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Lechner Named Superintendent Of Arlington National Cemetery

From the Memorial Business Journal, May 29, 2014

The secretary of the Army has promoted Jack E. Lechner Jr. to the position of superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery.

Lechner, who retired as a U.S. Army colonel in November 2011, is also a licensed funeral director. He succeeds Patrick K. Hallinan, who replaced the retired Kathryn Condon as executive director of the Army National Cemeteries program. Lechner served as executive officer and deputy superintendent of the cemetery under Hallinan.

Back in 2010, U.S. Army Inspector General John McHugh, secretary of the Army, made sweeping changes in the management and oversight of Arlington National Cemetery and brought in Hallinan, Lechner and Condon to oversee the nation's most hallowed burial ground.

"Jack Lechner is a tribute to our nation, our military personnel, our honored dead, wherever they rest in peace, and to funeral service," said Robby Bates, president of the National Funeral Directors Association, of which Lechner is a member. "I am very proud to know he is a licensed funeral director. Arlington National Cemetery could not have a better superintendent for the respect and responsibilities of the job."

Added Rob Moore, NFDA president-elect, "Jack's appointment as Superintendent brings out a great deal of pride in me not only because he is from New Jersey but also because he is a fellow licensed funeral director. I have known Jack for many years and believe his professionalism and dedication to both funeral service and veterans will help guide the important work being done every day at Arlington."

John H. Fitch Jr., NFDA senior vice president of advocacy, echoed Bates and Moore's comments. "To finally have a funeral director and NFDA member as the superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery is quite an honor," Fitch said. "Superintendent Lechner knows and understands the needs of funeral directors and the families of veterans they serve in ensuring they are properly attended with dignity and respect and in a timely manner. Jack is the consummate professional yet approachable and engaging. We have a great relationship with him and look forward to working with him as the new superintendent."

Lechner was assigned as executive officer for the cemetery on June 14, 2010. Since August 2008, he was the chief, Supply Division, Joint Staff J-4, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.,where he was responsible for Joint Supply Chain Architecture (JSCA) and equipping Iraqi and Afghanistan National Security Forces.

Prior to his arrival on the Joint Staff, Lechner was chief of staff for the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) headquartered in Balad, Iraq. This 650-soldier headquarters and its seven brigades of 20,000 soldiers were responsible for all logistical support in Iraq.

Lechner spent 10 years in the funeral profession as a licensed practitioner of mortuary science before enlisting in the Army. He is a licensed funeral director in several states and a certified funeral service practitioner (CFSP).