Soldier uses his 39 years of military experience to save over $65 million in equipment

Story by Pfc. Lisa A. Cope
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq — Chief Warrant Officer 4 Larry G. Williams, the property book officer for the 36th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), uses nearly four decades of Army experience to assist in the responsible drawdown of forces in Iraq.

Williams, a Port O'Connor, Texas, native, has served in the Army since Sept. 21, 1969, during the Vietnam War, as an enlisted Soldier, officer and now as a warrant officer with only a two-year break in service over the past 40 years.

"(The Army) has basically been my life," he said. "It has given me a job, paid me well, fed me … and I feel like I have given something back to my country."

Williams said he has seen the overall quality and morale of the Army improve since becoming an all-volunteer force.

"Right now the public opinion of the Army is a little better than it was back in that era," he said. "Things are really different, as far as the people that you have. The difference with a volunteer force and a not-so-volunteer force is quite a difference, the education level, the desire and the attitude."

Williams had to have an age waiver just to mobilize with his unit and said after helping to prepare them for mobilization, he did not feel that his mission was complete.

Maj. Charles R. Lanfear, the supply officer for the 36th Sust. Bde. and a Bridgeport, Texas, native, said Williams is a wealth of knowledge and has even previously served in Lanfear's position.

"(There is) not anyone better suited, or better trained for this position," he said. "He takes his knowledge, he makes sure that the subordinates that work for him and around him understand, helps guide them through their problems, points them in the right direction, and gives them enough information to solve the problems themselves and makes sure that they do it correctly."

Lanfear said Williams' considerable experience has made a huge impact on the unit's performance in country.

"Since Chief (Williams) has been here, he has identified approximately $60 million worth of equipment that was not being tracked properly," he said. "He brought it to record, made sure it was on the property book and started turning it in. He took responsibility of one hand receipt on his own, for the property book side, and it was over $5 million. He turned all that equipment in, and got it off the books where it could go back in the system and be used by other units that could possibly need this equipment or repair it."

In addition to the $65 million in equipment, Williams has also saved his command several million dollars by starting multiple financial-liability investigations of property loss, said Lanfear.

Williams said he plans to start looking at retirement once the unit re-deploys.