Robert M. Miele, executive technical Director and deputy to the commander of U.S. Army Test Evaluation Command, left, reads an oath as John W. Diem is sworn in as the civilian executive director of the U.S. Army Operational Test Command at its command's headquarters at Fort Hood on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.

FORT HOOD — The U.S. Army Operational Test Command received a new executive director following a promotion ceremony near the command’s headquarters at West Fort Hood, Friday.

John W. Diem, a Harker Heights resident, was named the eighth executive director for OTC and will oversee operational tests, assessments and experiments on weapons, equipment and doctrine at testing locations across the United States. Diem will supervise more than 1,100 military and civilian members and $46 million in contracts.

The host for the ceremony was Brig. Gen. John Ulrich, the Operational Test Command commander.

“John has distinguished himself in faithful and honorable service to our country,” Ulrich said. “John Diem is the epitome of an Army civilian.”

Ulrich said Diem was in the past assigned to almost every predecessor of the Operational Test Command and its current testing programs.

Diem has served in Army training, operational and developmental testing positions for more than 32 years and held positions as developmental and operational test officer, research/systems analyst, simulation lead, and technology division chief.

Diem said the appointment was an amazing opportunity to be an advocate for the American soldier, to make sure the equipment they receive works and is reliable. Diem also said he wants to ensure the skills and workforce are modernized for the modern threats the country faces.

“A lot of my focus is going to be on the workforce, making sure we got the right folks with the right technical skills,” Diem said. “(I) really want to reach out to the universities to start bringing some of those skills in, new ideas and new talent and look at the tools we use and measure those systems on the battlefield and how they work.”

Diem said the assignment of executive director usually lasts about two years.

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