By AMY GUCKEEN TOLSONJuly 18, 2012
Through his own example, Col. Michael Cavalier has instilled the Army values in a future generation of Soldier and civilian leaders, and after 28 years in uniform, is ready to pass the torch on to those who will follow in his footsteps.
Col. James Romero assumed responsibility of the Joint Attack Munition Systems Project Office in a change of charter and retirement ceremony for Cavalier, outgoing project manager, Thursday at Bob Jones Auditorium.
"When I think of the JAMS team, I think of a can-do team," Brig. Gen. Ole Knudson, program executive officer for missiles and space, said. "They just do whatever is necessary, what's important now, respond to, adapt, and get the job done, and that's what they've done throughout the whole time that Mike has been here, and that's the team that Jim Romero is now going to take over. I know that they'll continue to perform in the same way as they did under Mike Cavalier's leadership."
Cavalier assumed his responsibilities as JAMS project manager four years ago. His previous assignments include product director for tactical concepts in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office, product manager for the Longbow Apache, senior staff officer and contract officer representative for Israeli Aircraft Industries, and Army staff officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology in Washington, D.C. He has logged 2,200 accident-free flight hours flying the Huey, Black Hawk, Cobra and Apache AV model. One of his favorite memories in his 28 years of service to his country is taking command of JAMS.
"As I look back on what you have achieved, I'm simply in awe," Cavalier said, speaking to his JAMS team. "You have made a significant difference in the lives of Soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines, and they are all better off today because of products, logistics and sustainment, the training, the contracts, and the weapons systems you provide to them."
Cavalier was presented with the Legion of Merit Medal, a Certificate of Appreciation from President Barack Obama, a PEO Missiles and Space Star Note and a Silver Order of St. Michael medal. His official retirement date is Sept. 1.
"It's in Mike's DNA," Knudson said. "You don't have to tell Mike Cavalier, 'Do this and do this,' Mike's 10 steps ahead of everybody."
Throughout Cavalier's career, Knudson said, he's found ways to accomplish the difficult tasks, influenced the Global War on Terrorism and helped to defend his country, evidenced by the 15,000 Hellfire missiles that have been fired in theater. They are large boots to fill, but ones Romero is ready to step into.
"I look forward to serving with you, to provide our Soldiers with the best equipment possible," Romero said.
Romero brings more than 20 years of experience, including two of which he spent at Redstone Arsenal, from 2002-04, when he was assistant product manager for the Line-Of-Sight Antitank System with PEO Tactical Missiles. Prior to coming to Redstone Arsenal, he was assigned to U.S. Forces-Iraq and then the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq as the Army section chief.
"He has a wealth of experience in a difficult profession. … I'm convinced that he is the right man at the right time," Knudson said.