MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- style="margin: 0in 0in 8pt;">MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va.—The Marine Corps only program executive officer was inducted into the Senior Executive Service during a ceremony at The Clubs at Quantico aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
Mr. John Garner, a retired Marine colonel and 12-year civil servant, has been in the seat as Program Executive Officer Land Systems since May, but took the official oath Sept. 13, to assume responsibility for the Corps’ major land programs portfolio.
“Today, you join the SES corps,” said Ms. Allison Stiller, acting assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition. “The rank of SES is truly an honor; less than one percent of the federal workforce is bestowed the rank.”
Garner is only the second SES to lead PEO Land Systems, which was established in 2007. As PEO, he is responsible for more than $7 billion and over 20 acquisition programs, including the Assault Amphibious Vehicle, Amphibious Combat Vehicle, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle—a joint program with the Army, and the Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, among others.
“With each departure of a key leader, another steps up to carry on, successfully building upon the foundation laid out by his or her predecessor,” Stiller said. “John’s years of service coupled with his extensive education… along with his vast programmatic experience make him uniquely qualified to lead PEO Land Systems into the future.”
Prior to serving as the PEO, Garner was the program manager for Advanced Amphibious Assault where he led both the Assault Amphibious Vehicle-Survivability Upgrade and Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1 to successful Milestone B decisions and beyond. He also previously served as program manager for Armor and Fire Support Systems at Marine Corps Systems Command.
“I don’t think [my predecessor] could have handed over a better-functioning, smoother-running, more on-target organization,” Garner said of PEO Land Systems. “It’s a great team—a great team of [program managers] and a great team of supporting staff, and I’m thankful for that.”
Garner—who served in the Marine Corps from 1974 to 2005, as an artillery officer and later in the acquisition field—acknowledged and thanked the military members, civilians and other senior executives in attendance for their service.
“One common thing about everyone in this room is that all of you have chosen to contribute to something far greater than yourselves,” he said. “You’ve chosen to be a part of defending this country, and more importantly, ensuring the men and women we send into harm’s way have the best possibility of surviving and accomplishing what they were sent there to do—to win the fight.”
Garner holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and fulfilled degree requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Rice University. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree with distinction from Harvard Business School.
“John, I know you will continue the great work that PEO Land Systems does,” Stiller said. “I’m confident you will empower and inspire your team on a daily basis to deliver the best systems and equipment to our Marines.”