William C. (Bill) Klein, deputy director of engineering for the Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center, passed away suddenly on Feb. 25, 2020.
Bill directly managed more than 500 members of the Center staff, and provided leadership in efforts to design, build, test and support the acquisition and sustainment of chemical biological defense systems. He served as either deputy or associate director for engineering for the past 25 years.
“Bill led with an open heart, a keen sense for details, and a real passion for people,” said Center Director Eric L. Moore, Ph.D. “Over the course of his career, Bill was a constant advocate for employee development, working with other leaders to pioneer many mentoring programs. He personally mentored countless employees over the years. Whether they were in the Engineering Directorate or not, he always lent his ear to listen and offered honest advice. Bill wanted to bring out the best in everyone, and ensure that our Center was a safe and inviting workplace.”
Bill was hired as a mechanical engineer in 1980 by the Army Armament Materiel Readiness Command Maintenance Engineering Detachment located at the Edgewood area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. He served in multiple engineering leadership positions at various agencies at Edgewood over his 40-year career – always focused on better protecting the warfighter from chemical and biological threats.
During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Bill served as a deputy program manager and was responsible for leading an effort that resulted in the fielding of a first-time-in-history biological detection capability for U.S. forces. The design served as the catalyst for the Biological Integrated Detection System Program. He served as the U.S. chemical biological defense expert to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during the 1990s, and served as the U.S. head of delegation for the Nuclear-Biological-Chemical Quadripartite Working Group during that same period. Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, Bill was called upon to lead an effort to develop a process for checking delivered mail for chemical, biological and radiological hazards.
“Bill has been a great friend over the years – we’ve shared the good and challenging times with work and raising families; we’ve taken turns being the boss but consistently we watched out for each other, the Center and the warfighter,” said Suzanne Milchling, CCDC Chemical Biological Center director of engineering. “Bill will be greatly missed, but I know he’d want us all to move forward and continue to support the warfighter and the nation.”
Bill graduated from Loyola College in Baltimore in 1980 with a degree in engineering. He was a loving father to his three children – Jonathan, Justin, and Jennifer, a caring son to his parents, the owner of an impressive historical camera collection, and a baseball and lacrosse fan. He was an advocate of the Wounded Warrior Project and Loyola College. Bill was 61 years old.