PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Carmine Spinelli, a former technical director for the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC), passed away on June 23 at 82 years of age.
"What Carmine did for me was he set an example of being involved in the community," said John F. Hedderich, the current ARDEC Director.
"You may notice that I am very people oriented. Carmine taught that,"Hedderich added. "He got involved with knowing his people. He was always looking to build the next generation that would take over after one left the Picatinny community. That, he impressed on me."
Hedderich said Spinelli was also conscious about Picatinny being recognized for its expertise.
"He was very active in making sure that Picatinny was recognized as the place where armaments were developed. That was his mantra."
Spinelli's career with the DOD spanned a total of 40 years, where he provided contributions in a wide range of areas: armament and systems engineering, project management, innovation, personnel management, total quality management, life cycle engineering, acquisition strategy, and national and international policy. He was selected as a member of the Senior Executive Service in 1990.
Spinelli served as ARDEC's technical director from 1995 to 1998. He was responsible for all technical operations, managed an annual budget of more than $600 million and a technical staff of more than 2,000 scientists and engineers with approximately 2,000 support personnel.
Before he was ARDEC director, Spinelli was the deputy director for U.S. Army Fire Support Armaments Center from 1990 to 1995.
"Carmine was my mentor early in my career after moving to Picatinny," said William Sanville, deputy Project Manager Close Combat Systems.
"Without a doubt, I would not be in the position I am today without Carmine's mentorship. I had the opportunity to travel all over the U.S. and the world and learn from him," Sanville said.
"Carmine provided me opportunity, exposure and the constructive tweak of how I could improve all my skill sets. He not only mentored me, but he also mentored many other people as well, including the Honorable Kevin Fahey, the current Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition.
"I am sure Carmine's legacy will be remembered for his training, tutelage and opportunity he provided the next generation of people, thus ensuring Picatinny will remain a world class organization for a very long time," Sanville said.
Spinelli was also a trusted advisor to New Jersey State officials on military affairs and to a senior member of Congress. He also chaired the Military Affairs Commission for the past four governors of New York.
Twice, he was recipient of the Secretary of Defense Award for meritorious service and was inducted into the U.S. Army Ordnance Hall of Fame, the Ammunition Hall of Fame, and the Purdue University Engineering Hall of Fame.