Editorial: A poor remembrance

We were more than disappointed to hear that the Office of Force Transformation is going to close.

The office had been closely aligned with retired Vice Adm. Arthur Cebrowski, who led the office from its inception until February 2005. He died in November 2005. Often organizations that are so closely aligned with a single person fall aside when that person is no longer leading the organization.

Yet somehow the closure of the office seems to carry a louder message.

OFT was created in 2001 as part of President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s broad initiative to transform the Defense Department. The initiative was supposed to spur DOD to change itself so that the military was better able to confront new treats. Clearly, the military is facing those new threats, as we have seen with the 2001 terrorist attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Terry Pudas, OFT’s acting director, told Federal Computer Week that DOD’s move was a positive development and a sign that the agency has incorporated transformation into the way it does business. “The office was created to be a catalyst…to jump-start the transformation thinking and process, and I think we’ve done that,” he said.

Pudas argued that spreading the transformation office’s functions throughout various organizations will make them part of mainstream activities.

We hope he is right, but we fear he is wrong. It is difficult to institute change within many organizations, and when you are dealing with an organization the size of DOD, those obstacles can become insurmountable.

OFT was as a reminder that the military faces a changing world and must constantly change to meet those new challenges.

We are disappointed and somewhat disheartened that OFT was unable to find a life post-Cebrowski.

Power players
In the coming weeks, FCW editors will compile a list of what we call government IT power players. These are the truly influential people in this community. And we’re seeking your thoughts. Do you know a power player who could have been overlooked? Let us know. Watch for FCW’s list of power players in the Oct. 30 issue.


About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.

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