Lieutenant General Lawrence F. Skibbie was born in Bowling Green, Ohio in 1932 and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1954 as an Artillery second lieutenant. After several assignments within that branch, he attended the Ordnance Officer Career Course in 1957.
While assigned to the U.S. Army Munitions Production Base Modernization and Expansion Program, he developed, assembled, and marketed the first Five-Year Plan for the long-term effort to modernize the Army's aging ammunition facilities. He developed a computerized technique which prioritized by dollar savings, work force safety, environmental enhancements, and technology. His applied logical programming techniques raised the program to a $500,000 per year investment.
As Commander of Rock Island Arsenal, he introduced modern management techniques to the production control function and laid the groundwork for the Arsenal Modernization Program which brought the Rock Island Arsenal to parity, allowing it to compete effectively with modern U.S. Industries.
As Director of Combat Systems Support in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development, and Acquisition, he formulated and defended before Congress, the ammunition budgets necessary for the increased defense building of the 1980's. He was responsible for increased levels of training ammunition and the introduction of advanced tank and smart munitions. He was the principal architect for the acquisition of the Mobile Subscriber Equipment Communication System for the combat field Army, which utilized nontraditional procurement strategies and commercial techniques. The system was used extensively and successfully in Operations Desert Shield and Storm.
He was one of only three nonsignal officers to command Fort Monmouth and the U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command, and from 1984 through 1987, he served as the Army Materiel Command Deputy Commanding General for both Readiness and Research and Development. General Skibbie retired in 1987.