Program Executive Officer for Aviation Brig. Gen. Bob Marion has conducted a retirement ceremony for one of his Army civilians, the first time that the PEO retired a nonmilitary person.Marion retired Brian Sabourin after 35 years of civilian service, recognizing Sabourin's dedication and service to the Army and the nation."Brian has been an important foundation and continuity in our day-to-day operations. A lot of responsibility was placed on him throughout his career," Marion said.Sabourin's career spanned a lifetime of service to Army acquisition, starting as a civilian in the Navy before transitioning to become an Army civilian. After 20 years of working as an interior ballistician, missile lethality expert, and senior systems engineer, he joined Army aviation in 2000, serving as the deputy product manager and acting product manager for the Air Traffic Control product office.He was then selected to become a program integrator division chief for the Aviation Systems Project Office. Sabourin's leadership skills earned him the position as deputy project manager for Aviation Systems when the office stood up in 2011. After serving in that position for three and a half years, he moved to PEO Aviation headquarters and served as the deputy of G3/G4/Acquisition Systems Management.Thirty percent of the Army's equipping budget is on the shoulders of the nine project managers within PEO Aviation."I hold the people in these positions in very, very high regard," Marion said. The project manager, a position usually held by a colonel, sets the strategic direction for multimillion dollar programs. "But it's up to the DPM (deputy project manager) to execute, and they are really the ones who make those things happen."Sabourin credited his success and the opportunities that arose throughout his career to his family, especially to his wife Jean who he called his "rock." "I wouldn't have been able to do all the things I've done without my family pulling the same direction to make me successful," Sabourin said.Blessed with opportunities, Sabourin said the key to running a successful program in Army acquisition is by surrounding oneself with good people. "Bottom line is, it's all about the people. Support the Soldier, support the sailor. And deliver the products that keep them safe," he said."I've been very lucky to have found Army aviation. It's a very small community, and that's what I love about it."In addition to the Honorable Order of St. Michael-Bronze Award from the Army Aviation Association of America, Sabourin received the Civilian Service Award, letters of recognition from Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby and Rep. Mo Brooks; Certificate of Appreciation from PEO Aviation, and the Army Aviation book. His wife was recognized for her efforts and support of Army aviation with a Certificate of Appreciation from PEO Aviation. The Sabourins plan to remain in the local area.