The U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps is known for providing troops logistical support, but for PAE Army Client Executive Ken Dowd, it’s also a family affair. That’s something he spoke about on May 7 at the Quartermaster Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Fort Lee, Virginia, where he was both a 2019 inductee and the keynote speaker.
“I was married to my wife in that same building 32 years ago, and she went along with this career in the Army,” Dowd said. “I’m highlighting how important family is in this journey.”
The Quartermaster Corps provides specific services for troops on the ground and training for professionals supporting them. Functional services range from aerial delivery of supplies by parachute to feeding troops and the delivery of clean clothing, among providing other essential needs. The Quartermaster Hall of Fame recognizes leaders who have contributed the most to the achievement, tradition and history of this essential group and its goal of supporting victory.
In his speech, Dowd highlighted this year’s honorees, some of whom served in World War II, the Vietnam War, Operation Just Cause, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom.
“We are civilians, non-commission officers, warrant officers and officers,” Dowd said. “There are over 571 years of service to our nation among these honorees. That is truly incredible.”
Some faces familiar to Dowd were recognized in this year’s ceremony. Several inductees he introduced had been leaders with him in the Army, others reporting up to him, he said.
“I’m sure my fellow honorees agree that just as important in our development (as military leadership) were our peers and subordinates,” Dowd said. “We must always lead with dignity and respect. We must also listen to our peers and subordinates. That kind of crosstalk and feedback makes us better leaders.”
A retired Army major general, Dowd’s 35 years in the Army included accomplished tours in Kuwait and Afghanistan. He led a team responsible for the equipment drawdown of U.S. forces from Iraq, developing a logistics structure still used today in Afghanistan. His path to success wasn’t always clear, he said, but the Quartermasters Corps provided the direction he needed.
“I started out as a second lieutenant coming out of college, not sure what I was going to do,” he said. “I followed the path of the military and had some success and some good teams that I’ve been in combat with. I’ve been blessed with my roles in the military.”
A selection board reviews nominations and determines inductees annually. Dowd and his fellow inductees will join Hall of Fame members spanning 33 years in a permanent display at Fort Lee’s Mifflin Hall. Each was presented with a Quartermaster Hall of Fame medallion at the ceremony.