PM for Demilitarization leaves legacy in retirement

By Eric KowalPicatinny Public Affairs Office

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- After more than two decades of military service, the manager of a Picatinny organization that plays a significant role in supporting today's warfighters retired here June 3. During the ceremony, Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command Commanding General and Program Executive Officer for Ammunition Brig. Gen. William N. Phillips spoke highly of Product Manager for Demilitarization Lt. Col. Brian Raftery saying that "Brian's name is synonymous with Acquisition Corps."
Raftery's 21-year military career included serving as the Department of the Army's systems coordinator for the Stryker program in the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology as well as the executive officer to the assistant deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management. Arriving at Picatinny in 2007, he single-handedly revamped the entire Demilitarization organization according to Phillips, who read off a long list of accomplishments Raftery completed during his career; however, one achievement stood out in Phillips' mind. Phillips explained that Raftery's decisive actions averted the impact of potential environmental, security and safety hazards when he directed and led the removal of more than 1,000 tons of hazardous material from abandoned contractor sites in West Virginia and New Mexico.
Because of his actions, Raftery minimized the cost to the government both in terms of funds and public relations. Raftery put "demilitarization on the map for the Army," Phillips said during his speech, adding that "the person assigned to follow him will have a much easier job because of what Brian has done." During his speech, Raftery thanked the many people who both worked with and supported him throughout his illustrious career and said he learned an important lesson early at a young age. "I learned that it's not so much about me and my promotions or awards, but those around me." Raftery compared leaving PM Demilitarization to a legendary rock song by The Eagles when he said, "It's like Hotel California. You can check out, but you can never leave." Raftery also received the Legion of Merit for his service to the Army, as well as congratulatory letters from Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen and Commanding General for the Joint Munitions Command Brig. Gen. James E. Rogers, a certificate of appreciation from President Bush and a United States flag. Additionally, his wife Mary was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey.
The office of the Product Manager for Demilitarization was formally established in December 2002 by the assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, under the Project Manager for Joint Services, which is organized as part of the Program Executive Office for Ammunition.