PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Returning to the Program Executive Office for Ammunition, Col. Joseph H. Chan officially became Project Director Joint Services on Aug. 27 at Picatinny Arsenal.

This change came during an Assumption of Management Ceremony at the arsenal’s Cannon Gate Conference Center. The host was James Shields, the Program Executive Officer for Ammunition (PEO Ammo).

The ceremony represents a military tradition in which an outgoing commander formally relinquishes the mission and the welfare of the Soldiers, and their families, to an incoming commander.

The outgoing commander of Project Director Joint Services was Matthew Zimmerman. 

Project Director of Joint Services coordinates and integrates Single Manager for Conventional Ammunition functions, processes, and operations on the behalf of PEO Ammo. While the project director’s office is not a traditional military unit, its mission includes the welfare of the assigned personnel and Soldiers that they support. 

“I’ve been here a couple of weeks and the team at Project Director of Joint Services has really helped me along and welcomed me,” said Chan. “It is truly evident that these men and women are professional people, working a full plate of stuff, diverse stuff, and I’m looking forward to meeting and working with all of you.”

Chan’s most recent assignments was at the Pentagon, where he served as the acquisition advisor in the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. However, his career has involved various acquisition and operational assignments, including Product Manager for Countermine and Explosive Ordinance Disposals, which is found under Project Manager Close Combat Systems, an office within PEO Ammunition.

Chan also has received several military awards and decorations, such as the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

 “Joe, I’m really looking forward to working with you. I have every confidence that you will continue to excel in this important mission,” said Shields. “I know you will enjoy your time here at Picatinny just as much as we will enjoy having you in the PEO family.”

During the ceremony, Chan thanked Shields for his support, along with former mentors who helped him throughout his career and his family. 

“I didn’t get to this podium by accident. There have been a lot of people who have helped me along the way,” said Chan. “First and foremost, my family. When this job opportunity came up about nine months ago, I talked to my wife about it and, without hesitation, she basically said ‘Let’s roll. Let’s do this.’ Even though that meant another move, and finding a new job.”

Shields also recognized Zimmerman for his work as Project Director Joint Services.

“Thankfully, Matt is not leaving us. He’s going back to his job as a Deputy Project Director of Join Services,” said Shields. “But clearly, Matt has demonstrated his ability to take on more and more areas of responsibility, broadening his career. So, I think there are good things in the future at PEO Ammunition for Matt Zimmerman.” 

Prior to his PEO position, Zimmerman was employed with the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, another organization at Picatinny. While there, he held different positions, such as the Associate for Engineering in the Close Combat Armaments Center, Deputy Program Manager of the Joint Service Small Arms Program, and more.

Additionally, Zimmerman has worked at the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, participated in working groups under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and toured alongside the Australian Army’s Engineering Development Establishment.

He is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and has attained Level III acquisition certification in Program Management and Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering.