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9 July 2007

JSU Alum/Major General Carolos "Butch" Pair
Heads Up Dept. of Defense's New BTA Agency

Reprinted here in its entirety.

Major General Carlos ‘Butch’ Pair
Transforms Department of Defense

By Denise Sinclair
Daily Home

Major General Carlos ‘Butch’ Pair

Former Sylacauga resident and Birmingham native Major General Carlos “Butch” Pair is heading an agency to transform the business operations of the Department of Defense (DoD), including changes such as cutting costs and spending taxpayer dollars wisely.

The Business Transformation Agency (BTA) was formed less than two years ago and Pair assumed his duties as the Defense Business Systems Acquisition Executive (DBSAE) in December 2005. The agency is located in Washington, D.C., at the Pentagon.

The mission of the agency is to guide the transformation of business operations throughout the DoD and to deliver enterprise-level capabilities that align to soldiers’ needs.

This agency through the DoD is engaged in a massive business transformation effort to modernize its processes, systems and information flows to support 21st-century national security requirements.

Pair said the BTA’s strategic objectives are to provide support to the joint warfighting capability; enable rapid access to information for strategic decisions; reduce the cost of defense business operations; and improve financial stewardship to the American people.

Pair was born in Birmingham, but his family moved to Anniston when he was in the ninth grade in school. His father ran a paint and glass store there.

The future military officer graduated from Saks High School and received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Jacksonville State University.

When he retires from the Army in 2009, he will have spent 39 years serving his country in the reserves and active duty.

He is a graduate of the Army Quartermaster Officer Basic and Advanced Course, Command and General Staff College, Defense Strategy Course, United States Army War College and Syracuse University National Strategic Leaders course.

His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with Silver Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

While at JSU, Pair met his wife, Jeannie. The couple have a daughter, Sasha and grandson, Troy.

Pair and his family spent many years in Sylacauga before he went back on active duty. He worked for Georgia Marble that later became ECC for 20 years.

While in Sylacauga, the Pairs were involved in many community activities.

Pair was the first president of the B.B. Comer Memorial Library Foundation and also served a number of positions while a member of First United Methodist Church. He was also a graduate of Leadership Sylacauga and worked with the Chamber of Commerce in fundraising and economic development.

Pair said he enjoyed playing a minor military role in Operation Victory that was held in Sylacauga while he lived there, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of World War II.

Pair said he and his family loved living and working in Sylacauga. “I still have many good friends there. We bought our first home there and built our first home in Sylacauga,” he said.

The major general came off active duty in 1979 and started to work for Georgia Marble then ECC until 2000.

That was when he was invited back to active duty. He was selected as a member of the Chairman’s Ten Program. This program opened up 10 slots for one- or two-star generals. Pair was a one-star general in the Army Reserve when selected for the program.

Since leaving Sylacauga he has been promoted to a two-star general.

As part of the Chairman’s Ten Program, Pair served as the first Chief of Staff of the U.S. Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

This was prior to reporting to the Business Transformation Agency.

Before his positions in recent years, Pair received his commission as a quartermaster officer and held a wide variety of command positions within the logistical community in quartermaster ordnance, maintenance and transportation as well as a number of key staff assignments.

During his career, he has commanded troops from company to brigade level. Commands include 530th DS, Forward, Maintenance Company, 194th Armored Brigade, Fort Knox, Ky.; Battalion Command was the 696th Ordnance Battalion, Mobile; Brigade Command was Third Army’s 3rd Transportation Movement Control Agency; and other significant experience includes Chief of Staff, 377th Theater Support Command, 3rd Army’s Theater Support Command.

As a general officer, Pair was assigned as Deputy Commander of Military Traffic Management Command and the Army Component of the United States Transportation Command in Alexandria, Va.

Pair expects to remain as Defense Business Systems Acquisition Executive (DBSAE) until he retires.

His position as DBSAE is a corporate level in the DoD.

“This agency is responsible for building and integrating 26 computer software systems that comprise the corporate business system for DoD. We pay people, take care of travel, human resource records, contracting and financial issues behind the scenes. We do what it takes to make a business run. That is what my team does. The DoD is the largest entity of its kind in the world. You could say it is a Fortune 500 company,” Pair said.

The major general said the mission of BTA is to transform business operations to achieve improved soldier support while enabling financial accountability across the Department of Defense.

There are three million federal government employees including military and civilian in the DoD. That number doesn’t include the number of contractor employees.

A small army of people, including military and contract employees are working for Pair to manage the 26 programs and systems that are in DBSAE. He sets the direction and is leading improvement and change, responding to ‘customer’ needs while reducing costs and wisely using taxpayer dollars.

DBSAE programs and systems are provided for all of DoD, plus some systems serving retirees.

Pair manages the 26 programs and systems for DoD. He is also responsible for the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System. This system allows active, reserve and guard troops and retirees to access their human resource records via a secure Web connection from anywhere in the world — from a ship at sea to a computer in Baghdad.

Pair’s agency is responsible for a new integrated pay system for the entire Army and Air Force worldwide. He is also working to get other military forces involved, too.

“By doing this we will be able to shut down a large number of systems with this new program,” he said.

While at ECC, Pair was production superintendent of the quarry and human resource manager, along with handling government relations. His reserve duties along with his work experience have been invaluable to him for his new job in the military.

“It gave me a lot of general experience while at ECC, and my reserve duties provided the command experience and made me ready to do this,” he said.

While at Scott Air Force Base, he was chief of staff to a four-star general in command of 156,000 troops.

“My job was to assemble and ensure his staff was operating effectively as a team,” he said.

After 9/11, Pair was involved in organizational changes. “I was blessed to be placed in these roles were I was given visibility. I was ask to interview for the job at BTA. I interviewed with the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Gordon England, and others. Somehow they saw something in me they liked and offered me the job. This was a new job and new agency — something that had never been done before,” he said. “My job is to deliver these capabilities of 26 programs to the DoD. I left Sylacauga a one-star general in the reserves. The Deputy Secretary of Defense wanted to focus this effort on delivering these very large enterprise systems, shut down old systems and save millions of dollars for taxpayers. We are using commercial, off-the-shelf technology to do this.”

Pair said the agency is also helping recruit economic development to areas like Iraq so they can get the Iraqis back to work instead of idling on the streets.

“Did you know Iraq has some of the oldest marble quarries in the world? Marble is one of many products they could produce,” he said.

Pair is well-respected by individuals he works with. One of those individuals said the staff sometimes has potluck lunches.

The major general always brings something, most likely cooked by his wife Jeannie, who everyone knows is a great cook, the person said. The staff member said the general was always the last to get his plate, he waited until everyone else was served.

One staff member said of Pair, “I would follow him anywhere.”

Another staff member said Pair was a true example of leadership.

A slide presentation Pair does on the agency reads “A promise made is a promise kept.” On a personal note, another individual who works closely with Pair said, this is something the major general says a lot and it is indicative of his character.

Dr. Shirley Spears, director of B.B. Comer Memorial Library, echoed the thoughts of those working with Pair. She asked him to set up the library foundation.

“Butch helped set up the B.B. Comer Memorial Library Foundation, and he served as the charter president. I saw firsthand the high level of his organizational skills and the tremendous commitment that he brought to that organization. Then I observed his involvement with the First United Methodist Church and his interest in the kindergarten ministry there. But I guess I was most amazed at the energy and creativity that I saw exhibited in his work with the military celebrations in Sylacauga. So I’m not surprised that our town’s loss is our country’s gain. General Pair is a terrific guy and Jeannie is a perfect partner for him in this new and important chapter in his life.”

About Denise Sinclair

Denise Sinclair is a staff writer for the Daily Home.

See story at the Daily Home Web site.

See related articles:

  • BTA Web site: "Major General Carlos "Butch" Pair: Defense Business Systems Acquisition Executive (DBSAE)."

    BTA Web site: "Technology and Systems Drive DoD Business Transformation" by U.S. Army Major General Carlos “Butch” Pair."

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