Dale E. Ellis graduated from Thermopolis High School and attended the University of Wyoming receiving B.S. degrees in petroleum geology and general engineering with an industrial option in 1961. His entire career was as a civil service employee for the Department of Defense.
Ellis started with the Navy at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in 1961, being transferred to Fort Carson Colorado in 1963. Working with engineers from Booz-Allen he developed a conceptional design for a consolidated field maintenance facility and oversaw its construction. He helped design the first automated Production Planning and Control System for maintenance/ repair of Army equipment. A modernized version of this system is currently used throughout the entire Army. He was promoted in 1967 to chief industrial engineer with responsibility for increasing the efficiency of Army maintenance. In 1972 he was promoted to material maintenance manager and later transferred to Fort Benning Georgia overseeing maintenance of all equipment in the Army inventory.
In 1985, he became the first civilian director of logistics in the US Army, managing a civilian/military work force of over 800 personnel with an annual budget of $45 million. Under his direction, the directorate contributed to Fort Benning becoming a major Power Projection Platform, deploying Army personnel to all major conflicts in the world until his retirement in 1998. He received numerous recognitions for his initiatives including Key Process Champion for Presidential Quality, Best Directorate of Logistics in US Army, Commanders Award and the Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the highest award for civilians. Dale and his wife, Jan, have three daughters and seven grandchildren.