Chief of Ordnance of the United States Army

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Chief of Ordnance of the United States Army
Ordnance Corps Regimental Insignia.gif
United States Army Ordnance Corps Regimental Insignia
Heidi J. Hoyle.jpg
BG Heidi J. Hoyle

since May 8, 2018
FormationMay 14, 1812
First holderCOL Decius Wadsworth
WebsiteOfficial website

The Chief of Ordnance of the United States Army is a general officer who is responsible for the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps and serves as the Commandant of the U.S. Army Ordnance School at Fort Lee, Virginia. The Chief of Ordnance is primarily focused on the doctrine, training, and professional development of Ordnance officers and soldiers. The position was created simultaneously with the establishment of the U.S. Army Ordnance Department on May 14, 1812.


18th century[edit]

The American Revolution established the general outlines of the future Ordnance Department. The Continental Congress' Board for War and Ordnance created the Commissary General for Military Stores to establish and operate ordnance facilities in an effort to alleviate the dependence on foreign arms and munitions. Colonel Benjamin Flower led the Commissary from his appointment in January 1775 until his death in May 1781. Ordnance facilities were established at Springfield, Massachusetts and Carlisle, Pennsylvania for the production of arms, powder, and shot. After the war, the logistic elements were disbanded and the authority for procurement and provision of all things military was transferred to the Office of the Purveyor of Public Supplies located within the Treasury Department.[1]

19th century[edit]

By the dawn of the War of 1812, the Secretary of War recognized the need for a distinct branch to manage the procurement, research, and maintenance of Ordnance materiel. Decius Wadsworth, previously superintendent of West Point, was appointed a Colonel and given the title Commissary General of Ordnance, later changed to Chief of Ordnance. His ambition, during the war years and afterward, was to simplify and streamline Ordnance materiel management. His staff worked to reduce the variety of small arms and artillery pieces to a few efficient models. In addition, he aimed to develop a cadre of highly trained Ordnance officers who could dedicate their inventive ingenuity to their profession.[2]

20th century[edit]

Following the massive reorganization of the Army in 1962 based on the Hoelscher Committee Report, the Ordnance Corps and the office of the Chief of Ordnance was disestablished. The Ordnance branch continued under the direction of the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics. Army Materiel Command assumed responsibility for many of the Ordnance Corps historical functions; research, development, procurement, production, storage and technical intelligence.[2]

In 1985, the Ordnance Corps became the first of the Army’s support elements to re-establish itself under the branch regimental concept. The Office of the Chief of Ordnance was reestablished and regained responsibility for decisions concerning personnel, force structure, doctrine, and training. This change gave the opportunity for Ordnance officers, soldiers, and civilians to identify with their historical predecessors in their mission of Ordnance support to the U.S. Army.[2]

21st century[edit]

In accordance with the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment Commission, the U.S. Army Ordnance School and the Chief of Ordnance moved from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland to Fort Lee, Virginia.

List of Army Chiefs of Ordnance[edit]

Name Photo Term began Term ended
1. Colonel Decius Wadsworth
Decius Wadsworth.jpg
July 2, 1812 June 1, 1821
2. Colonel George Bomford
May 30, 1832 March 25, 1848
3. Brevet Brigadier General George Talcott
George Talcott (cropped).jpg
March 25, 1848 July 10, 1851
4. Colonel Henry K. Craig
Henry K. Craig (cropped).jpg
July 10, 1851 April 23, 1861
5. Brevet Brigadier General James W. Ripley
James Wolfe Ripley, 1794-1870, artist unknown - Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History - DSC04185.JPG
April 23, 1861 September 15, 1863
6. Brigadier General George D. Ramsay
George D. Ramsay (cropped).jpg
September 15, 1863 September 12, 1864
7. Brevet Major General Alexander B. Dyer
September 12, 1864 May 20, 1874
8. Brigadier General Stephen Vincent Benet
Stephen Vincent Benet (Army General).jpg
June 23, 1874 January 22, 1891
9. Brigadier General Daniel W. Flager
Daniel Webster Flagler.jpg
January 23, 1891 March 29, 1899
10. Brigadier General Adelbert R. Buffington
Adelbert Buffington.jpg
April 5, 1899 November 22, 1901
11. Brigadier General William Crozier
William Crozier.jpg
November 22, 1901 December 19, 1917
12. Major General Clarence C. Williams
Clarence C. Williams (cropped).jpg
May 2, 1918 April 1, 1930
13. Major General Samuel Hof
Samuel Hof.jpg
June 3, 1930 June 2, 1934
14. Major General William H. Tschappat
William H. Tschappat (cropped).jpg
June 3, 1934 June 2, 1938
15. Major General Charles M. Wesson
MG Charles M. Wesson.jpg
June 3, 1938 May 3, 1942
16. Major General Levin H. Campbell
Levin H. Campbell Jr.jpg
June 1, 1942 May 31, 1946
17. Major General Everett S. Hughes
Lieutenant general Everett Hughes 1945.jpg
June 1, 1946 October 31, 1949
18. Major General Elbert L. Ford
Elbert L. Ford (cropped).jpg
November 1, 1949 October 31, 1953
19. Lieutenant General Emerson L. Cummings
Emerson L. Cummings.jpg
November 1, 1953 April 2, 1958
20. Lieutenant General John H. Hinrichs
John Honeycutt Hinrichs.jpg
April 2, 1958 May 31, 1962
21. Major General Horace F. Bigelow
Horace F. Bigelow (cropped).jpg
June 1, 1962 July 31, 1962
22. Major General William E. Potts
Major General William E. Potts (cropped).jpg
October 28, 1985 June 13, 1986
23. Major General Leon E. Salomon
Leon E Salomon.jpg
June 13, 1986 August 12, 1988
24. Major General James W. Ball
Major General James W. Ball.jpg
August 12, 1988 July 13, 1990
25. Brigadier General Johnnie E. Wilson
Johnnie E Wilson.jpg
July 13, 1990 June 30, 1992
26. Major General John G. Coburn
John G Coburn.jpg
June 30, 1992 June 20, 1994
27. Major General James W. Monroe
Major General James W. Monroe.jpg
June 20, 1994 August 11, 1995
28. Major General Robert D. Shadley
Major General Robert D. Shadley.jpg
August 11, 1995 July 10, 1997
29. Brigadier General Thomas R. Dickinson
Thomas R. Dickinson.jpg
July 10, 1997 September 18, 1998
30. Major General Dennis K. Jackson
Major General Dennis K. Jackson.jpg
October 20, 1998 July 25, 2000
31. Major General Mitchell H. Stevenson
Major General Mitchell Stevenson (cropped).jpg
July 25, 2000 August 15, 2003
32. Brigadier General William M. Lenaers
Brigadier General william M. Lenaers (cropped).jpg
August 15, 2003 September 10, 2004
33. Major General Vincent E. Boles
Vincent E. Boles.jpg
September 10, 2004 October 30, 2006
34. Brigadier General Rebecca S. Halstead
Rebecca S. Halstead.jpg
October 30, 2006 June 26, 2008
35. Brigadier General Lynn A. Collyar
Lynn A. Collyar.png
June 26, 2008 July 29, 2010
36. Brigadier General Clark W. LeMasters Jr.
Clark W. LeMasters Jr. (2).jpg
July 29, 2010 March 21, 2012
37. Brigadier General Edward M. Daly
Edward M. Daly (1).jpg
June 12, 2012 May 17, 2013
38. Brigadier General John F. Haley
John F. Haley.jpg
May 17, 2013 June 12, 2015
39 Brigadier General Kurt J. Ryan
Kurt J. Ryan.jpg
July 10, 2015 June 1, 2016
40 Brigadier General David Wilson
David Wilson.jpg
August 10, 2016 May 8, 2018
41 Brigadier General Heidi J. Hoyle
Heidi J. Hoyle.jpg
May 8, 2018 Present


  1. ^ Sterling, Keir Brooks (1987). Serving the Line with Excellence: The development of the US Army Ordnance Corps, as expressed through the lives of its chiefs of ordnance, 1812-1987, with a short sketch of the history of Army Ordnance, 1775-1987. Army Ordnance Center and Schools: TRADOC Historical Studies.
  2. ^ a b c "The History of Ordnance in America". Army Sustainment Magazine. Volume 44, Issue 3: 6–16. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army.

External links[edit]