JITC SEL DENKINS RELINQUISHES RESPONSIBILITY, RETIRES AFTER 27 YEARS
By Joint Interoperability Test Command
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – As she snapped the noncommissioned officer’s sword back into its scabbard, Sergeant Major Denkins, the Senior Enlisted Leader (SEL) of the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC), symbolically completed her last official responsibility before retiring from the Army, here at JITC on October 20.
The guest speaker for the relinquishment of responsibility was Chief Master Sergeant Andrea Gates, Senior Enlisted Advisor, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). During her opening remarks, Gates praised Denkins for her support and dedication to the JITC command.
“The joint environment, the DoD, and the Army are losing a tremendous Soldier and compadre,” Gates expressed. “When you think of Sergeant Major Denkins, its ‘steadfast’ and ‘direct’, but she also has a humility and a kindness to her I don’t think everybody gets to see.”
Following the relinquishment of responsibility, Denkins marked the end of one chapter and began the next as she retired from the U.S. Army. Captain Eric R. Johnson, Commander, JITC, began the retirement portion of the ceremony by describing the start of their leadership together at JITC and his immediate positive impression of Denkins.
“My introduction to Sergeant Major Denkins came when I took command here at JITC. I quickly learned that she had a truly impressive and engaged rapport with the Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines,” he said. “It is these relationships and her constant care for people and family that has made Sergeant Major so successful in the Army. She definitely contributed to my personal success and helped to make JITC the best command in the [DISA] agency.”
During the retirement ceremony Johnson presented Denkins with a variety of certificates, gifts and awards, including her official retirement orders, as well as an Army Legion of Merit and a letter of recognition from Lieutenant General Alan Lynn, Director, DISA.
More than 100 people were in attendance, to include Denkins’ family, close friends, honored guests and mentors. She expressed her gratitude to each of them individually, describing their impact on her military career.
She then addressed the JITC staff directly. “My JITC family, all of the employees of this fine organization, thank you,” she said. “You all are the best in the agency. Thank you for everything you’ve done to make this organization number one.”
In her final remarks, Denkins said “I pray that I haven’t forgotten anyone but if I did not mention you by name, please charge it to my mind and not my heart because you truly have had a deep impact on me and I thank you. I hope as I’m standing here that you would echo with me when I say that I fought the good fight and left a mark of excellence for others to emulate.”
During an interview just before the ceremony, Denkins summarized her final military experience as the SEL at JITC.
“This was a bittersweet tour,” she explained. “This will wrap up 27 years of service and I’ve wrapped it up, I believe, faithfully. I’ve served with some incredible people at the Joint Interoperability Test Command. I’ve loved my job and I would do it over and over again.”
Fort Huachuca, Ariz. – Captain Eric R. Johnson, commander of the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC), pins the Army Legion of Merit medal on Sergeant Major Denkins, JITC Senior Enlisted Leader, during Denkins’ retirement ceremony held October 20 at the Joint Interoperability Test Command
(Photo by Maranda Bridenbaugh, Joint Interoperability Test Command)
Fort Huachuca, Ariz. – Sergeant First Class Michael Hammitt, COMSEC Maintenance Chief, and Sergeant Major Denkins, Senior Enlisted Leader, both of the Fort Huachuca Joint Interoperability Test Command, pause for a photo during Denkins’ retirement ceremony held October 20 at the Joint Interoperability Test Command.
(Photo by Maranda Bridenbaugh, Joint Interoperability Test Command)
HIRING OUR HEROES CORPORATE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM TEAMS UP WITH LEGENDARY ROCK BAND KISS
By JITC PAO
In an effort to celebrate the Armed Forces and everything they do for our country, the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame KISS band and Hiring Our
Heroes (HoH) Corporate Fellowship Program leaders teamed up to select female veterans (active and separated) to represent the military in 40 cities
across the United States as Roadie for a Day.
The Kick off Tour began on July 4, 2016, in Tucson, Arizona where LTC Mellyora Crawford, assigned to Joint
Interoperability Test Command, served as Roadie for a Day. She had the opportunity to serve as a VIP guest and work the meet and greet area for the band.
She was also able to participate in several celebrity photos during the event and the presentation of the check for $150,000 from KISS to HOH, which goes towards bettering the lives of veterans and their
TUCSON, Ariz. – LTC Mellyora Crawford, JITC, poses with the band KISS after accepting a check for $150,000 for Hiring Our Heros on July 4, 2016.
INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE PREMIERS AT FT. HUACHUCA
By JITC PAO
Military personnel assigned to the Joint Interoperability Test Command at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, pose for a photo with Jessie T. Usher prior to an advance screening of
"Independence Day: Resurgence," at Cochise Theater here June 21, 2016.
From left, Staff Sgt. Brian Griswold, Jessie T. Usher, Sgt. Maj. Monekia Denkins and Lt. Cmdr. Dimetri Wilker.
JITC HOSTS KOREAN JOINT IOP TECHNOLOGY CENTER DIRECTOR
By Robin S. Murray
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Mr. Heon Dong Lee, director, Korean Joint Interoperability Technology Center (K-JITC), visited the Joint Interoperability Test Command the first week of December 2015 to further collaboration efforts between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States that will improve the ROK's interoperability test capabilities.
The ROK has initiated a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Case with the United States which requests JITC’s assistance in helping the ROK to develop an independent capability to conduct Link 16 standards conformance tests at the K-JITC. Lee was joined by LtCol Min Hwang, chief, K-JITC Evaluation Team; 1LT Seongeun Lee, interpreter; and Sunghoon Eom, Joint United States Military Assistance Group-Korea.
During Lee’s visit a wide range of topics were discussed, to include: an overview of the Tactical Systems Division, demographics of the current JITC Tactical Data Link (TDL) workforce, JITC TDL facilities and capabilities, Service TDL testing organizations that JITC works with, an overview of the JITC TDL Test Director training program, the JITC TDL Standards Conformance Testing methodology, recent ROK TDL test results, a TDL lab demonstration, a review of the status of the Letter of Offer and Acceptance, and an office call with Captain Eric Johnson, commander, JITC. In addition to the technical discussions a no-host dinner was held on the evening of 30 November.
Under the terms of the FMS case, JITC will send two personnel to Korea for a period of six months to help K-JITC conduct a Link 16 standards conformance test on a ROK system. During the six-month test cycle JITC will also provide training and documentation to the K-JITC so they are prepared to independently conduct Link 16 standards conformance testing for Korean systems at the end of the test cycle.
In addition to the K-JITC FMS Case, JITC also has two other pending FMS Cases with the ROK to provide TDL standards conformance testing for the indigenous ROK Link K data link system and for the Korean Theater Missile Operations Cell; JITC anticipates that all three FMS Cases will be executed during calendar year 2016. JITC is also currently conducting TDL standards conformance testing for the ROK AW-159 Maritime Operations Helicopter and the ROK Cheolmae-II Surface-to-Air Missile system.
The K-JITC was founded in 2007 in Seoul, ROK, to provide technical support and professional testing services for the ROK Ministry of Defense. K-JITC currently has a workforce of 150 military and government personnel. JITC has provided support to K-JITC since 2009.
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Ms. Joan Hays (JTC4) briefs Mr. Lee on the status of recent standards conformance tests conducted by JITC for the Republic of Korea.
JOHNSON ASSUMES COMMAND OF JOINT INTEROPERABILITY TEST COMMAND
By Joint Interoperability Test Command Public Affairs
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Navy CAPT Eric Johnson assumed command of the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) from Army COL Douglas Orsi at a change of command ceremony held July 10 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
Johnson’s most recent assignment was as chief of the Cyberspace Current Operations Division for North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. Prior to that, he was the deputy director of the Global Satellite Communications Support Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Orsi served as the JITC commander since July 2012. His next assignment is at the U.S. Army War College, serving as a faculty member for the Department of Command, Leadership, and Management.
Army Maj Gen Alan Lynn, DISA vice director, presided over the ceremony, which was attended by several distinguished guests, including: Army Maj Gen Robert Ashley, commander of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca; Maj Gen John Morrison, commander of the United States Army Network Enterprise Technology Command; Alfred Rivera, DISA’s director of the Development and Business Center; Rick Mueller, mayor of Sierra Vista, Arizona; and George and MaryHelen Gammon, CAPT Johnson’s father and mother-in-law. Family members, friends, colleagues, and military members joined in to bid farewell to Orsi and to welcome Johnson to the command.
Lynn spoke of JITC’s achievements while Orsi was in command and commended Orsi as “an incredible leader at the right time and the right place to have a major impact for the nation."
“Through Doug’s leadership and insight, JITC reduced overhead and gained efficiencies, but remained mission focused and maintained their high OPTEMPO and the highest professional standards,” Lynn said. “Under Doug’s superb leadership, he has increased DoD cyber security, taking it to a new level, unmatched anywhere in the world.”
During his farewell speech, Orsi gave thanks to the personnel of JITC and all supporting components. He also conveyed his love and gratitude for his wife, Michelle; their son, Joshua; and daughter, Sedona. To show his appreciation for her continued support, Orsi presented a bouquet of red roses to his wife.
Next, the ceremonial passing of the colors was performed by Lynn, Orsi, Johnson, and Army Sgt Maj Monekia Denkins, senior enlisted leader of JITC. The military tradition of passing the colors represents the commander passing on authority and responsibility for the organization.
After taking command, Johnson said that he was both honored and privileged to join the JITC and DISA team.
“I look forward to building on the successes of the past, and to the many challenges and opportunities we face as an organization,” he said. “Our role in test and evaluation, whether it is methodology transformation, Joint Information Environment implementation, delivery of information technology services, or DoD cyberspace leadership, is fundamental to our core mission and paramount to supporting the warfighter.”
Fort Huachuca, Ariz. - Navy Capt Eric Johnson, incoming commander of JITC, receives the command flag from Army Maj Gen Alan Lynn, vice director of the DISA, during the ceremonial passing of the colors July 10.
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – Army Maj Gen Alan Lynn presents Army COL Douglas Orsi, outgoing commander of the Joint Interoperability Test Command, with the Defense Superior Service Medal in recognition of three years of outstanding support to JITC.
Fort Huachuca, Ariz. – From left, Army COL Douglas Orsi, outgoing commander; Army Maj Gen Alan Lynn, DISA vice director; and Navy Capt Eric Johnson, incoming commander, pause for a photograph during the change of command ceremony held July 10.
DENKINS ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY AS JITC SENIOR ENLISTED LEADER, BROWN RETIRES
By Joint Interoperability Test Command Public Affairs
As family, friends and colleagues gathered in attendance, Brown passed all responsibilities as JITC’s senior enlisted leader to incoming senior enlisted leader Denkins.
Using the noncommissioned officers’ sword to symbolize the change of responsibility, Brown passed the sword to U.S. Marine Corp Sgt. Maj. Antonio N. Vizcarrondo, the Defense Information Systems Agency’s senior enlisted advisor. Vizcarrondo then passed the sword to Denkins, who accepted his charge to provide advice to guide JITC and for the well-being of the service members, civilians and their families of JITC.
Following the formal passing of the sword, Vizcarrondo provided remarks welcoming Denkins to JITC.
“Sgt. Maj. Denkins, you have a great reputation,” Vizcarrondo said. “We are excited that you are here and we know that you are going to do great things within JITC and within DISA. I look forward to working with you and the best of luck to you and your family during your tour here at Fort Huachuca.”
In response, Denkins said, “I am truly honored and humbled to be joining this most distinguished team of service members and civilians. I pledge to give this organization my absolute best by ensuring that every member of this team is able to continue to provide joint warfighting IT capabilities.”
Immediately following the change of responsibility, Sgt. Maj. Brown retired, having serving 30 years in the U. S. Army with the last three at JITC.
Col. Douglas J. Orsi, commander of JITC and host of the retirement ceremony, addressed the audience and the Brown family.
“Sgt. Maj. Brown is the epitome of a noncommissioned officer. He makes things happen,” Orsi said. “In the Army we say the noncommissioned officer is the backbone of the Army. They run the Army, and Sgt. Maj. Brown runs JITC. He’s a man of integrity. He provides sage wisdom and council to everybody. He is just a wealth of knowledge.”
After his remarks, Orsi introduced retired Army Brig. Gen. Frederick A. Henry, the former DISA chief of staff, presiding officer of the retirement ceremony, and a mentor to Brown.
Henry pointed out the many qualities that made Brown such a memorable leader. “It is a bit sad that after 30 years it has to come to an end,” Henry said. “But I know you are prepared for your transition and I wish you the best. You epitomize greatness and you epitomize what I would consider to be someone notable.”
Henry then presented Brown with the Defense Superior Service Medal, signed by the Secretary of Defense, for exceptional service in a position of significant responsibility.
After the narrator read Brown’s retirement orders, Brown addressed the audience last, battling with his emotions as he began his farewell.
Brown thanked his family for their sacrifice and support, his colleagues which played a part throughout his Army career, and the JITC community.
“To the JITC family, I describe you as professionalism at its best and the best-kept secret on Fort Huachuca,” he said. “I have been honored since the day I joined the team. You will be missed. And to Sgt. Maj. Denkins, I wish you much success as the senior enlisted leader of this great organization and I know you will enjoy your time here.”
Prior to the ceremony, Anastasia Virden, a member of the B Troop, 4th Regiment, U. S. Cavalry (Memorial) Ladies Auxiliary, presented a bouquet of red roses to Brown’s wife, Shanda.
Brown and his family plan to retire in Florida.
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – The Joint Interoperability Test Command change of responsibility ceremony marked the end of a chapter for one and the beginning of another for Sgt. Maj. Lewis A. Brown and Sgt. Maj. Monekia Y. Denkins, at the Greely Hall auditorium, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, May 21.
Fort Huachuca, Ariz. – Retired Army Brig. Gen. Frederick Henry, former chief of staff of the Defense Information Systems Agency, presents Sgt. Maj. Lewis Brown, outgoing senior enlisted leader of the Joint Interoperability Test Command, with the Defense Superior Service Medal during Brown’s retirement ceremony in the Greely Hall auditorium, May 21.
Fort Huachuca, Ariz. – From left, Sgt. Maj. Lewis Brown, the outgoing senior enlisted leader for the Joint Interoperability Test Command, stands with Sgt. Maj. Antonio Vizcarrondo, USMC, the senior enlisted advisor for the Defense Information Systems Agency, and Sgt. Maj. Monekia Denkins, the incoming senior enlisted leader for JITC, after the change of responsibility ceremony at Greely Hall auditorium, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, May 21. After the ceremony, Brown retired, serving 30 years in the U. S. Army and nearly 3 years of service to JITC.