Lieutenant Colonel John Mark Thane – Director
United States Army, Fort Bliss
Lieutenant Colonel John Mark Thane is assigned to the U.S. Army’s Capability Package Directorate, System of Systems Engineering and Integration Directorate at Fort Bliss, Texas as the Executive Officer with additional duties supporting the U.S. Army’s Rapid Capability Office. His organization has a critical role in the U.S. Army’s modernization effort. During a career spanning over 30 years of commissioned service, he commanded troops in Armor and Cavalry in the 3rd Infantry Division and the 49th Armored Division of the Texas Army National Guard, and led as an Army Acquisition Officer and Uniformed Scientist at the U.S. Army ARDEC, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the Defense Intelligence Agency and in his current assignment.
His career also includes Academic and Corporate experience. As an undergraduate and graduate student of Physics, he worked in the High Energy Physics Research Group at Texas A&M University on projects including a scintillation-based GUT magnetic monopole search and prototype hadron calorimeters for the Collider Detector Facility at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. His thesis, “Development of a Small Angle Hadron Calorimeter Prototype for the Collider Detector at Fermilab,” focused on development of instrumentation for the high radiation environment around the beamline of the 2 TeV synchrotron collider.
As a consequence of the 1992 Reduction in Force, he returned home to Texas and the Army National Guard. There he served as a Tank Battalion Support Platoon Leader, Tank Company Executive Officer, Cavalry Squadron Maintenance Officer and Headquarters Troop Commander. On the civilian side, work at EWA Services provided additional opportunities at the Army’s Test and Experimentation Command as an ORSA, Test Plans Analyst and Data Manager. His civilian Job moved him to the Washington, D.C. area in 1998 to work at the U.S. Army Evaluation Center (AEC). At the AEC he was the Senior Evaluator for Small Arms Weapon Systems and began making frequent trips to Picatinny Arsenal, NJ and the Infantry Center and School at Fort Benning. As a consequence of the relocation, he transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve and was assessed into the Reserve Component Acquisition Workforce. After September 11th, 2001, he was mobilized and served two years at the Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, MD followed by two years of Active Duty at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Lieutenant Colonel Thane is a recipient of the U.S. Army Research & Development Award in 2013 and the Army Greatest Invention Award for 2006 as the Team Leader for Development and Fielding of the Rapid Entry Vehicle for use in Camp Bucca, Iraq. His military awards include the Bronze Star, the Afghan Campaign Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the NATO Medal and Basic Parachutist Badge. He has three Level III certifications in PM, T&E and SPRD&E and a Level II Acquisition certifications in SPRD&E PSE and is a graduate of the Capabilities Development Course. He received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physics from Texas A&M University with a focus on Experimental High Energy Physics Research. He is an Eagle Scout.