Next Generation Combat Vehicles

Next Generation Combat Vehicles

Monday, March 26, 2018 to Monday, March 26, 2018

BG David A. Lesperance

BG David Lesperance

Deputy Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence

Brigadier General Lesperance graduated from Portland State University in 1989 and was commissioned an Armor Officer. His first assignment was with 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Bad Kissingen, Germany where he served as Tank Platoon Leader, Support Platoon Leader and Troop Executive Officer from 1990 to 1993, including a deployment in support of OPERATION DESERT STORM.

Upon graduation from the Infantry Officer Advanced Course in 1993, Brigadier General Lesperance commanded the Cape Girardeau Recruiting Company from 1994 to 1996. He then reported to 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division and served as S-3 Air and later commanded Delta Company and Headquarters and Headquarters Company from 1996 to 1999, including a deployment in support of OPERATION JOINT FORGE. From 1999 to 2001, Brigadier General Lesperance served at the United States Army Infantry School as a Small Group Instructor and Team Chief.

Upon graduation from the Command and General Staff College in 2002, Brigadier General Lesperance served as the Battalion S3 in 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment and later as BCT S3 and XO in 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division from 2002 to 2005, including a deployment in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. He then served as Assistant Deputy Director for Operations, J3, the Joint Staff from 2005 to 2007.

Brigadier General Lesperance served on the Multi-National Division-Baghdad staff in 2007 in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. Following this assignment, he commanded 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment from 2008 to 2010, including a deployment in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. He then served as Battalion Senior Trainer at the National Training Center from May 2010 to July 2011. Brigadier General Lesperance graduated from the United States Army War College June 2012.

Brigadier General Lesperance commanded 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division from June 2012 to June 2014; III Armored Corps Chief of Staff from June 2014 to July 2015, Commander of Operations Group, National Training Center from July 2015 until June 2016 and most recently as the Assistant Commanding General, Support, 1st Special Forces Command.

His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit (3 Awards), Bronze Star Medal (3 Awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5 Awards), Army Commendation Medal (3 Awards), Army Achievement Medal (3 Awards), Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge

Paul D. Rogers, Ph.D.

Paul Rogers

Director, United States Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center

Dr. Paul D. Rogers serves as the Director of TARDEC where he is responsible for providing executive management to deliver advanced technology solutions for all Department of Defense ground systems and combat support equipment. Dr. Rogers is a member of the Army Senior Executive Service. 

As the TARDEC Director, Dr. Rogers manages a workforce of more than 1,700 engineers, scientists, researchers, and support staff and sets strategic direction for a full range of investments that affect more than 270 Army systems. With an annual budget of more than $475 million, Dr. Rogers ensures TARDEC provides vigilance and resourcefulness to deliver solutions within cost and on schedule so our Soldiers can dominate on the battlefield.

Dr. Rogers previously served as the Deputy Program Executive Officer for Ground Combat Systems where he managed the development, systems integration, acquisition, testing, fielding, sustainment and improvement of ground combat systems in accordance with the Army's transformation campaign plan. The Ground Combat Systems Program has an annual budget of more than $2.9 billion with a total program cost of more than $18.46 billion (POM FY14-18). Dr. Rogers' responsibilities included ensuring that all of the coordination and communication is achieved for a complex and diverse organization with two Pre-MDAP programs (Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle and Ground Combat Vehicle) and four ACAT I programs, including the Paladin Integrated Management, Abrams Tank Upgrade, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle Upgrade and the Stryker Armored Vehicle System. Additionally, he oversaw four ACAT II programs as well as approximately 100 other weapons system programs. 

Prior to accepting his responsibilities as Deputy PEO GCS, Dr. Rogers served as the TARDEC Executive Director for Research and Technical Integration. In this capacity, Dr. Rogers led the organization in providing Army research and development in Ground Vehicle Power and Mobility, Survivability, Intelligent Systems, Vehicle Electronic and Architecture Systems, and Platform Concept, Analysis, and System Simulation. Dr. Rogers served as the key executive responsible for the center's science and technology strategic planning, program selection, funding allocation, execution and transition to acquisition programs. He managed the technology base investments and led a 500- person workforce through six technical business area associate directors.

As a member of the Michigan National Guard, Dr. Rogers was activated and served in Iraq as the Battalion Commander for the 507th Engineer Battalion. His command included 12 separate companies/detachments at Balad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 04-06. The 507th Eng. Bn. was a joint force consisting of deployed forces from the Active Army and Air Force, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, and Marines. He commanded a total of 823 Soldiers, 139 Marines, and 114 Airmen in combat operations during the deployment. His mission responsibilities included military fixed bridging, offensive assault float bridging, rafting operations, riverine operations, vertical and horizontal construction, well drilling, and asphalt production/paving. He also organized, trained, and deployed an armored D9 dozer task force in support of division offensive operations. The 507th ENG BN served in Iraq from Jan. 1, 2005, to Dec. 6, 2005. Dr. Rogers' military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Army Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Airborne Badge and the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal. His previous military assignments include Chief of Staff, 46th Military Police Command, Commander, 177th Regiment, Regional Training Institute and Brigade and Battalion Operations Officer, Company Commander, and Platoon Leader. He currently serves as a Brigadier General as the Deputy Commander General, 46th Military Police Command, MIARNG.

Dr. Rogers holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics from Michigan Technological University (MTU), a Master of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, a Master of Science in Engineering -- Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan -- Dearborn, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MTU. He is a graduate of the Army Engineer Officer Basic Course, Engineer Officer Advance Course, Combined Arms Services Staff School, Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. Dr. Rogers is currently serving the External Advisory Boards for the Mechanical Engineering Departments at Michigan Technological University, Lawrence Technological University and the University of Michigan. He has previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Mechanical Engineering at LTU. 

COL James W. Schirmer

COL James Schirmer

Project Manager, United States Army Armored Fighting Vehicles

COL Jim Schirmer is currently the Project Manager for Armored Fighting Vehicles, responsible for the Bradley, Self-Propelled Howitzer, and Next Generation Combat Vehicle programs. He also launched the Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower program, which became a separate PM office in July of 2017.

Jim Schirmer was commissioned an Armor Officer following graduation from United States Military Academy in 1991. He served in 2-64 Armor in Schweinfurt Germany 1992 through 1994. His next assignment was with the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas from 1995-1999. There he then served as a Brigade Plans Officer, and commanded C Company/3-8 CAV. COL Schirmer also commanded the 1st Cavalry Division’s Headquarters Company during their deployment to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Forge from 1998-1999.
COL Schirmer entered the Army Acquisition Corps in 1999. He served as a Test Officer in Operational Test Command, working operational tests for the M2A3 Bradley, TOW Fire and Forget missile system, and the Modular Lightweight Load-bearing Equipment (MOLLE). He later served as an Assistant PM with the Stryker program where he managed the Mortar and Anti-tank platforms. In 2007 he was assigned to the TRADOC Capability Manager for the Heavy Brigade Combat Team at Fort Knox Kentucky, where he served as the user’s representative for the Bradley family of vehicles and later for the Abrams tank. In July of 2010 he returned to PM Stryker and assumed duties as a Product Manager, where he helped launch the Double-V Hull version in support of operations in Afghanistan. After graduating from the Army War College in 2014, he returned again to Michigan to assume his current duties as Project Manager, Armored Fighting Vehicles.

His military education includes the Armor Officer Basic Course, Armor Officer Advanced Course, Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College. His civilian education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in International History from West Point, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Masters of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.

COL Schirmer is married to the former Amanda Atkins of Louisville, Kentucky. They have four sons; Dominic (30), Grant (19), Jack (17), and Kent (13).