REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama -- The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command's newest member of the Senior Executive Service officially joined its ranks Nov. 28 at Redstone Arsenal.William B. Nelson, the USASMDC/ARSTRAT Technical Center's new director for Programs and Technology, was sworn in during a ceremony at the Von Braun III auditorium.Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, SMDC's commanding general, officiated the ceremony and introduced Nelson, highlighting many of his previous assignments and accomplishments."The U.S. Army is one of the world's most elite teams, comprising intelligent, adaptable and professional Soldiers and civilians who make a real difference in the world and for this nation every day," Dickinson said. "Today we are promoting one of our highly trained, well-educated and expertly skilled Army civilians."There are 330,000 Department of the Army civilians, and fewer than 1 percent -- 275 -- serve in the SES ranks," Dickinson said.Nelson talked about how he did not achieve success on his own."I don't know that person who was introduced up there. I didn't do any of that myself," said Nelson, who also thanked his wife, Michelle. "Nobody ever stands here alone. Sometimes it's not 50-50. In fact, it's never 50-50. Thank you for everything. I absolutely couldn't be here without you."Nelson has served as acting director for Programs and Technology since March. He was selected for promotion and appointed to SES in November. In this position, he directs research, development and test programs for space, missile defense, cyber, directed energy and hypersonic weapon technologies.His previous assignments at SMDC include acting deputy director of the Technical Center, which oversees the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Marshall Islands, and director for Space and Strategic Systems Directorate.Before joining SMDC in May 2014, he served 13 years in a variety of technical and leadership positions at the Missile Defense Agency in Huntsville, Washington D.C., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. A San Antonio native, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree and an ROTC commission, and later earned a master's degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He retired from the U.S. Air Force after 20 years of combined active duty and reserve service.During his remarks, Nelson recounted memories of leaders who have shaped him throughout his career."Thank you for indulging those stories. They prepared me for my way of thinking and how I approach my day-to-day tasks," Nelson said. "I'm blessed to serve with many of you. We've truly had some fantastic opportunities together."Nelson then talked about how leaders need to inspire the next generation."If we're going to keep today's best and brightest talents, both millennial and younger, doing public service, we have to do three things," he said. "First, give them opportunities, and watch them fly; second, inspire them, and get out of their way; third, remember we are all on the same team, and it takes the entire team."Nelson finished by thanking everyone in attendance."I want to thank each and every one of you who could and those who couldn't make it here today," Nelson said. "Thank you to everyone who has helped and mentored me along the way. It is truly an honor to serve with each of you protecting this great country."