander in support of the Multi-National Forces, Bagdad and a hazardous duty assignment with the Headquarters Stabilization Force in Bosnia while serving as the Public Affairs operations officer.
In addition to his bachelor's degree in Political Science and German History from Birmingham Southern College, he holds masters degrees in Acquisition Management from Webster University and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Air War College. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and Joint CWS, Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA. He is a recent graduate of the AMC Depot and Arsenal Executive Leadership Program.
Col. Luders is married to his wife Katherine and have two daughters and a son, with another son on the way.