Image of Lee James III Inducted Into Senior Executive Service

Story by PEO STRI, Donnie Ryan

The U. S. Army inducted its newest member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) during a ceremony at the headquarters for the Program Executive Officer Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) in Orlando, Florida, on May 17.

Lee James III, the Deputy Program Executive Officer at PEO STRI, received his appointment certificate, lapel pin, and SES flag to join the ranks of an elite group of federal civilian employees who serve in key positions just below top presidential appointees.

“I do not take this lightly, and I am excited to be your Deputy PEO and I look forward to our continued tradition of excellence,” James said. “There is a lot going on in this portfolio, and I am humbled to be a part of it.”

James thanked his family for their support and recognized many members of the audience by name, many of whom he had worked for and alongside in the past. He said each had a significant impact on his career, allowing him to reach this career milestone.

“Thank you for coming because today is about you too; I want to make sure you all understand your significance here today,” James told the audience. “Because if I didn’t see you do it, I would have never believed that I could do it.”

Karen D. H. Saunders, the Program Executive Officer at PEO STRI who presided over the ceremony, welcomed James to the ranks of the SES and thanked his family for their support of his Army civilian career.

“Membership in the Senior Executive Service demands leadership, professional integrity, a broad perspective, and a commitment to the highest ideals of public service,” Saunders said. “These men and women who are charged with leading the continuing transformation of government possess well-honed executive skills and share a broad perspective of government and a commitment to public service that is grounded in the Constitution.”

Saunders said as a member of the SES James will play a key role in PEO STRI modernization and readiness of people, programs, and processes, as well as serve as a key leader with stakeholders partnering to drive transformation in contact.

“Being selected for the Senior Executive Service is equal to being selected as a general officer in the Army. And with that honor, comes a great deal of responsibility,” Saunders said. “I look forward to all the great work he will be doing for PEO STRI, the Army, and our nation in the future.”

The SES was established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 to ensure the executive management of the government of the U. S. is responsive to the needs, policies, and goals of the nation and is otherwise of the highest quality. SES members oversee government activity in approximately 75 federal agencies, but less than .5% of the total federal workforce is part of the SES.

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, PEO STRI consists of a highly skilled and diverse workforce of nearly 1,200 personnel and works with high-caliber Army partners to enhance operational readiness and support the Army’s modernization efforts by fielding and sustaining the next generation of multi-domain operations testing, training, and information operations capabilities.

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