Team Watervliet bids farewell to deputy

By Matthew DayDecember 29, 2022

Watervliet Arsenal Deputy to the Commander Alice Crayon set to retire
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Deputy to the Commander Alice Crayon received a special gift by the Watervliet Arsenal Fire Department by allowing her to ride along in a ladder truck during a routine maintenance run on Dec. 23. Crayon, who is set to retire at the end of December, shared that one thing she wished she got to do during her 34-year Army Civilian career was ride in a fire truck. (Photo Credit: Matthew I. Day) VIEW ORIGINAL
Watervliet Arsenal Deputy to the Commander set to retire
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Watervliet Arsenal Commander Col. Alain Fisher presents Deputy to the Commander Alice Crayon with her certificate of retirement during a ceremony celebrating Crayon’s 34-year career as a U.S. Army Civilian at Watervliet Arsenal on Dec. 15, 2022. Crayon is set to officially retire at the end of December. (Photo Credit: Tanya Bissaillon) VIEW ORIGINAL

WATERVLIET, N.Y. — Dec. 23, 2022 — After more than 34 years of federal service as an Army Civilian, Alice Crayon, deputy to the commander of the U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal, will retire at the end of December.

Crayon has been the deputy to the commander, the highest civilian position at the Army cannon and mortar production facility, since 2019. As deputy, she oversees and advises the commander on all matters related to production and managing the arsenal. Crayon is the first woman to hold the deputy position in Watervliet Arsenal’s 209-year history.

“I have been so blessed to be in a position where I am involved in something that directly benefits the Warfighter,” Crayon said. “It takes a team of great people to do what we do with an understanding of how critical our mission is. We are fortunate to have such a blend of talented people across the organization, including our machinists and manufacturing support, logisticians, personnel, quality, installation management and continuous improvement staff. Everyone plays an important role in the production of our products, ensuring they arrive on time and perform flawlessly for our men and women in uniform.”

Crayon, originally from California, began her civilian career in the Army in 1988 as an entry-level materials engineer for Benet Laboratories, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, the Army’s long-range cannon and artillery research and engineering branch. Crayon worked her way up through the ranks, eventually becoming the competency manager for Benet’s Armament Technology Division before taking her ultimate position as the Watervliet Arsenal deputy to the commander.

That experience at Benet proved invaluable for Crayon’s role at Watervliet Arsenal.

“Being an engineer and with my background at Benet, I was able to work with each commander, helping them understand the engineering challenges on the manufacturing floor,” Crayon said. “I am proud of the work this team has done over the past three years in transforming this organization.”

Crayon acknowledged the partnership that has been fostered over the years between Watervliet Arsenal and Benet Labs leaders.

“The relationship between Watervliet Arsenal and Benet leadership proved beneficial to our mission and is really a reflection of the support of our senior leaders at AMC, TACOM, and Futures Command,” Crayon said.

Retirements are always bittersweet for the organization and the retiree. Current Watervliet Arsenal Commander Col. Alain Fisher reflected on Crayon’s career and service to the nation during a retirement ceremony held at the arsenal on Dec. 13.

“When you look at the epitome of success and what it means to overcome obstacles in life and rise to the highest levels, I can’t think of anyone other than Alice Crayon,” Fisher said. “She began her service in 1988 and served under 16 commanders at Watervliet Arsenal. Alice’s career spans multiple changes across multiple organizations; one thing stayed constant — her tenacity to attack problems.”

Fisher went on to highlight Crayon’s involvement in numerous successful production support activities and projects at Benet and the arsenal throughout her career, including involvement in the development of new technologies that support next-generation weapon systems.

Fisher concluded by sharing his hopes for an enjoyable retirement for Crayon.

“On behalf of myself, the Watervliet Arsenal workforce, the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, and Army Materiel Command, we want to wish you a happy retirement as you transition to a new chapter in your life,” Fisher said.

Crayon will officially retire on Dec. 30 and plans to volunteer with local animal and faith organizations as well as travel with her family.

Watervliet Arsenal is an Army-owned and -operated manufacturing facility and is the oldest continuously active arsenal in the United States, having begun operations during the War of 1812. Today the arsenal is relied upon by U.S. and allied militaries to produce the highest-tech, highest-powered and most advanced cannons, howitzers and mortar systems.