The U.S. Army Ordnance School (ODS) welcomed a new commandant and Chief of Ordnance in a change of command ceremony May 8 at Whittington Field, Fort Lee, Virginia.
During the ceremony, the current Chief of Ordnance and ODS Commandant, Brig. Gen. David Wilson, relinquished command to Brig. Gen. Heidi J. Hoyle. Hoyle becomes the 41st Chief of Ordnance and the first general officer from the explosive ordnance disposal community to hold the position.
“This is truly a great day for Ordnance as we bid farewell to the 40th Chief of Ordnance and welcome the 41st Chief of Ordnance to Fort Lee and CASCOM,” said Maj. Gen. Paul C. Hurley Jr., commanding general, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM) and Fort Lee. “Drawing from his amazing array of experience from across sustainment enterprise, Brigadier General Wilson lit a fire under his staff, and instituted a wide array of programs, events and initiatives designed to improve readiness and ensure our Army has the best trained and equipped mechanics, ammo handlers and explosive ordnance disposal technicians to meet the brutal demands of ground combat in complex, urban terrain and beyond.
“Brigadier General Hoyle is literally the quintessential ordnance officer, having directly served in every aspect of her field and also commanded a multifunctional sustainment battalion in combat,” said Hurley.
“Heidi Hoyle has done it all, and is absolutely the right woman, at the right time – now, today – to lead the ordnance school and prepare them for the challenges to come.”
Hoyle comes to ODS and CASCOM from Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, where she was the commanding general for U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command and the Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command. She was commissioned as an ordnance officer after graduation from U.S. Military Academy (USMA), West Point, New York in 1994.
“It’s a privilege to be called upon to continue the mission with the dedicated civilian and military workforce (in ODS),” said Hoyle. “You have a unique mission, you are training the man behind the man behind the gun. I’m looking forward continue building the readiness of the organization.”
During her time in the Army, she has held leadership positions at regiment, company, battalion, brigade and group. She was an instructor and associate professor in systems engineering at USMA. She has commanded a special troops battalion and an ordnance group. Hoyle represented the Army in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Service Chief’s Fellows Program and received a master’s degree from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
Wilson assumed command of ODS Aug. 10, 2016. Under his leadership, ODS, distributed across 26 training locations, educated and developed more than 50,000 ordnance professionals – active duty, Guard and Reserves – in 31 enlisted military occupational specialties, two officer branches, nine warrant officer branches and six additional skill identifies in support of maintenance, ammunition, explosives safety and explosive ordnance disposal. He established the U.S. Army Ordnance Crucible, a decisive-action training event in three core competencies, providing feedback that has shaped and refined ordnance doctrine. His efforts in the realm of emerging technologies and opportunities served as a conduit to ensure the Army of 2025 and beyond remains postured to meet the demands of the multi-domain battlefield in large-scale combat operations.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to work the TRADOC (U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command) mission, training and developing adaptive ordnance professionals,” said Wilson. “Our best assets are the people, the organization doesn’t accomplish anything without the people. I’m grateful for the high performing military, Department of Army civilians, contractors and families who have accomplished all the missions across ordnance.”
Wilson’s next assignment is as the deputy assistant chief of staff, C/J-4 for U.S. Forces Korea, Camp Humphreys.