FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Aug. 13, 2020) -- The job of Army Capability Manager for Tactical and Short-Range Air Defense Artillery shifted from Col. Gary Beard Jr., to Col. Jennifer Schulke at a change of charter ceremony here Aug. 10.The ADA ACM acts as the Army’s centralized manager for all user activities associated with tactical and short-range air defense artillery units. The ACM is responsible for integrating, synchronizing, and coordinating efforts across doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities, and policy areas in support of all tactical and short-range air defense artillery organizations.The organization serves as the unit advocate and program manager counterpart for all air defense artillery brigade formations.At a pre-ceremony event, newly arrived ADA School Commandant Col. Richard Harrison presented Beard the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious service over the past two years.During the ceremony itself, Harrison used Nos. 44 (“Get better every day as individuals and teams”) and 7 (“Never fight a fair fight”) from the oft-quoted “Fires Fifty” to explain what an ADA ACM does.“The Army Capability Manager for Tactical and Short-Range Air Defense Artillery is at the forefront of the Army’s modernization efforts to manage current capabilities (and) identify future requirements and solutions so that we never fight a fair fight.“We have adversaries who continually develop ways to combat our air defense systems and impede our maneuver commanders from seizing their objectives. Our modernization units must be swift in anticipating advancements so our adversaries’ options are limited,” Harrison said.“Gary, over the past two years, you’ve led this fantastic team to some extraordinary achievements. Your team has reinvigorated SHORAD, pushing past mediocracy and giving commanders options to take to war. Soldiers are testing the IM-SHORAD (Integrated Maneuver – Short-Range Air Defense) program as we speak.“The coordination between your team, the cross functional teams, the program executive officer for missile and space, and Israeli Missile Defense organization has brought Iron Dome to the U.S. Army. Your resiliency and drive for change across the force with our allies, are noteworthy examples for us to emulate. You and your team have continuously pushed the ball forward in modernization and development,” the ADA School commandant said.Harrison said Beard’s wife, Shay, did an amazing job of not only helping out the Army family but her own as well.The Beards are headed for Huntsville, Alabama, for what will be their 15th move in the Army.Beard’s next job will be as chief of operations for Army Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.Beard noted that his complete team was not on the Old Post Quadrangle for the ceremony “because even today we’ve got members that are out doing what the capability management teams have to do … that’s what they’ve been doing for the last two years, making sure that I don’t have to work as hard because they’re putting in the hard work.”Beard thanked his ACM team for supporting him and “ensuring that the Soldiers that we serve, out in the force, are going to have better equipment with better capabilities and greater capacity because of the work you all have done.”In his farewell , Beard noted that “the success we have is all about building relationships.”His first day in the seat in July 2018 he found himself leading a Counter Unmanned Aerial System senior leader working group.“Today, counter-UAS has advanced far beyond what any of us in that room two years ago could have imagined, to the point that we now have a DOD executive agent with an Army air defense two-star general in charge of the (joint and combined operations),” Beard said, adding that the ADA ACM team was instrumental in setting the conditions for that.Likewise, two years ago Maneuver-SHORAD system was little more than a two-page directed requirement and a stack of computer-assisted drafting drawings.Today, industry partners are training Soldiers with 5th Battalion, 4th ADA in U.S. Army Europe’s 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command on this new and exciting system, Beard said.He went on to say the team has made tremendous strides in improving the IFPC (Indirect Fire Protection Capability) portfolio and soon U.S. Army Soldiers will possess the Iron Dome system, which will give them a significant improvement in protection against Cruise missiles, rockets, artillery and mortars, and UAS threats.Beard predicted a very bright future for the team and the people it supports with Schulke at the helm.“It’s an honor to be standing here and be afforded the opportunity to actively participate in the future of air defense artillery, because it’s really going places,” Schulke said. “I look forward to the upcoming two years and the challenges that are going to face us all, and a very special thank-you to Col. Gary Beard for leaving me in absolutely great hands with the team that is well-invested, well-trained, and already running a fast race to advance the Air Defense branch and all that we’re trying to do.”The incoming ADA ACM most recently served as the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command’s chief of operations during its yearlong deployment to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.Before that, she was president of the Class of 2019 at Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.Schulke was born to a military family at Beale Air Force Base near Marysville, California.She enlisted in the Army in February 1990, and was later commissioned a second lieutenant in air defense artillery from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, in May 1996. That’s where she earned a bachelor of science degree in wildlife biology.“I don’t think the Army cares what you get your degree in, they’re just looking for a commitment. They’re looking for somebody that can set a goal and complete that goal. I’ve always had a passion for animals. I love the wildlife, I love the outdoors, and so specifically working with grizzly bears just turned me on. So that’s why I did the degree in wildlife,” she said.Schulke said she chose air defense for her branch because it was new and it was relatively even newer to females, and she was looking for somewhere where she could “maybe pave the ground as I started my career. I wasn’t looking for something that was normal, I was looking for something that was out of the box.”Schulke said she’s into cutting-edge technology “so I think this job is just going to be fabulous, especially with all the directed energy and laser.”Asked about her leadership style, she said she’s the person who wants to know everything, but she will let team members do everything – “if you don’t need guidance and you can execute, go execute.”“All I want to do is be situationally aware of everything so I never get caught off-guard,” Schulke said.