It is with deepest sympathy that we report the passing of Ernest J. Gregory, former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller), a past member of the ASMC National Executive Committee, and lifelong friend and mentor to the Department of Defense financial management community. Mr. Gregory passed on October 5, 2015 after a valiant three month fight against a brain tumor. Ernie is survived by his loving wife Johanna and his children Maura, Ernest Jr., and Jason.
Ernie was a lifetime member of ASMC, served as Vice President (Army) from 1999-2000, a speaker at innumerable Professional Development Institutes and Washington Chapter events, and a beloved colleague and friend. His 37 years of service to his country touched and inspired the professional and personal lives of many of us. His tireless efforts focused upon Financial Management support of warfighters and their families and driving high performance in financial operations. Also, his dedication to the training, professional development, and mentoring of others inspired us all. It is with deepest respect and gratitude that the ASMC National Executive Committee has approved naming an ASMC National Achievement Award in honor of Ernie and his contributions to defense financial management. The first annual “Ernest J. Gregory” Comptroller/Deputy Comptroller Achievement Award will be presented to a deserving individual selected based upon his or her outstanding achievements in financial management in the position of a Comptroller or Deputy Comptroller at our National PDI in Orlando during the period 1-3 June 2016.
The following is excerpted from the remarks made on the floor of the Congress on the occasion of his retirement in 2004, by then Congressman Tom Davis, Chair of the House Government Reform Committee:
* * *
Mr. Speaker, it has come to my attention that Mr. Ernest J. Gregory is retiring after 37 years of exemplary Federal service, initially with the United States Air Force and then as a career civil servant in the Department of Defense (DoD). Mr. Gregory is a gifted leader and manager, and has served his country with dignity, honor and integrity. Ernest Gregory, a native of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a 1967 graduate of the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from that institution. He began his service to the Nation in 1968, when he entered the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft maintenance officer at the Strategic Air Command, Loring Air Force Base, Maine.
Upon completing his military term in 1972, Mr. Gregory was hired as a staff auditor for the U.S. Army Audit Agency in Philadelphia.
In 1982, Mr. Gregory was selected to join the Army secretariat staff as assistant comptroller for internal review, office of the comptroller of the Army. He was a relentless master in reviewing financial management systems and integrating measures to address shortcomings uncovered during the process.
In January 1993, the Army acknowledged Mr. Gregory's abilities and leadership, elevating him to the Senior Executive Service and the position of deputy assistant secretary of the Army for financial operations. As deputy assistant secretary, he was responsible for all Army policy, programs, systems and procedures associated with the service's accounting and finance operations, financial systems and internal review and controls. He took charge of combating fraud, waste and abuse.
Mr. Gregory was again promoted in February 2002, when Ms. Sandra Pack, then assistant secretary of the Army (financial management and comptroller), chose him as her principal deputy. (When she departed the Army in December 2003, he succeeded Ms. Pack as acting assistant secretary and served in that role for eight months.) During his tenure as principal deputy, Mr. Gregory shared responsibility for the development, formulation and advocation of policies and programs to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of U.S. Army resource management. He took bold and decisive measures to improve business procedures, and tirelessly pursued financial system integration and streamlining of Army processes.
On every day of his service to our country, Mr. Gregory demonstrated honor, integrity and personal courage. He projected the values and the broad perspective of the government, and provided the solid executive skills demanded by the American public. He helped to ensure that the Army was of the highest quality and was responsive to the needs, policies and goals of the Nation.
* * *
We will all miss Ernie and our most sincere condolences go out to his family. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ernie's memory to either Voices Against Brain Cancer or The Wounded Warrior Project. Please keep Ernie’s family in your thoughts and prayers and consider making a contribution to one of these great charities in Ernie’s name.
Mr. Gregory was a true giant in the military financial management community who touched many lives with positive and lasting impact. It is sad to learn of his passing, but right to celebrate his service to our nation.
My heart is heavy at this news. Not only was Ernie the epitome of a federal government employee, he was a wonderful man, husband and father. His sessions at PDI were always the highest rated and even entertaining. But it was his sense of humor that I loved the most. My memories of ASMC will always include a little bit of Ernie at the center of the “fun” table.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Gregory family and all who love him and appreciate his dedicated service and leadership.
Thank you for all you have done and all the lives you touched. I salute you, Ernie Gregory. Rest in peace.
He will truly be missed. He was full of life and a lot of fun. My prayers are with Johanna and his children.
Mr Gregory was a wonderful man. We enjoyed all of our time working with him.
Prayers and condolences to Ernie Gregory’s family during this sad time. I respect him and appreciate his service to our country.
My sincerest condolences to Ernie’s family. Ernie was a great asset to federal financial service. I was honored to have worked with him and am saddened to hear of his premature passing. God bless his family.
I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Ernie. He was a consummate professional: intelligent, hard working, personable. I learned more from Ernie about financial management than anyone else in my 35 year career! I miss him already.
We are sorry for your loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with your family! Love, Steve and Alison Hunter
Ernie and I were dear friends in high school; he was a great person; my prayers are with his family; may he rest in peace
We are sorry to hear about his death. I knew him when I worked at the Pentagon and we both knew him through his son Jason. He always had a positive attitude, great to work with, and we are glad to have known him.
My condolences to the family. I am very sorry for your loss. I remember Ernie from younger times. He was a good friend and always made us laugh.
Ernie: We miss you! The Koerners of Vienna, VA and Scranton, PA.
My condolences to the Gregory family. I knew Ernie through Hanna’s relationship with my Mom. He was a wonderful man with a friendly and kind soul. He will be missed by all who had the good fortune to have known him.
I had the joy and pleasure of working with Ernie during my first 4 years at Deloitte and even 4 ASMC PDIs. I was even so lucky to have shared an office with him for two of those years! Professionally, Ernie was my mentor and compass when navigating my professional career. Personally he was my spiritual guide, and like a loving grandfather that he was, when I first had my daughter he always imparted beautiful words of wisdom that I will always treasure. Ernie, heaven has a very special place for you and I’m sure you’re making God laugh with all your humor just as you shared with us on earth!
As a contractor I had the pleasure of having Mr. Gregory’s support when I was asked by Army client to assist in the very early work on CFO compliance for the Supply Management business area in the Army Working Capital Fund. He went out of his way to introduce me to the existing workgroup and made it clear he was my ‘sponsor’ into the fray. His backing enabled me to ‘boldly go’ where few outsiders like me had ventured before. It is one of the those ‘wow’ moments in my 25 years of working as a contractor and 12 years of military service. I recall this moment fondly and it has always made realize how special a man he was, a gentleman, dedicated to empowering and taking care of people,thus enabling them to get the job at hand done in a professionally manner. I am truly sorry to hear of his passing. I too had the good fortune to have known him in my professional life.
Saddened to hear this news and I extend my sincere condolences to his family. I remember Ernie for his passion and humor. PDI in the 90s was the place to be to hear his stories. He was always willing to speak at our Chapter meetings. He was a true leader and will be greatly missed.
Ernie was my AIC with Army Audit in the early seventies. He and his young Family were true friends. I was to be married in July, 1975 with my little Brother as my best man. He died suddenly of a heart condition in April. I was numb. Ernie stepped in to be my best man even though Johanna was, at least, 20 months pregnant! They both helped us through this terrible/wonderful time. I will never, ever forget Ernie and Johanna.