Project Manager for Close Combat Systems retires after 34 years of service to Nation

By ABRAAM DAWOUDMay 17, 2024

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

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Col. Russell Hoff has retired from the U.S. Army after a distinguished career spanning 34 years. His retirement ceremony, held on May 16 and hosted by the Joint Program Executive Office Armaments and Ammunition, marked the culmination of his tenure as the Project Manager for Close Combat Systems (PM-CCS).

During his time as Project Manager, Hoff and his team were instrumental in providing dominant and innovative lethal terrain-shaping capabilities, aerial countermeasures, obstacle breaching, explosive hazard detection, and protection systems to the Joint Warfighter and international partners. Under his leadership, PM-CCS delivered hundreds of thousands of grenades, thousands of shoulder-launched munitions, and hundreds of mine-clearing line charges to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Israeli Defense Forces.

For his leadership and professionalism, Hoff was awarded the Legion of Merit and was inducted into The Order of St. Maurice.

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

Maj. Gen. John T. Reim, Commanding General of Picatinny Arsenal and Joint Program Executive Officer Armaments and Ammunition, commended Hoff’s focus and dedication to the Warfighter. "Through all the challenges of acquisition strategies, Russ has never lost sight of the true endstate and was always laser-focused on what mattered most — providing safe, reliable, and lethal ammunition to our Warfighters that ensure overmatch capabilities against the enemy," he said. “No fair fights.”

Reim highlighted Hoff's leadership, which has significantly shaped the future of the Army. "When PM-CCS says they are on every mission they mean it. From the Terrain Shaping Obstacle team's groundbreaking work on the Interim Top Attack capability and Standoff Activated Volcano Obstacle to the Combat Armaments and Protection System team's advancements of the Individual Assault Munition, his leadership has propelled team CCS towards excellence," said Reim. The latter achievement reached Milestone C in April 2024, and will integrate the best features of the M72 Light-Anti-Armor Weapon, M136 AT4, M136E1, as well as the M141 Bunker Defeat Munition into a single weapon.

In his farewell speech, Hoff reflected on his journey in the Army, which began as an enlisted soldier and evolved into an officer's career, starting at the former Ft. Monmouth and concluding at Picatinny Arsenal both in New Jersey. Hoff credited much of his success through his Army career to his wife, Allison, who managed 15 Army change of duty station moves and was able to raise two children while pregnant with a third during a deployment.

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

Reflecting on his career and expressing gratitude, Hoff said, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this great Nation and our Warfighters,” he said.  “I am honored to have worked alongside such dedicated and talented individuals. I owe much of my success to my family, especially my wife Allison, whose support and sacrifice has made all of this possible.”