Former Program Executive Officer Posthumously Inducted into the Army Acquisition Hall of Fame

By ABRAAM DAWOUDOctober 10, 2023

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON-- James "Jim" Shields, a distinguished member of the Army Acquisition Corps, was posthumously inducted into the Army Acquisition Hall of Fame, during a ceremony at the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 9. Mrs. Christine Shields, the late Shields’ wife, accepted the award on behalf of the Shields family and delivered remarks at the ceremony.

“As an inductee into the Army Acquisition Hall of Fame, Jim now holds a chapter in a book that will continue to be written by civil servants and military personnel who devote themselves to the Army Acquisition Corps,” she said. “Jim dedicated his life to the service of this nation; he was committed to delivering the most effective and reliable munitions and ammunition to the American Soldier and joint forces. Sarah, Julie, Claire and I are so proud that his legacy lives on at Picatinny and the Army Acquisition Community.”

Shields’ 35-year long career began at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, in 1983, as an engineer where he quickly made his mark by contributing to the development of the M712 Copperhead munition, which was the U.S. Army’s first laser-guided 155mm artillery projectile. Over the years, he rose through the ranks, showcasing exemplary leadership and expertise in various capacities within the acquisition corps. This ultimately led to his appointment as the Program Executive Officer for Ammunition (PEO Ammo), later renamed the Joint Program Executive Office Armaments & Ammunition.

Under Shields' guidance, the acquisition workforce flourished, establishing a culture of excellence and professionalism. He was known not only for his technical expertise, but also for his qualities as a mentor, inspiring and guiding those around him.

The honorable Christopher Lowman, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, noted that Shields was the right person to be inducted into the Acquisition Hall of Fame. “Jim was a dedicated career professional whom I had the pleasure of working with across a wide variety of issues over the years,” said Lowman. “I couldn’t have asked for a better PEO to partner with, dedicated to mentoring younger executives and getting the team to yes, whatever the challenge of the day happened to be.”

Shields advocated for a high standard of ethical conduct, promoting continuous learning and growth within the workforce. He emphasized the importance of always remembering the ultimate beneficiaries of their work— the Joint Warfighter.

In recognition of his exceptional contributions, Shields received numerous prestigious awards, including the Department of the Army's Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service and the National Defense Industrial Association's Firepower Award for Outstanding Achievement in Production. His legacy lives on through the multi-billion-dollar portfolio of Army ammunition and the impact he had on the combat overmatch capabilities of the nation and its allies.

Brig. Gen. John T. Reim, Joint Program Executive Officer Armaments and Ammunition, noted that Shields' induction into the Acquisition Hall of Fame was a historic moment for Picatinny Arsenal, marking him as the first Picatinny inductee, highlighting Shields' unparalleled dedication and contributions to the acquisition community and, more importantly, to American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.

Shields' legacy and induction into the Army Acquisition Hall of Fame stands as a testament to his profound and lasting impact on the Army Ammunition Enterprise, the Army Acquisition Workforce, and the nation's defense capabilities. His memory will continue to inspire generations of acquisition professionals to strive for excellence and prioritize the needs of the Joint Warfighter in all their endeavors.