Lt. Col. Travis Adkins, a graduate of West Point and Harvard, recently retired after serving a quarter century in the Army, most recently serving as commander of the Lima tank plant.


On June 20, Lieutenant Colonel Travis Adkins participated in a Changing of Command ceremony at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center (JSMC) in Lima, commonly known as the Lima Tank Plant, where he spent three years as the commander.

The ceremony included passing the colors to demonstrate the relinquishment of command to the one assuming command. The position was the culmination of a 25-year career in the Army, one in which Adkins is proud to have served.

Adkins began his impressive career in 1994, when he enlisted in the Army shortly after graduating from Paulding High School. He entered The United States Military Academy at West Point, completing a bachelor of science degree in 1998. After graduation, he was commissioned as an artillery officer in the Army.

Since graduation at West Point, Adkins’ career has taken him to several places in the United States, as well as abroad. Some of his career locations include Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, Ft. Carson, Colorado, Ft. Leonard, Missouri, and the Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Michigan. During those stints he was also deployed overseas on three separate occasions.

Adkins’ first deployment took him to Bosnia for a peacekeeping mission. He also spent time in Afghanistan then Iraq on subsequent deployments.

While in Afghanistan, he worked at the National Military Academy as a mentor, trainer, and curriculum writer.

In Iraq, he spent nine months working with defense contractors. Throughout the years at home and abroad, Adkins continued moving up in the ranks as well, being promoted to captain, major, then finally lieutenant colonel.

Another appointment Adkins earned along the way that he is proud of is the time he spent as an instructor at West Point. He was selected to the teaching position, so was required to obtain a master’s degree. He applied for, and was accepted into the Harvard School of Business, earning his MBA in 2006.

In 2016, Adkins began his final tour, accepting a three-year appointment as commander at JSMC in Lima. It was his second time working there; he first spent time there early in his career as a contract officer.

The JSMC plant is government owned, but contracted by General Dynamics, and is part of the Defense Contract and Management Agency (DCMA).

Although most people refer to JSMC as the Tank Plant, the name was changed back in 2004, when the plant began servicing all five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Adkins indicated working at JSMC was quite an honor. It is the only tank plant in the entire western hemisphere. As a result, many high-ranking officials often visit. During his time there, senior Army officials, representatives from the Department of Defense and congressmen all made visits. In March 2019, President Trump, along with the Secretaries of Defense and the Army, paid a visit.

With all the places he has served and dignitaries he has met over his career, Adkins stated, “The greatest privilege of being an officer in the Army has been leading the sons and daughters of America, and working with the dedicated patriots who give their time and service at JSMC.”

Now that he has retired after 25 years of service to the Army, Adkins is planning to spend more time with his family. He and his wife have two children. After some time reflecting and relaxing, he plans to pursue a second career; however, he is going to take his time to find the right fit for himself and his family.

After so many years of service and so much moving around, Adkins and his family deserve just that.