By Joanna Bradley, CCDC Aviation & Missile Center Public AffairsAugust 12, 2019
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Aug. 12, 2019) -- Dr. James C. Kirsch, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center, has been selected for Senior Executive Service, making him the permanent director of the Systems Simulation, Software and Integration Directorate where he has been serving as acting director since June.
Dr. Juanita M. Christensen, CCDC AvMC executive director, performed the appointment of Kirsch as an SES member during a ceremony held at the Bob Jones Auditorium at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Aug. 9.
"He is such a wise and patient leader for the Army, and that is what we need," said Christensen. "We need someone who's willing to seek guidance and also make decisions."
Kirsch's 32 years of experience make him well-qualified for the role. Having started as a research electronics engineer with the then-Weapons Sciences Directorate at the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center, now CCDC AvMC, Kirsch has excelled through the ranks of government service. He most recently served as the acting deputy director of CCDC AvMC's S3I for five months before moving on to acting director.
"CCDC AvMC and its predecessors provided me a lot of unique, challenging and rewarding opportunities throughout my career," said Kirsch. "This position is another opportunity to give back to an organization that I consider a national asset critical to the defense of our nation."
Christensen applauded Kirsch's ability to lead a diverse workforce in supporting the mission of S3I and CCDC AvMC as a whole. "He has to be willing to set a vision within the organization and manage that vision … within a changing environment," Christensen said. "He has to be able to build a workforce that can work together to meet the organizational vision and mission objectives."
Kirsch holds a bachelor's, a master's, and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Among his many awards and honors, Kirsch was named the AAE Excellence in Leadership Award: Engineering and Systems Integration Professional of the Year in 2015 and also received the Commander's Award for Civilian Service in 2012.
Kirsch is an International Council on Systems Engineering, or INCOSE, Certified Systems Engineering Professional with DoD Acquisition Specialty. He is also an active member of the Association of the United States Army and the Army Aviation Association of America.
"Throughout its 50-plus-year history, the Aviation & Missile Center has done some amazing things in ensuring that our Warfighters have absolutely the best equipment on the battlefield," Kirsch said. "But we can't rest on our laurels now."
Kirsch leads a workforce of over 580 government personnel and 5,500 contractors, exercising the full technical and managerial responsibility for research, exploratory, and advanced development of end-game lethality analysis, modeling and simulation technology, and aerodynamics for the Army's aviation and missile weapon systems.
"Ensuring that we continue to provide our Soldiers and joint partners the very best combat capability on the planet is my highest priority - they deserve nothing less," said Kirsch.
The CCDC Aviation & Missile Center, formerly known as the Aviation & Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, which conducts responsive research, development and life cycle engineering to deliver the aviation and missile capabilities the Army depends on to ensure victory on the battlefield today and tomorrow. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.