CECOM Spotlight: William “Bill” Baker named CECOM LAR of the Year

By Rachel PonderJuly 2, 2024

Official photo of Logistics Assistance Representative William “Bill” Baker
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Logistics Assistance Representative William “Bill” Baker, with the U.S. Army Communication-Electronics Command’s Integrated Logistics Support Center (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo ) VIEW ORIGINAL
Logistics Assistance Representative helps Soldier with an Environmental Control Unit.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – (From right) Logistics Assistance Representative William “Bill” Baker, with the U.S. Army Communication-Electronics Command’s Integrated Logistics Support Center, helps Spc. Paul Carr, with the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment, based in Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, troubleshoot an Environmental Control Unit. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo ) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HAWAII — William “Bill” Baker, of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command’s Integrated Logistics Support Center, was recently named the 2023 CECOM Logistics Assistance Representative of the Year.

Baker has been a CECOM LAR since 2019 and is stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, as CECOM’s Power and Environmental LAR.

CECOM LARs are a volunteer team of emergency essential civilians dedicated to enhancing Army readiness. LARs are focused on strengthening organic sustainment proficiencies at the tactical level, they provide sustainment training, assist with equipment and logistical problems, identify trends, and deliver actionable intelligence to enterprise stake holders aiding in the resolution of systemic material and training issues during mobilization, deployment, natural disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and civil support missions.

Baker called the award “humbling” and described his colleagues as “smart” and “hard-working.” The CECOM ILSC Logistics Assistance Division, which oversees the CECOM Logistics Assistance Program, currently has 329 employees.

“There are some amazing LARs that are out there, that work so hard every day, to be considered in the running is humbling enough, but then throughout the entire career field of all CECOM LARs, knowing how hard they are working, it felt pretty good to be considered.”

LARs empower Soldiers

Baker said LARs will teach Soldiers how to troubleshoot a circuit or a system so they will know how to fix the problem themselves.

“What we are trying to do, in essence, is work ourselves out of a job,” he said. “So, at the end of the day, Soldiers will feel empowered and more confident to do the troubleshooting on their own.

Baker said his job is very rewarding, as he can observe Soldiers grow more technically proficient over time.

“When I see a Soldier become more confident in their performance, that is what I personally see as more satisfying,” he said.

In addition to troubleshooting, Baker said he visits units to see if they have any questions and to build a rapport.

“There is so much that goes on to make sure units maintain their readiness, that Soldiers can perform their mission,” he said.

Baker said a LAR is considered an Emergency Essential position. LARs must sign a  CECOM Mobility Agreement, which means they can be called to deploy anywhere in the world at any time and can be required to move if the mission requires it. His career includes a deployment to Iraq.

Baker said a good LAR has to be trainable, technically competent, and a good communicator. He adds that he enjoys being a LAR because he likes to solve puzzles.

“You have to be able to walk through a trouble shooting process, and be patient,” he said. “We have to shift [the Soldiers] from the ‘don’t know to the know,’ and that takes time and effort.”

‘Go-to’ person  

C5ISR Lead-System Technical Representative and Regional Operations Chief Reginald “Reggie” Glasby, who nominated Baker, said since his first day, he has been instrumental in providing guidance and readiness for the units.

In a very short time, he became the go-to person for all power and environmental issues,” Glasby said. “Mr. Baker always provided possible solutions to leadership regarding potential or occurring issues with C5ISR equipment. He has also served as a model LAR to emulate from [by] responding to customers and providing information into LAP360 that can be used by CECOM Headquarters. He truly performs as a LAR of the Year individual on a daily basis.”

Previous experience

Baker served 23 years in the Air Force as an aerospace ground equipment specialist. His job was to maintain power generation, air conditioning, and other types of equipment for various aircraft. He said his leadership experience serving as a non-commissioned officer and an instructor for aerospace ground equipment at Shepard Air Force Base helped him prepare for his current role.

Originally from the Philadelphia area, Baker joined the Air Force because he needed direction.

After serving in the Air Force, Baker transitioned to non-profits. He worked three years at an USO Center, and four years at a children’s museum in Olympia, Washington.

“I have been very blessed,” Baker said about the opportunities he has taken during his career.

Baker earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational education from Wayland Baptist University while serving in the Air Force.

“If you are looking for that professional development, those educational benefits are the best,” Baker said regarding the tuition assistance he received in the military.

About the LAR of the Year

The LAR of the Year Award was established in 1985 to honor excellence in support of the Army by Army Materiel Command LARs.

Baker will compete against other AMC major subordinate command winners for the AMC Robertson J. Short LAR of the Year Award. A winner will be selected in the fall.