Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, together with the Honorable Katrina McFarland, acting Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) and Army Acquisition Executive, officiated a June 16 ceremony that transferred leadership in one of the Army's 12 program executive offices.
Brig. Gen. William E. Cole became the new leader of the Program Executive Office, Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) in the ceremony hosted at Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Florida, a small town northeast of Orlando. Immediately following the change of charter, Maj. Gen. Jonathan A. Maddux, the outgoing program executive officer (PEO), was retired from the Army after 40 years of service.
PEO STRI's mission is to increase Army readiness and optimize Soldier performance through the acquisition of simulation, training, testing and cyber technology. The organization fields more than 400,000 training devices worldwide, to include the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST) and Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES).
"Bill is an accomplished officer who is no stranger to the world of a program executive officer," McFarland said during her comments. "He has outstanding leadership skills that will enable him to continue PEO STRI's tradition of strong and effective leadership."
She had high praise for the outgoing PEO for his service to the country and PEO STRI.
"Jon, you can be as proud of your people as they are of you," she said. "Together, you have done an incredible job strengthening the link and solidifying the trust between Soldiers and the training they require for mission success. Thank you for your dynamic and distinguished leadership of PEO STRI."
McFarland also praised the PEO STRI team for the work they do in helping ensure the Army's Soldiers are ready to win in any conflict.
"I want to recognize the exceptional women and men of PEO STRI who develop and deliver training and testing products and services that keep our military the most formidable and ready combat force on earth, while also improving the combat effectiveness of our partner and allied nations," she said.
Cole said he was "honored and incredibly humbled" to assume the PEO STRI charter.
"PEO STRI is a fantastic organization, executing a critical mission for the Army during a challenging period for our country," he said. "This is certainly a major highlight of my career to be entrusted with leading such a storied organization that helps ensure we have the best trained fighting force in the world.
"To the PEO STRI workforce, I promise that I will be your servant-leader, doing all that I can to help you continue to excel as we develop, field and sustain world class training and instrumentation systems for our Soldiers."
During the retirement ceremony, Allyn praised Maddux and his wife, Liz, for their dedicated service to the Army and the country.
"Today, we honor a family that has committed itself to a lifetime of service, always taking the toughest jobs, always leading from the front and always, by example," he said. "Jon and Liz, your selfless service has shaped the course of our Army. Thank you for what you have given to our Nation."
Maddux gave his farewell to the Army by thanking the many people who helped him throughout his career, including past leaders, noncommissioned officers, his family and the PEO STRI team.
"It has been an honor to work with the professionals at PEO STRI and other organizations these past two years," he said. "We play a critical role in ensuring our great Soldiers are prepared to conduct and win in complex joint operations though a hybrid blend of simulated training. Great job, PEO STRI!"