By Heather R. SmithSeptember 9, 2013
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Sept. 9, 2013) -- Long-time Army engineer Bill Colson received his appointment to the Senior Executive Service in an August 13 ceremony and became the director of the newly formed System Simulation, Software and Integration Directorate -- known as S3I -- of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development Center.
The S3I directorate, or "Super Directorate," is made up of four AMRDEC directorates: Software Engineering, System Simulation and Development, Technical Management, and Center Support.
AMRDEC Director Eric Edwards said the combined efforts of the S3ID includes about 3,000 Department of the Army civilian and contractor personnel and about $1 billion annually of support to aviation and missile customers. "They've got a large breadth of mission," Edwards said, "however Bill is the guy to do that. One, he's done everything in his career to get to this point, but secondly the leadership in those directorates are key to the success that they're going to have.
"These organizations are going to maintain their organizational identity; they're just going to be under Bill's leadership. His background and everything he's done has led to the point where he's the right guy to be leading those organizations," Edwards said.
Edwards described Colson as optimistic but not artificial.
"He's able to simplify things to the most basic tasks," Edwards said. "What do we have to do and what do we need to do to support the people and ultimately the Warfighters that are out in the battle."
Colson has more than 20 years of federal service, including twelve years with the Redstone Technical Test Center as a test management team lead and test engineer. He has held leadership roles in the Utility Helicopters Project Office and the Program Executive Office for Aviation, and was acting deputy director for the AMRDEC in 2012.
"It's my privilege to be a part of this great organization," Colson said of AMRDEC. "There's such an incredible legacy of excellence that has equipped our nation with missiles, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles and associated technologies that are the best in the world."
During the appointment ceremony, Colson addressed directly each of the individual directorates that are part of S3I, commenting on the various strengths of each organization.
"To each directorate, it's my honor to be your leader as we join together under an umbrella of systems simulation, software and integration functions within the AMRDEC. Know that Mr. Edwards' intent, as he mentioned earlier, is for us to be collaborative in our work however you will maintain your individual directorate identities and leadership structures. I look forward to getting to know all of you in time and working together as we strategically pursue ways to enhance the critical service we provide to our customers."
Colson said he is committed to striving to be the provider of choice for customers' engineering services and to maintaining a customer-focused organization. "I would certainly be remiss not to acknowledge the significant challenges that we are currently facing with the furloughs and future uncertainty with sequestration and other budget realities. For me, I have to continually remind myself that there is so much we cannot control but rather strive to keep focus on the awesome mission that we have to equip and sustain our Warfighters with the best missiles and aviation systems possible within the resources we're given."
Colson's awards and honors include Department of Defense Civilian Tester of the Year in 2000 and receipt of the Honorable Order of Saint Michael bronze award in 2012. He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and a master's degree in systems management from the Florida Institute of Technology.
AMRDEC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.