ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – K Krewer, chief counsel, U.S. Army Materiel Command Legal Center-Rock Island Arsenal, was honored for her career accomplishments during a retirement ceremony held here, March 26.
She retired after more than 40 years of federal service.
“The thing I am going to miss the most about my job is the chance to interface daily with people to solve problems and move the mission forward,” said Krewer.
Maj. Gen. Daniel Mitchell, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, provided remarks during the ceremony.
“Under K’s direction and leadership, the Legal Center became more than a place to go to find out if what you want to do is legal or not – her goal was to make it customer-focused and user-friendly,” said Mitchell, “a true resource that added value to the process and contributed to the mission.”
“I can tell you that she’s achieved that goal, thanks both to her and an outstanding staff of attorneys who shared her vision and her goals,” Mitchell added.
Krewer said there are many ways to measure 40 years of service, but that in the end what’s most important is to remember “the things that don’t change, the support that people at RIA give to the warfighters and the commanders that come and go, and the tradition of excellence of the entire community,” she said.
Although not originally from the Quad Cities, her family moved to the area before she started high school. Prior to that, she lived in Kentucky and New Jersey, and was mostly raised in southern Illinois.
Throughout the years, Krewer consistently worked in the law field. Within the Army, she had jobs primarily related to contracts.
After graduating from law school at the University of Iowa in 1978, Krewer worked as a clerk for Clay LeGrand, a justice on the Iowa Supreme Court, and later worked for the Iowa Attorney General’s Office in the criminal appeals division.
In 1980, she began working at Rock Island Arsenal in the adversary proceedings division of the legal office, where she primarily dealt with contract-related disputes and litigation.
Krewer said she was exposed to many challenging but beneficial times.
“As a result of a base realignment and closure-related reduction in force, in 1994 I was moved to be chief of a smaller legal office that was aligned to the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command, known at first as TACOM- Armament and Chemical Acquisition and Logistic Activity and then TACOM-Rock Island,” she said.
“I was not prepared to be a supervisor, much less an office chief, and had to learn about the other legal disciplines – such as labor and personnel law and ethics – as well as managerial and leadership skills, on the job,” she continued. “I ended up overseeing other TACOM legal offices at other sites, and doing a detail as acting chief counsel in Warren, Michigan.”
Krewer went to work for the U.S. Army Sustainment Command, Rock Island, Illinois, in 2006, to what is now the consolidated legal center.
In January 2011, Krewer was appointed to the Senior Executive Service as the chief counsel of TACOM, Warren, Michigan.
Two and a half years later, she became the deputy command counsel at AMC Headquarters, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, where she served for three years. She later returned to RIA as the chief counsel of the AMCLC-RIA.
“I hope that what I’ve accomplished is transitioning government legal practice, and the legal center, from being the red light/green light at the end of the process, to being a customer-oriented, user-friendly, valuable resource for accomplishing the Army’s mission,” Krewer said of her biggest accomplishment.
Krewer earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and history from Upper Iowa University in 1975, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Iowa in 1978. She also completed most of her work for a master’s in organizational leadership at St. Ambrose University, and in 2009 she received a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.
Krewer is planning to stay in the area in the years to come as most of her family is close, and said she will keep busy.
She is currently a non-stipendiary clergy – she receives no payment for her services – for the Anglican Church and hopes to participate in more faith-related activities. She also said she has a huge Victorian clothing collection that she finally will have time to sort, photograph, document, and restore.
Krewer would also like to dedicate more time to her horses, and to take care of her garden this summer.
What she is mostly excited about is that her son and daughter-in-law are expecting a baby. She said she cannot wait to meet him/her and that she aspires to become “chief spoiler.”
“She really leaves behind a legacy and some very big shoes to fill,” said Mitchell. “There are a lot of people here at the Arsenal that are going to miss her, and we’ll certainly never forget her.”
Krewer recommends that people who are new to federal service keep seeking continual improvement.
“Keep learning new areas and adding new skills. Look for ways to add value and make a difference.”