PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado -- The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command's newest member of the Senior Executive Service officially joined its ranks April 19.

Tse-Horng "Richard" Yu, the USASMDC/ARSTRAT Future Warfare Center's new director for Capability Development Integration Directorate, was sworn in during a ceremony at the Peterson Air Force Base Club. The first SES assigned to Colorado Springs, Yu has full responsibility to develop, direct and execute plans and programs that allow SMDC to accomplish its core mission of proponency responsibilities - notably space, high altitude and global missile defense capabilities.

Lt. Gen. James H. Dickinson, SMDC's commanding general, officiated the ceremony and introduced Yu, highlighting many of his previous assignments and accomplishments.

"Today we recognize a great patriot and his family," Dickinson said. "Richard has had a very distinguished career. He was an original member of Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense and has touched just about everything JFCC IMD does today. He was there at the beginning and knows the history of that organization."

Before joining SMDC, Yu served as the technical director and the director of Future Concepts, Test and Analysis (J8) at the U.S. Strategic Command, JFCC IMD, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.

Yu has almost 30 years of operational and acquisition experience in government civilian positions within the Department of the Army, Department of the Air Force, Missile Defense Agency, NATO and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

"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. "It's an honor for me today to appoint Mr. Yu as an SES tier 1 into the Department of the Army.

"There are 330,000 Department of the Army civilians today, and less than 1 percent serve in the SES ranks," Dickinson continued. "They do a tremendous amount of heavy lifting every day. They are a key part of what this command does day-in and day-out, particularly with the current interest in space and missile defense. I leverage their expertise and wisdom."

Yu talked about why our mission is so important.

"After watching the news about North Korea every day, my family asked me if they should be worried," said Yu. "I told them 'of course not!' Why? Because our very own USASMDC/ARSTRAT Soldiers are on guard every day, 24/7/365.

"We're here for one reason -- to serve this nation," he continued. "We're able to protect America because of the visionaries who 20 years ago developed missile defense capabilities. We celebrate today, not just for us, but for the achievements of the people who have come before us.

"I challenge each of you to set the framework, not just to protect our nation today, but for generations to come," said Yu. "What you do is important."