DEVCOM CBC Leader Leaves Army Better Than He Found It
Dr. Paul Tanenbaum bids farewell to his colleagues at a Dec. 15 retirement ceremony at DEVCOM CBC’s Aberdeen Proving Ground research campus after serving for five years as its Director of Operational Applications. (U.S. Army Photo by Jack Bunja) (Photo Credit: Jack Bunja) VIEW ORIGINAL

DEVCOM CBC Leader Leaves Army Better Than He Found It

Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD -- Dr. Paul Tanenbaum retired on Dec. 15 as the Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center’s (DEVCOM CBC) Director of Operational Applications. A ceremony marked Tanenbaum’s 41 years of government service, seven of which he spent with the Center.

Tanenbaum led a workforce of approximately 450 people and managed the Center’s business activities and operating processes. His responsibilities included chemical and biological surety and policies, as well as chemical and biological defense support to current operations.

He also led Center-wide strategic and business planning, infrastructure support, and financial systems integration. He directed interagency activities with federal government partners and various state and local governments.

He led the Center’s efforts to collaborate with industry and academia in the areas of chemical and biological protection. Finally, Tanenbaum led the restoration of DEVCOM CBC’s Biotesting Division to full operational capability after a five-year lapse.

Tanenbaum entered the Senior Executive Service in 2005 and served as director of the Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate at the Army Research Laboratory (DEVCOM ARL) before coming to CBC. In his 34 years at DEVCOM ARL, he mastered some fairly hazardous operations, and when he arrived at the Center he was struck by its safety culture. “I was used to managing people who blew up tanks and helicopters, but upon arriving at the Center, where we deal with some of the most hazardous substances in existence, I was extremely impressed by the maturity and thoroughness of the safety culture here,” said Tanenbaum.

He was also impressed with the outstanding and diverse workforce. “I came to know the caliber, knowledge, creativity, dedication, and resourcefulness of our people,” said Tanenbaum. “Because of that, I know our future is bright.”

Entering his retirement years, he is eager to spend time with his family, including four grandchildren. He also intends to pursue hobbies that include reading, piano, studying math and foreign languages, knitting, and bread baking.

His retirement plans also include continuing his work as an executive coach. Thanks to the Army, he is certified by the International Coaching Federation and uses the skills he has developed over his five years as a coach and a lifetime of government service to help individuals and organizations enhance their success by developing a clear understanding of their goals and effecting powerful change and growth.

“Part of me was sad back in 2015 to leave ARL,” said Tanenbaum. “But if anything, it is sadder to leave the Center, because I have had the pleasure to meet and work with so many great people and have established a lot of personal relationships I will truly miss.”


For more information about the DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center, visit