SSC-Natick Press ReleaseU.S. Army Soldier Systems
Public Affairs Office
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Date: August 5, 2008
Celebration and new beginning at Product Manager Force Sustainment
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)
Click for Larger Photo
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
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
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
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.