Picatinny Arsenal welcomed its newest garrison commander, Lt. Col. Adam Woytowich, during a virtual change of command ceremony June 17.
Woytowich arrived from the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., where he previously served as a Special Operations Personnel Systems staff officer.
Upon receiving orders to Picatinny Arsenal in March 2019, Woytowich didn't know much about the installation but said he was pretty ecstatic about the assignment as he's no stranger to the state of New Jersey. Although his hometown is Virginia Beach, Va., Woytowich was born in Newark, N.J.
“I am a native of Newark, N.J.,” he said. “I have countless childhood memories of spending summers with my grandparents in their neighborhood and driving down to the shore. There’s a special place in my heart for this part of New Jersey, particularly the Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken area.”
Relocating from the nation’s capital to the New Jersey highlands can be described as quite different for the newest member of Team Picatinny.
“I'm coming from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C., so my immediate impression of the post was peace, quiet and serenity,” Woytowich said. “On my first night here, I honestly couldn't believe the absence of incessant car honks. It was truly surreal.”
Although he’s joining the team in the midst of a pandemic, Woytowich said the limited human interactions and inability to exchange handshakes with others is a “bit of a downer,” but fortunately, there are sufficient communication platforms for virtual connections.
His impression so far is everyone seems to be passionately committed to the people, the community, and the pursuit of excellence.
“I feel very fortunate to have these patriots who are experts in their field to my left and right,” he said.
As garrison commander, Woytowich will serve as Brig. Gen. Vince Malone's senior executive responsible for all installation activities. General Malone is the Picatinny Arsenal commanding general. Woytowich will sustain the command, control and operations of the installation of support missions and readiness of all tenant units. He will also help ensure the health, morale and welfare of the residents of Picatinny Arsenal.
Under his command, Woytowich will have approximately 400 servicemembers, civilian employees, and non-appropriated fund employees.
“Over the years I've developed a deep commitment and drive towards bettering the organizations I belong to, building cohesive teams and accomplishing the mission I’ve been assigned,” Woytowich said. “I’m a firm believer in the unparalleled power of a good team rowing in the same direction, so I’m very team oriented.”
Woytowich said a resource and budget-constrained environment throughout the Department of Defense will undoubtedly bring challenges in delivering installation services to the level expected of Picatinny Arsenal’s tenant units, employees and families.
“However, with the talent we have on the garrison team, we will work collectively to come up with creative solutions to that complex problem,” he said.
So what can Team Picatinny expect from the new garrison commander?
“They can expect that my video will match my audio – I do what I say, I say what I do, I try to set the example in all things whether on or off duty,” Woytowich said. “They can also expect me to ask a lot of questions, not because I’m trying to be nosy or intrusive. I’m just seeking clarity and trying to learn the installation, as well as the ins and outs of the problems that our tenant units, families and personnel face.
“Bear in mind that your leaders, from myself as the garrison commander all the way up to the Secretary of the Army, have our people's best interests at heart. We recognize that people are the number one priority – Soldiers, Army civilians, our retirees, and their families. Recognizing that our people should have the best quality of life possible, I’m committed in ensuring our people’s health, morale, welfare, and needs are met in these trying times.”
In regards to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and plans to return to post, Woytowich said the safety of the Picatinny people is the utmost priority.
“The Picatinny Team has proven to be incredibly resilient amidst the pandemic and has leveraged communication platforms to continue meetings and collaboration,” he said. “Personnel who must be present on Picatinny in order to accomplish the mission have been working on post and will continue to do so. These personnel are abiding by the DoD COVID-19 workplace safety restrictions put in place, such as the wearing of masks indoors if six feet of distance cannot be maintained.”
The decision for when employees will return to post rests with the senior commander, and Woytowich and his team will advise him accordingly, based on the actions of the state, county and sister military installations.
According to the Picatinny Arsenal official website, Picatinny Arsenal is the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition, providing products and services to all branches of the U.S. military. Its team of more than 6,000 personnel includes Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, civilian employees and contractor personnel who lead in the research, development, acquisition and lifecycle management of advanced conventional weapon systems and ammunition. Picatinny's portfolio comprises nearly 90 percent of the Army's lethality and all conventional ammunition for joint warfighters.
“We have a unique installation that is vital to our nation,” Woytowich said. “There is no government or industry counterpart with our capabilities. We streamline the acquisition process and deliver the armaments that warfighters need exactly when they need them.”
Picatinny Arsenal is the second largest employer in Morris County.
“My wife, Julie, son, Evan, and I are very much looking forward to officially joining the Picatinny Team and family,” Woytowich said.