Army materiel chief to retire

The Army four-star general responsible for many information technology initiatives that improved the ordering, tracking and delivering of warfighting goods to soldiers in combat plans to step down later this year.

Gen. Paul Kern, commanding general of Army Materiel Command (AMC) at Fort Belvoir, Va., sent an e-mail Monday to organization personnel informing them of his decision. "I plan to retire this fall," said Kern in the May 17 e-mail message. "Precise dates are still being worked, but I wanted to let you know, as personally as possible, given how widespread we are."

Kern assumed command of AMC in 2001. He pushed for installation of enterprise resource planning software and radio frequency identification technologies, and adoption of lean manufacturing and management principles to speed Army logistics initiatives.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on May 18 nominated Lt. Gen. Benjamin Griffin to succeed Kern as AMC commanding general. Rumsfeld also recommended Griffin for the rank of general and a fourth star. He currently serves as the Army's deputy chief of staff for programs/G-8.

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