Willard W. Batien was born in San Francisco, California, in 1947. He joined the Army in 1966 and served as a mechanic and maintenance supervisor until 1979 when, as a Sergeant First Class, he received a warrant officer appointment. Following graduation from the Unit Maintenance Repair Technician Course, he was assigned first as Maintenance Section Chief for the 267th Petroleum Pipeline Company at Fort Lee, Virginia, and then as Maintenance, Safety, and Calibrations Officer for the 503rd Transportation Company in Germany.
In 1983, Batien returned to the States for an assignment as the Maintenance Officer for the 497th Transportation Company at Fort Lewis, Washington, where he supervised more than 100 personnel in the Maintenance, Operations, and Repair Parts Section and was responsible for an inventory valued at $10 million. Then, from 1984 to 1987, he served as the Maintenance Officer for the 5th Battalion, 15th Field Artillery, in the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California. In this assignment, he not only maintained the battalion's equipment, which was valued at more than $16 million, but also coordinated and supervised the battalion's rail, air, and sea deployments.
In 1987, the Army capitalized on Batien's management and training and assigned him as Maintenance Officer and Advisor to the Bahrain Defense Force. In this position, he supervised 25 American Soldiers and civilians and fielded 54 M60 Tanks and four M88 Recovery Vehicles with all supporting equipment to the Bahrain Defense Force.
In 1988, Batien was assigned to the Ordnance Center and School at Aberdeen Proving Ground as Director of the Warrant Officer Course and Special Staff Officer in the Office of the Chief of Ordnance. While at Aberdeen, he deployed on short notice for Operation Desert Storm as Officer-in-Charge of a maintenance contact team supporting the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment and later joined the 71st Battalion Logistics Task Force in support of the 1st Armored Division.
When he returned from the Persian Gulf in 1991, Batien was assigned as Maintenance and Transportation Officer for US Army, Allied Forces Southern Europe, in Italy. As the Officer-in-Charge of maintenance and property accountability, he was responsible for a fleet of 300 vehicles and a $2 million operating budget.
From 1994 to 1996, Batien served as Advisor to the Director of Maintenance Management, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics and Operations, Army Materiel Command (AMC) in Alexandria, Virginia. While assigned to AMC, he reviewed all Special Repair Activity requests from the field, devised a mobile repair capability for circuit cards, and provided Army-wide guidance on Chemical Agent Resistant Coating and the Army Oil Analysis Program. He also accompanied the 1st Armored Division to Bosnia as a member of a Center for Army Lessons Learned team.
In 1996, Batien moved to the Pentagon as Action Officer for Maintenance Policy and Issues in the Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics. He was instrumental in the evolution of Integrated Sustainment Maintenance, worked in the Velocity Management group, and was involved in the development of the Equipment Repair Shelter.
Batien culminated his military career as Maintenance Systems Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation Officer at the US Army Test and Evaluation Command, Alexandria, Virginia, where he was responsible for an operational evaluation of Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-A), a $1.6 billion program designed to modernize the Standard Army Management Information Systems (STAMIS).
CW5 Billy Batien retired in 2000 after 34 years of dedicated and faithful service to the Army and the Ordnance Corps.