Dr. James C. Kirsch

Dr. James C. Kirsch ('04) is a prominent figure within the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), embodying a unique blend of practical experience and leadership. Completing his education as a student in the Optical Science & Engineering program at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System, Dr. Kirsch's journey has now led him to the prestigious role of director of the command, which is part of the Aviation and Missile Center at Redstone Arsenal. 

Leading the DEVCOM and earning a promotion to Tier II of the Senior Executive Service makes Dr. Kirsch the highest-ranking civilian within the command and a UAH graduate that the College of Science is proud of. "This is an unparalleled achievement recognized by anyone familiar with the command structure at Redstone. Jim was one of my top Ph.D. students—perhaps the best I've had in my three decades at UAH. He has always exceeded the expectations of his academic, military, and civilian supervisors, making himself indispensable, and us at UAH look good", says Dr. Don Gregory, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UAH.

His trajectory within the Civil Service began with an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering, then an M.S. degree, and finally a Ph.D. in Optical Science and Engineering (OSE), an interdisciplinary graduate program between the Colleges of Science and Engineering. Today, his dedication to pushing the boundaries of technology for the advancement of his country has been rewarded by this most recent promotion. He will lead a workforce of engineers, scientists, researchers, and support staff in developing cutting-edge aviation and missile capabilities that align with the Army's strategic goals and evolving needs.

Dr. Kirsch's trajectory from  UAH student to Army Missile Command Co-Op and now ascending to director at the U.S. Army's Combat Capabilities Development Command is profoundly inspiring. As he charts his course through the intricate landscape of military technology, his journey becomes a compelling example of the transformative impact of education, dedication, and relentless pursuit of excellence.