Innovative. That’s the word Jerry Wagner used to describe his 31-year career at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. The chemical equipment engineering technician has spent the last 27 years with the Chemical Biological Application and Risk Reduction (CBARR) Business Unit of the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, fabricating and installing equipment in support of various projects, including the decommissioning and demolition of the Pilot Plant complex.
Wagner also served as the maintenance team lead for the Chemical Transfer Facility (CTF) and Thermal Treatment Facility, but his most notable achievement was his instrumental role in the design of a remote drill for the Chemical Agent Transfer System at the CTF. Wagner also set up equipment to support the deploy-ment of CBARR personnel for a project in England to support the Project Manager for Non-Stockpile Chemical Materiel.
“Jerry was a ‘go-to guy’ on the job. If you needed something, he more than likely had it,” said Tim Evans, chief of the Chemical Equipment Maintenance Branch, and Wagner’s supervisor for the past 14 years. “His experience and knowledge within the organization was unique. There have been a lot of changes in the organization over the years, from regulations and the way we work, to environmental and safety awareness. Jerry has worked with the equipment and processes within these changes, which has made his experience invaluable to CBARR.”
Prior to working at APG, Wagner was drafted into the U.S. Army from 1965-1967 and served as a power genera-tor repairman. He attributes his fascination with machinery to his childhood when he would watch his father build things from scratch. Ever since then, Wagner has been creating, molding and problem solving maintenance issues for the CBARR organization, and is recognized as a vital team member in the safe handling and destruction of chemical warfare material around the world. At the end of a distinguished career, he reflected back on his favorite part of the job—the equipment—and is glad to have been part of modernization of new technology.
“I’ve really enjoyed my job down here and am definitely happy with my experi-ence,” said Wagner. “But now my challenges are really going to get me good—I’ve got three grandchildren to take care of!”
Wagner was born in Maryland and has family all across the country, from the Northeast region to Florida, Texas, Colorado and North Carolina. He said he looks forward to spending more time with his family and grandchildren, and is even contemplating a cross-country trip in his RV.
“There’s a lot of United States I haven’t seen yet,” he said.