Project Manager Soldier Lethality said goodbye to former Project Manager Col. Elliott R. Caggins Jr. on Jul. 10 during two military ceremonies – a traditional change charter followed by a military retirement ceremony. It also welcomed its new PM during the initial ceremony in which Caggins relinquished responsibility for the organization to Col. Scott J. Madore. Both ceremonies were streamed live to a virtual audience of family, friends, PM SL employees and other well-wishers who could not attend in person because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Presiding officer and host, Program Executive Office Soldier Brig. Gen. Anthony W. Potts, took part in the ceremony by remote camera as Picatinny Senior Commander and JPEO for Armaments and Ammunition Brig. Gen. Vincent F. Malone II served as his on-site proxy. Following the formal passing of the Acquisition flag and reading of the Acquisition charter, Potts spoke from his PEO Soldier headquarters in Fort Belvoir, Va.
“Elliott has done amazing things across the board. All of us owe him a debt of gratitude,” he said. He recounted many of the highlight assignments from COL Caggins 30-year career for attendees and told the audience that it would be “too hard to quantify the impact that COL Caggins has had on Soldiers.”
“Countless Soldiers on the battlefield truly owe their lives to the equipment that Col. Caggins and his team were able to put in their hands,” he said.
“It would be very difficult to find anyone who exemplifies the qualities of integrity, character and honor more than Elliott Caggins.” He cited Caggins’ important role in the creation of Army Futures Command and his management of the Next Generation Squad Weapons program, Modular Handgun System and Squad Designated Marksman Rifle. Potts then welcomed Col. Madore and his wife to the PEO Soldier family.
“I know you’ll take care of the mission,” he told Madore. “Make sure you take care of yourself and your people. Welcome to the team.”
In his remarks, Caggins thanked the PEO Soldier and PM SL team for its efforts. He credited the team for any praise of his accomplishments that Brig. Gen. Potts and others attributed to his leadership and skill.
“This has been a great ride. I have a heavy heart as I pass the guidon to Scott but I know he’s the best officer for this position right now,” he said.
“Congratulations Scott.” Col. Madore told the in-person and virtual audience “I look forward to serving with the PM SL professionals.”
“I appreciate all those initial prep sessions and I’m looking forward to serving with each of you to develop and deliver cutting edge weapons so our Soldiers are prepared to fight on any battlefield. It’s an honor and privilege to be given this opportunity to lead PM SL,” he said.
Following the change-of-charter ceremony, PEO Ground Combat Systems Maj. Gen. Brian P. Cummings, Col. Caggins previous boss at PEO Soldier, officiated Col. Caggins retirement ceremony.