U.S. Army Operational Testers' Hall of Fame

 Mr. William ("Bill") R. Fessler

Mr. William (“Bill”) R. Fessler

Inducted October 01, 2019

Test Support Officer | Division Chief | Deputy Director | Acting Director
Logistics Directorate (G4)
U.S. Army Operational Test Command
Fort Cavazos, TX

William R. Fesler is a native of Amarillo, Texas who enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 1962, serving through the ranks until his retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel in October 1991 with over 29 years of Active Duty service.

Mr. Fesler’s distinguished civil service career spans more than 21 years from October 7, 1991 to June 30, 2013, culminating as the Acting Director of the Logistics Directorate (G4), U.S. Army Operational Test Command (OTC), Fort Cavazos, Texas. His previous positions included Logistics Officer for the Command, Control, and Communications Test Directorate (C3TD), Test Officer for C3TD and the Aviation Test Directorate, and G3 Operations Officer. He was a Test Officer on a number of systems to include: Enhanced Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS), Vehicle Intercommunications System, Command and Control Vehicle (C2V), Aviation Mission Planning System with the CH47-D Helicopter, and other systems including airborne jamming for the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System and EPLRS.

He served in several capacities within the G4 including Test Support Officer, Division Chief, Deputy Director, and Acting Director. As a G4 Test Support Officer from July 28, 2002 to July 17, 2005, Mr. Fesler completed independent government cost estimates to ensure contract support was performed within reasonable costs. With an eye on controlling costs, he advised test officers on the availability of Government Furnished Equipment(GFE) and available instrumentation solutions with greater data reliability and arranged for delivery and installation of such equipment.

As a Division Chief from July 18, 2005 to July 7, 2010, Mr. Fesler worked tirelessly to ensure the full and open competition of a five-year Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract to provide up to $150 million in services and manage 35,000 items of GFE with a value of over $70 million.

As the Deputy Director from 2010 to 2012, Mr. Fesler carefully managed the Command’s logistical operations during the critical period when the Army added two Network Integration Evaluations per year to the existing schedule of operational testing.

As the Acting Director, G4 from 2012 to 2013, Mr. Fesler managed down the base property from $70 million to $47 million to effect cost savings to the government for maintaining property. He inspected facilities and equipment, then ensured timely disposition of excess or unused equipment. Mr. Fesler identified a need for a digitally connected laboratory for technology development, test planning, engineering support, and certification of instrumentation and modeling and simulation systems to support the Army network environment. The $4.6M project was completed in 2019, and will provide OTC capabilities needed to support Army modernization for the next two decades.

His determination to leave the command better than when he started resulted in a complete upgrade of the command’s non-tactical "fleet of vehicles — direct savings of at least $2 million."

Throughout his more than 50 years of combined service to his Nation, Mr. Fesler embodied the Army values and the spirit of the profession of arms. Mr. Fesler has left an unmatched legacy for others to follow in the operational testing community.