Community Leaders
Former Redstone commander Lt. Gen. Jim Pillsbury, currently the AMC deputy commander, talks with local and state leaders of the Association of the U.S. Army at the 2007 Department of the Army Civilian of the Year dinner at the Von Braun Center. With Pillsbury are, from left, AUSA state president and retired Brig Gen. Bob Drolet; Emily Vandiver, then president of the Redstone-Huntsville Chapter of AUSA; and retired Col. John Rogers, civilian aide to the secretary of the Army for North Alabama and AUSA Region 3 (Southeast) president.

As 2009 begins, the Army Materiel Command is coming closer to realizing a synergy through its move to Redstone Arsenal that will "re-energize and transform" its work force, said one of its leading generals.

Lt. Gen. Jim Pillsbury, who is the former commander of Redstone Arsenal and the Aviation and Missile Command, and who is now the Army Materiel Command's deputy commander, has an insider's perspective on the Army organizations that will be co-located at the Arsenal when the base realignment and closure recommendations are completed by 2011.

AMCOM along with Program Executive Office-Aviation and PEO-Missiles and Space are subordinate commands to AMC, now headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Va. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness, including technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection and sustainment, ranging from weapon systems to maintenance and distribution of spare parts.

"While I was at AMCOM, I got to see firsthand and for a relatively long period the power of the life cycle management command concept," Pillsbury said. "As I make decisions up here in my current job, I think of the impact they have at AMCOM and PEO-Aviation, and PEO-Missiles and Space."

One recent Army decision that will have a lasting beneficial impact on AMC and its subordinate commands is the BRAC-recommended relocation of AMC headquarters.

"The location of a headquarters has its strengths and weaknesses," Pillsbury said. "The ability to reshape AMC staff into a transformed command is enhanced by the BRAC move. The move to Redstone Arsenal will give AMC access to the highly skilled work force within the Tennessee Valley. It will be easier to re-energize and transform our work force."

Pillsbury said AMC and its employees will benefit from the Tennessee Valley's highly educated and motivated work force along with its quality of life, good educational systems, wonderful people, unique culture, and plenty of recreational, social and performing arts activities.

"There are some challenges in terms of roads and schools," he said. "But the state and local leadership are working on those. And (local volunteer) Joe Ritch and the Tennessee Valley BRAC Committee have done a great job providing information about the Tennessee Valley and continuing to push hard for improving roads and schools."

In return, the profile of Redstone Arsenal and Huntsville as a leading military center will be heightened with the addition of the prestigious AMC to the Arsenal neighborhood.

"Redstone Arsenal will get a great new tenant with AMC," Pillsbury said. "I don't see any changes in the Arsenal footprint except in the physical addition of 1,200 folks. But I do see us being a good tenant as we partner with NASA, the Missile Defense Agency, AMCOM and the 40 to 50 other organizations at Redstone Arsenal."

Currently, close to 200 AMC employees have been moved to Redstone Arsenal. Those moves will continue through the summer of 2011, when construction of the AMC headquarters is completed just off Martin Road.

Although AMCOM and its employees work in support of AMC, Pillsbury said AMCOM as well as the program executive offices will remain separate entities from AMC.

"These are subordinate commands that are of benefit to AMC because of their expertise in aviation, missiles and space," Pillsbury said. "Generals (Jim) Myles, (Genaro) Dellarocco and (Tim) Crosby and their staffs are essential elements to our nation's missile defense. They provide excellent management of commodities needed by the warfighter."

Those organizations work together to fulfill the Armywide mission to support the Soldier and civilians who are on the front lines in the Global War on Terror.

"We are in an era of persistent conflict," Pillsbury said. "In everything we do, we will continue to do what needs to be done to support Soldiers and civilians in harm's way."

AMC is also focused on realizing its transformation within the Army as it continues to implement the materiel life cycle management initiative. This initiative provides cradle-to-grave management of critical weapon systems and conventional ammunition. It integrates strategic and operational processes between AMC subordinate commands and program executive offices through product and process teams that enhance the input of logisticians into acquisition processes, improve sustainment and readiness, reduce costs, improve quality, get products to the Soldier faster and implement a more holistic approach to product development and system support.

"Through the life cycle management enterprise we are bringing together all the commands that have a stake in life cycle management to create one community of excellence," Pillsbury said.

Supporting Soldiers with the best weapon systems will always be the focus of AMC and its subordinate commands, said Pillsbury, who was promoted to lieutenant general and assumed the duties as AMC deputy commander in early December. The promotion was yet another highlight in a 35-year military career.

"This has been a great career. Thirty five years have flown by," he said, adding that his wife, Becky, and his two grown children successfully endured multiple moves during those years. The Pillsburys do plan to retire someday to Huntsville, where both their children now live.

As one of the Army's generals, Pillsbury knows he represents an organization that can have a lasting positive impact on the lives of its Soldiers and their families

"The lifestyle of the Army is unique in that it's an ethics-based organization," he said. "Our values, ethics and morals are world class. We demand that our Soldiers live by our values and because of that we are a very close-knit family.

"Soldiers are individuals who understand what selfless service means. They are disciplined, physically fit and they know there is a greater service than to themselves."

The Army's target population is adults age 18 to 24, and yet of those adults in that age range 7 out of 10 don't qualify either physically or morally to meet the Army's high standards, he said.

"The strength of the Army is in its ability to grab the interest of 30 percent of the youngsters in that age group," Pillsbury said. "And not only grab their interest but to also keep that interest so that they re-enlist in record numbers at a time of war.

"Even for myself, every time I re-enlist it is a time of discovery. Every time I get a promotion, it humbles me. It's a great life. My wife Becky and I have been pinching ourselves ever since I made lieutenant colonel."


Pillsbury's Official Biography

Lieutenant General James H. Pillsbury assumed the duties as the U.S. Army Materiel Command's Deputy Commanding General on December 8, 2008. Lieutenant General Pillsbury is also serving as the Executive Director for Conventional Ammunition.

Lieutenant General Pillsbury graduated from Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. He also holds a Master of Science Degree in International Relations from Troy State University. His military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Transportation Officer Advanced Course, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Army War College.

Prior to his current assignment, Lieutenant General Pillsbury served as AMC's Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and Operations, G-3, from July 2007 to October 2008 and as the Commander of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command from December 2003 to July 2007.

Lieutenant General Pillsbury has served in a variety of command and staff assignments. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in May 1973 and began his military career as a mortar platoon leader and later support platoon leader, with the 2d Battalion, 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington. Early in his career, he served as a platoon leader, detachment commander, and company executive officer and commander.

From 1991-1993, he served as Commander, 8th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky; from 1993-1994 he served as Executive Officer, Force Development, Aviation Division, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, U.S. Army, Washington, DC; and from 1995-1997 he served as Commander, Division Support Command, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell. Lieutenant General Pillsbury also served as Assistant Division Commander (Support), 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York, from 1997-1998.

His joint assignments include Chief, Sustainability, Mobilization Plans and Exercises Division, J-4, from 1998-1999; Deputy Director, Logistics, Readiness and Requirements, J-4, from 1999-2000; and finally as Commander of the Defense Distribution Center, Defense Logistics Agency, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, from 2000 to 2002. From 2002 to October 2003, he was assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, U.S. Army Europe and Seventh Army, Germany.
His awards and decorations include the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Legion of Merit (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Joint Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Service Medal (with two Bronze Stars), and the Parachutist, Senior Army Aviator, Air Assault, Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification, and Army Staff Identification Badges.

Lieutenant General Pillsbury is married to the former Becky Ryan and has a son Michael and his wife Amanda, and a daughter Katherine.

As of December 2008

Page last updated Wed January 7th, 2009 at 17:09