By Ms. Margaret Compton (AMC)January 25, 2008
2007 marks 65 years that Acquisition Specialist John Bruce has been employed at the Detroit Arsenal, in Warren, Mich.
Except for a short time in 1946 when the command was headquartered in Detroit Michigan, Bruce spent most of his 65 year career at the Warren location and about six years at the missile plant in Sterling Heights, Mich.
Considering he had planned to work in California, after service in WWII, even Bruce is amazed that he spent his post military career in Michigan let alone 65 years on the job! From the time she picked him up at the train station in Detroit in 1946 as a favor to his uncle, Lt. Col. Robert Bruce, Jean, who later became Mrs. John Bruce, was the reason his career took a turn from California to Michigan. The couple, married for 42 years, has two daughters and today Bruce has three grandchildren and two great grandchildren as well. One daughter lives a few blocks away from Bruce and the other daughter lives in Rochester Hills, Mich.
As a graduate of UCLA, Bruce majored in accounting so it was a natural fit when he came to work at the command and started in resource management in TACOM's building 1. Back then there were no intern programs so you pretty much received your training from a more experienced employee, Bruce said.
Starting at the bottom, (Bruce literally started in the basement of building 1) he worked himself up from a GS-8 to a GS-15 in the course of his career. Today building 1 no longer exists but one of the memories Bruce has of being in that location was hearing the pellets from the shotguns of the hunters who were shooting quail in what were once, corn fields, across the street from building 1.
Today Bruce is working on the BRAC team which he says is a little different experience because he gets to work with all the services, not just the Army. "It gives you a different perspective," Bruce explained. "You find so many similar problems exist across all services," he says. "I really enjoy working with so many."
For most people it is hard to imagine working as long as Bruce has. Most people are thinking and talking about retirement around the age of 50. Retirement is a fleeting thought with Bruce. What motivates him to do it every day' "I like the challenge of getting up every morning and coming to work to do something new." I enjoy what I do and I think if you aren't happy and always fighting the job, it's a hardship, and when you enjoy what you do it's a benefit."
Longevity runs in the Bruce family. He has a brother who is two years younger and has recently retired after 58 years in Los Angeles city government. Bruce celebrated his 90th birthday last year. He attributes his good health to a positive outlook.
"I think if you have good mental health, good physical health follows," he said. What does Bruce do in his spare time' He is a ham radio enthusiast and likes to talk with people all over the world through the radio.
Congratulations go out to John Bruce for a remarkable career!