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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Public Affairs Office

Date: August 5, 2008
No: 08-24

Celebration and new beginning at Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems ceremony

Incoming Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems (PM FSS) Lt. Col. Daryl P. Harger (right) accepts the charter from the Project Manager for Force Projection, Patricia E. Plotkowski, during change of leadership ceremony held in Natick, Mass., on July 25. Harger replaces outgoing PM FSS Lt. Col. Craig L. Rettie (left). (Photo by Richard Walunas)
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NATICK, Mass. --   In a crowded conference center at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) in Natick, Mass., a change of leadership ceremony was held for the Product Manager Force Sustainment Systems (PM FSS) office on July 25.

Chaplain Maj. Robert Williams, who provided the invocation for the ceremony, said it was a chance to "celebrate a job well-done" for outgoing PM Lt. Col. Craig L. Rettie, and an opportunity to "embrace a new beginning" for the incoming PM Lt. Col. Daryl P. Harger.

The Project Manager for Force Projection, Patricia E. Plotkowski, said that it was both a "sad and happy day" for the PM FSS team.

She complimented Rettie, saying he had been one of the best PMs to work with because of his visionary attitude. She mentioned some of his accomplishments during his time as PM FSS, such as providing critical capabilities to the field and introducing new technology to service members. "You set the standard for the rest of [the] acquisition leaders to follow," Plotkowski said.

To Harger, she said he will need to become a "master juggler" as the PM. "You need to balance today's needs with the needs of the future forces." Plotkowski said she was confident Harger has the right balance of military experience and is "ready to take charge."

During Rettie's comments, he thanked Brig. Gen. John R. Bartley, Program Executive Officer for Combat Support and Combat Service Support, for his "guidance, wisdom and mentorship." To Plotkowski, he said, "Thanks for being a super boss. [You were] a tremendous supporter of the organization."

Rettie also thanked numerous teams, both PM FSS teams and other installation partner teams, for the support they provided him. To the FSS teams, he said, "[I] hope I challenged you a little bit." Rettie continued that he was amazed by "how much they could get done with no money. It's a credit to your creativity and teamwork."

He offered special thanks to Jim McLaughlin for being a "super deputy" and said he hopes to see him serve as a PM.

After thanking his family, saying his almost 21 years in the Army have been a "journey," and that he has some work to do for the Army before he can retire, Rettie said his "professional heart will always be here," and he will remember his time at PM FSS "fondly" with "great memories."

Harger thanked Rettie for making his transition the smoothest so far. Being able to participate in a number of briefings with the PM FSS team the past few days, he said it is a "solid, technical, professional team," that he is "blessed to be a part of."

Admitting he still has a lot to learn, Harger said he is "honored and humbled to have the opportunity," and he "looks forward to facing the challenges ahead as part of the PM FSS team."

Some awards were presented during the ceremony. Rettie received his fifth Meritorious Service Medal. This award was given for his leadership and professional skills, especially with regard to enhancing the mission and/or improving the quality of life for Soldiers supporting Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Retired Army Col. Bill MacKinlay, representing the Quartermaster General, presented Rettie with the Distinguished Order of St. Martin. "Usually the 'distinguished' order is only for Quartermaster officers and senior NCOs," MacKinely said. However, Rettie was recognized for the support he provided as PM FSS to Quartermaster members around the world.

Mrs. Virginia Rettie received a Department of the Army certificate of appreciation for her enduring support and commitment to the PM FSS team.

 As a product office is a non-traditional unit, instead of passing a unit flag, the charter, representing the unit colors, is passed between the outgoing and incoming PMs. By accepting the charter, Harger assumed the responsibilities outlined in the charter.

This page last updated on 10 May 2006.