(This story appeared in the July-September edition of Army AL&T;Magazine.)

It is a great privilege to be given the opportunity to lead the dedicated professionals of the Army Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Workforce. We all recognize the solemn responsibility we have to equip and sustain the world's most capable, powerful, and respected Army. It is you, the military and civilians, who execute the policies that procure and field systems with the latest technologies that provide our Soldiers their decisive edge for current and future combat operations. In assuming the duties and responsibilities as the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology), I want to reaffirm my commitment to the success of our efforts to equip Soldiers, which ultimately means the success of our Soldiers in every mission they undertake.

Under Dr. Malcolm Ross O'Neill's leadership, the Army acquisition community honored its paramount commitment to meet the needs of Soldiers in combat missions today. Dr. O'Neill reenergized the Army's efforts to develop advanced capabilities for tomorrow's conflicts. He reminded us that scientific and technical advancements play a critical role in maintaining the Army's unparalleled preeminence. His vision and strategy for Army AL&T;will endure throughout my time in this role and far into the future. It has been my distinct and profound pleasure to serve under and work so closely with Dr. O'Neill.

As we move forward, I will continue to emphasize sound business practices, program management, and effective execution of major weapon systems while we help the Army to prioritize capabilities and modify existing programs to achieve long-term success. We will continue to play a critical role in bringing together the Army requirements, resourcing, testing, acquisition, and sustainment communities to make informed decisions on key programs. As the Army and Department of Defense continue to adapt during an era of limited resources, we will champion the importance of wise investments, competition, and sound acquisition strategies to ensure that the funds we execute on the warfighting capabilities for our Nation are timely and cost-effective.

The impacts of your daily actions are felt around the globe, in combat and other operations at home and abroad. Every time a Soldier departs a Forward Operating Base for a patrol, every time a Stryker rolls down the road, every time an Apache releases a rocket--all in defense of this Nation and our freedoms--it is because you, the AL&T;Workforce, set the conditions for mission success. The materiel, the logistics, and the technology applications that you develop become the reality for the rest of the Army and ultimately global security. You are why we have the greatest Army in the world. A Soldier has a weapon because you designed it, tested it, and had it produced. A Stryker team can drive because you provided them with their vehicles. An Apache crew can engage the enemy because you provided them with that capability. In truth, we should not always measure the impact or importance of our efforts on the battlefield by our proximity to it; our work in AL&T;engenders mission success.

As we move forward, there are going to be hard decisions. I think all of you realize the future resource environment will be challenging. We can expect that budgets are going to be tighter, which means we have to become a lot more efficient in the way we do business. We have to challenge and examine the processes and the procedures that hinder our productivity. We have to adopt more efficient organizations and business processes in this challenging environment. I ask for your help to look at everything that we're doing across acquisition, logistics, technology and sustainment. We must continuously explore ways to become more agile and more efficient in support of our Soldiers. We need to examine and leverage commercial best practices to transform how we execute our business.

I ask for your help and support as we move forward. In going about your daily work, focus on the Soldier, and execute with integrity, honor, and courage. These qualities are of critical importance to our success. The honor and integrity to do what is right for our programs and ultimately for our Soldiers must be held to the highest standards.

I look forward to working with you to ensure that our Soldiers have the decisive edge, and that we do all we can to keep our Army Strong!