Colonel Lawrence J. (John) Sowa assumed command of
White Sands Missile Range on May 2, 2003 to serve as the 25th Commander. He
served in that capacity until July 17, 2003.
Prior to assuming command of the Missile Range, Col.
Sowaâ€™s duties were as Chief of Staff of the US Army Developmental Test Command
beginning on 6 August 2001. Prior to that assignment he was the Commander of
US Army Munitions and Armaments Command, Rock Island, IL.
Col. Sowa was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania on 29
August 1950. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park,
Maryland, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government. He was commissioned as
a Second Lieutenant of Field Artillery in 1974 after completing Reserve
Officer Training Corps as a distinguished military graduate, and subsequently
branch transferred to the Ordnance Corps in August 1982. He has a Masters
Degree in Procurement and Contracting from Florida Institute of Technology,
Melbourne, Florida. His military education includes the Airborne Course, the
Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course, Ordnance Advanced Munitions Materiel
Management, Logistics Executive Development, Command and General Staff
College, DSMC â€“ Program Managers Course and the Army War College.
Key assignments include: Commander, US Army Munitions
and Armaments Command, Rock Island, IL; Commander, Crane Army Ammunition
Activity, Crane, Indiana; Strategic Planner, US Army War College, Carlisle
Barracks, Pennsylvania; Commander, Louisiana and Longhorn Army Ammunition
Plants, Marshall, Texas; Chief, Production and Logistics, Director,
Conventional Ammunition, Alexandria, Virginia; Executive Assistant to the
Director of Operations, Defense Nuclear Agency, Alexandria, Virginia; Nuclear
Weapons Materiel Management Officer, Defense Nuclear Agency, Alexandria,
Virginia; Commander, 510th Ordnance Company, Gunzburg, Germany; Tank
Ammunition Program Manager, US Army Munitions Production Base, Picatinny
Arsenal, New Jersey; FA Staff Officer, Combat Developments, Fort Sill,
Oklahoma; S3 and Battery Commander, HHB, FA Center and School, Fort Sill,
Oklahoma; Battery Commander and Platoon Leader, 1/32 Field Artillery, Hanau,
His awards and decorations include the two Legions of
Merit, two Defense Meritorious Medals, five Meritorious Service Medals, the
Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, two National
Defense Service Medals, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Army Service
Ribbon and two Overseas Service Ribbons.
Colonel Sowa and his wife Gale have two daughters,
Samantha and Katy.