ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Joint Munitions Command welcomed eight honorees into its Ammunition Hall of Fame in its ninth induction ceremony here August 26.
Brig. Gen. Gavin Gardner, JMC commander, applauded the inductees for their contributions to the ammunition mission.
“We’re going to talk about the contributions you have made to build Joint Munitions Command with your dedication, expertise and, quite frankly, the ambition to pursue more than just the status quo,” Gardner said to the ammunition professionals being honored. “We have here today, a service span that stretches from the Korean War all the way through our Global War on Terror. That’s over 60 years. That’s an amazing amount of accomplishment, leadership and experience.”
The Ammunition Hall of Fame was established in 2011 to celebrate professionals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the ammunition mission. All nominees must have retired or separated from the ammunition community at least two years prior to consideration. The program focuses on the enduring impacts of each individual’s efforts regardless of their title or rank.
“Inductees are selected based on what they’ve done for the ammunition community, no matter the positions in which they served,” said Keri Pleasant, JMC historian and administrator of the Ammunition Hall of Fame. “We’ve honored people at all levels in the Hall of Fame.”
A panel of 10 ammunition professionals across JMC, Joint Program Executive Office Armaments and Ammunition and U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center reviews nominations. Those selected are presented to the JMC commander, who makes the final decision.
Gardner discussed how the new Ammunition Hall of Fame members affected JMC long-term.
“You’ve helped modernize the Ammunition Industrial Base,” Gardner said to the new inductees. “But more importantly, you’ve changed some of our business operations so we can focus on the mission. A lot of what you’ve done we still use today. Thank you for how you have shaped not only Joint Munitions Command, but the U.S. Army. It’s been a lasting impact.”
Those honored include Roger Biehl, Douglas Borgeson (posthumously) and Thomas McGhee for their work on the Armament Retooling Manufacturing Support program that increased JMC’s munitions readiness by leveraging under-utilized manufacturing capacity at JMC subordinate government-owned, contractor-operated installations; David Brown, posthumously inducted for expanding the scope and mission of the U.S. Defense Center Ammunition School during his tenure as its chief and for establishing the Ammunition Management career program; retired U.S. Army Col. Billy Dowdy for his leadership at Milan Army Ammunition Plant, Crane Army Ammunition Activity and Blue Grass Army Depot, and for championing logistics readiness as a director at JMC; Kathy George-Reading for her leadership of the Conventional Ammunition Management program and serving on the forefront Ammunition Depot Automation and the Integrated Logistics Strategy; Upton Shimp for his leadership of the Defense Ammunition Center and U.S. Army Technical Center for Explosives Safety, which become accredited by U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command during his tenure as executive director; and Rhonda VanDeCasteele for leading efforts to expand small-caliber production capacity to 1.6 billion rounds in support of wartime requirements and providing superior management of the $59 billion munitions stockpile and distribution of 350,000 short tons of ammunition as JMC deputy to the commanding general.
JMC and its 17 subordinate arsenals, depots and ammunition plants produce, store, distribute and demilitarize all conventional munitions for the U.S. Department of Defense. The enterprise is accountable for $59 billion of munitions and missiles.