NATICK, Mass. -- Dr. John P. "Jack" Obusek became interim senior manager of Natick Soldier Systems Center in a Sept. 14 change-of-responsibility ceremony.

Obusek, also director of the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, replaced Brig. Gen. John J. McGuiness, who becomes Program Executive Officer, Ammunition, and commanding general at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., after 16 months at Natick.

Dale A. Ormond, director of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, hosted the ceremony in NSSC's Hunter Auditorium.

"Organizations reflect the standards, the expectations and behavior of whoever is in charge," Ormond said. "I have every confidence that under the leadership of Jack Obusek, at least in the interim, you will continue to provide the same sort of support that you have given to John McGuiness."

Ormond pointed out that Obusek had served 27 years on active duty in the Army and retired as commander of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine at NSSC.

"Installing Jack as the interim senior manager also goes to show how some of the roles of our civilians have changed over time, especially the last ten years in the Army," Ormond said. "Civilians have been much more engaged in this fight than probably any fight in the history of our Army."

Obusek vowed to continue NSSC's tradition of excellence.

"I'm honored and humbled to be selected, and I pledge to you to serve you the best that I can in that leadership role," Obusek said. "I'll do my very best to provide that."

Calling him "a tremendous leader," Ormond said McGuiness' new position was one "we put people in whom we have tremendous confidence in because they are incredibly good at getting the right stuff that we need for our Soldiers."

McGuiness thanked those in attendance for the way they supported him and his wife.

"I really did appreciate everybody, and I really enjoyed it," McGuiness said. "The time that Gail and I have spent here has been just fantastic, truly one of the most enjoyable assignments that we've ever had. Natick will always have a special place in our hearts."

Obusek urged the Natick workforce to continue its vital mission.

"I want you to always keep in mind why we are here," Obusek said. "We're here to provide the best technology and information that America can provide to protect and sustain our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, and … our mothers and fathers when we put them in harm's way to protect America's freedom and our way of life."