By Ms. Elizabeth Behring (AMC)September 26, 2016
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- He may have spearheaded the development of a single manager to ensure Soldiers have the right equipment and helped save nearly $50 million in software with an enterprise resource planning system, but James Dwyer is adamant every success is not his own.
Instead, he said, that credit belongs to the people he's worked with and for during more than 40 years of combined federal and military service.
"The best part of the job is the team that we've formed. They are just tremendous, great assets for the Army. It's just amazing what they do," Dwyer said.
Dwyer is due to retire Friday after serving as Army Materiel Command's Principal Deputy, G-3/4. He was promoted to the Senior Executive Service in 2006 after serving as a General Schedule 15 at Tank-automotive and Armaments Life Cycle Management Command, which falls under AMC.
A retired colonel with more than 27 years in uniform, Dwyer said he cannot distinguish which assignment was his favorite, but commanding Red River Army Depot, in Texarkana, Texas, and serving as executive officer for retired Gen. John G. Coburn during Coburn's tenure as AMC commander from 1999-2001, are among the most memorable.
"Every job I've had is really interesting, and it's really been an honor to have worked for the 40-plus years for the taxpayers, and to keep this country as great as it is. I've had a very, very small part of that. But I have to tell you, working with troops every day, they amazed me every day," Dwyer said.
And Dwyer said he extends those sentiments to the civilians he worked with once he left active duty, particularly when AMC moved from near Alexandria, Virginia, to Redstone Arsenal during his time as XO.
"I enjoyed working as a team. The folks here are the best part of the job. We were all up at [Fort] Belvoir; I talked them into moving. They're the biggest part of what I'm going to miss. They're just tremendous, and [it's amazing] what these folks do each day to continue to produce each day, and continue to take care of the Soldiers, every day," Dwyer said.
Even though he spent the majority of his career commanding or working in the logistics field, Dwyer did not initially start along that particular path. The Cincinnati native commissioned from Xavier University's ROTC program as a Field Artillery officer, and was branched detailed from the Quartermaster Corps, as the requirement for a regular Army commission at the time was to first serve in a combat arms branch.
Dwyer went on to command a maintenance company as a quartermaster lieutenant -- a position typically for captains -- and then transferred to the Ordnance Corps, where he continued to excel, earning a Master's of Business Administration, and moved his family a total of 17 times, spending eight years in Europe.
Dwyer also worked some eight years in project manager shops and rounded out his time as a field grade officer as an Army Division G-4, divisional support battalion commander, divisional material readiness officer, and support battalion XO during Operations Desert Shield/Storm.
"It's truly been an honor to not only serve in the military on active duty, but also here at AMC. The Army has really transformed itself into a huge readiness asset for this nation.
"My proudest accomplishment is helping to make sure the focus is on the Soldier in the foxhole, and that what we do every day contributes to their readiness. You can't support them in the foxhole and produce the equipment in the factory if you don't know the entire supply chain. And if their readiness is increased, then their chances of going downrange and coming home to their families is increased," Dwyer said.