The Chief of Staff for Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, Col. Jeffery Witt, retired June 5 in a ceremony hosted by the commanding general for TACOM, Maj. Gen. Dan Mitchell at the Detroit Arsenal, Michigan.
An Army retirement is a time-honored tradition to help pay tribute to a Soldier for their dedication to country and is normally held with plenty of pomp-and-circumstance if desired by the retiree. Witt’s ceremony was a smaller affair with only a few family and co-workers due to the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 response.
“[COVID-19 precautions] do not diminish the importance of the retirement ceremony and recognizing this great Soldier’s career and his service to the nation,” said Mitchell to the small crowd of family and co-workers gathered.
Witt met his wife Patti in 1993 when he was set up to invite her to the ROTC Army Ball because she wanted to go with her best friend who was dating another cadet. They have been married 25 years. They have one son, Joshua, who graduated from West Bloomfield High School this year and will be attending Purdue University in the fall to pursue a Mechanical Engineering degree.
Witt began his Army career in the Army Reserves in Wisconsin after completing the Basic and Advanced Infantry course in 1988. By 1993, he had earned his bachelor’s degree and was commissioned in the regular Army.
Witt has had 19 assignments and deployments in nine different states and three other countries outside the United States during his 32-year military career.
From early on in his career as a Captain in 1999, Witt learned the importance of non-commissioned officers in the Army. He learned firsthand about their importance in training lower enlisted men in the 244th Quartermaster Battalion at Fort Lee, Virginia.
A short time later, he got the opportunity to work with civilians on a larger scale when the Army accepted his application to work with industry. In 2000, he worked with the SUPERVALU, Inc. He gained a different perspective of leadership and learned how a civilian company empowered its employees, how they balanced performance, handled finances, and dealt with unions and shareholders.
During his tenure at TACOM, Witt has helped the build a cohesive staff team and helped strengthen the relationship with the leadership of the Arsenals and Depots, the Integrated Logistics Support Center, the Materiel Systems Organization, and the Garrison and Arsenal tenants.
“He is a quiet and humble professional who helps keep the trains running around here,” Mitchell said, “He’s a great servant leader.”
Some of that steadfast leadership has helped him guide the TACOM staff through some challenging times, such as staff realignments, budget cuts, civilian furloughs, and COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have enjoyed coming to work every day,” Witt said, “It is incredible to have a team that can be provided guidance, priorities, and resources and can execute without specific instructions and direct management.”
Witt has learned throughout his career how to work with Soldiers and civilians at all levels, as well as Airmen, Sailors, and Marines from the United States and other allied countries.
“I have had a lot of strange experiences that have culminated in today,” Witt said, “I wish everyone could have been here today so I could have addressed the work force that we have and wish them the best of luck.”
Now that he is retired, Witt plans to take a few months off with his wife in Iowa. After he has had a little bit of a breather, he hopes to be able to work either in private industry or for the government continuing to help develop leaders, build teams, and accomplish goals.