The Marine Corps selected John Garner to serve as the new Program Executive Officer for Land Systems, a Senior Executive Service position that oversees the acquisition and sustainment of ground vehicles, radars and communications gear.
Garner, a retired Marine colonel with 31 years of experience as an artillery officer, most recently served as the program manager for Advanced Amphibious Assault within PEO Land Systems, which includes the legacy amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) and the in-development amphibious combat vehicle (ACV). The larger PEO Land Systems portfolio includes Humvees, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) family of vehicles, the Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR), towed artillery systems and much more.
“As PEO for Land Systems, Mr. Garner will assume responsibility for a nearly $7-billion portfolio with more than 20 programs in various lifecycle stages, and a workforce of nearly 350 acquisition professionals,” according to a Marine Corps news release.
Garner began working as an acquisition civilian in 2005 and has since supported the Joint Lightweight Army and Marine Corps Howitzer (LW-155), the Expeditionary Fire Support System, the Internally Transportable Vehicle, the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) Survivability Upgrade Program, and the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1.
Garner attended Rice University, earning a bachelor’s of science in civil engineering and fulfilling degree requirements for a bachelor’s of arts in economics. He also holds a master of business administration degree with distinction from Harvard University.
While in the Marine Corps from 1974 to 2005, Garner led artillery units at a variety of levels. In 1990 he served in the Republic of the Philippines as the operations officer and executive officer of Contingency Marine Air Ground Task Force 4-90 to defend U.S. bases and interests in response to a coup there. And he gained some experience in budgeting, through heading the Military Personnel Marine Corps Budget Section and serving in the Program and Budget Analysis Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In his final active duty assignment, Garner was the program manager for the Joint Lightweight 155mm Howitzer (JLW-155) program, leading the way to his subsequent civilian career in Marine Corps acquisition.
Garner earned the Legion of Merit with two gold stars, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, and the Navy Achievement Medal with gold star. He also received the Ancient and Honorable Order of Saint Barbara, a military honor society for the Army and Marine Corps artillery community. And Garner has received several acquisition awards, including the Donald Roebling Award for Acquisition Innovation and Excellence and the Commander’s Award for Excellence in Program Management.