Dr. Colvard served Dahlgren and our nation well

Dr. Jim Colvard made a point of writing letters to the editor to memorialize people he thought were noteworthy. I thought that it was appropriate for someone to do that for him.

Jim had an outstanding Navy career that began with his enlisted service and concluded with his service as the deputy chief of the Naval Material Command. In between, he was a physicist in China Lake, Calif., and held various posts in Washington before being enticed to Dahlgren by Barney Smith, Dahlgren’s technical director.

He rose through the ranks to become the technical director himself. There were numerous highlights during his tenure, but two come to mind: his leadership during the merger of the Naval Ordnance Laboratory (White Oak, Md.) and the Naval Weapons Laboratory (in Dahlgren) to form the Naval Surface Warfare Center, and his role in bringing the Aegis program to Dahlgren.

After his Navy service, he was appointed deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management by President Reagan. He later became a visiting professor at Virginia Tech and taught and lectured at many other institutions and organizations.

I, and many others, will remember Jim as a professor, friend and mentor. He will be missed.

Dr. Robert Gates


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