Change coming in Army CIO

Maj. Gen. Steven Boutelle has been tapped to replace Lt. Gen. Peter Cuviello as chief information officer for the Army.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today announced that President Bush had nominated Boutelle for promotion to lieutenant general and the role of CIO for the Army. Boutelle is serving as director of information operations, networks and space within the Army CIO's office.

It is unclear when Cuviello will retire and Boutelle will take over. However, in an e-mail message last summer, Cuviello said that "the plan right now is for me to stay on as the Army CIO/G6 for another year."

Cuviello's departure will come about a year after the Army lost two other IT leaders, Miriam Browning, director of enterprise integration, and Col. Robert Coxe, chief technology officer, who retired in August. They, along with Cuviello, were largely responsible for the Army Knowledge Management initiative.

Cuviello has long championed the AKM program, through which the Army is applying basic knowledge management principles to nearly every aspect of the service's operations. One of the most highly touted AKM initiatives is the Army Knowledge Online Web portal, which provides information on training and other personnel development resources to more than 1.2 million users.

"Through [Cuviello's] vision in developing a strategy for [AKM], we have a clear blueprint for transforming our Army into a network-centric, knowledge-based force," said David Borland, the Army's deputy chief information officer.

Ray Bjorklund, vice president of consulting services at Federal Sources Inc., a market research firm in McLean, Va., said that leadership in upper management is important because Army commands and installations often like to do things on their own.

"Cuviello has been reasonably successful as CIO, but the Army is still struggling with this whole concept of transformation," Bjorklund said. "We hear a lot today about how these tank-heavy generals can't get this transformation thing and the concept of a lighter, faster Army."

Bjorklund said the success of Army Knowledge Online will probably be considered Cuviello's legacy, but added that Cuviello's successor has his work cut out for him.

"The Army is a very large enterprise, and they tend to look at their force structure differently," he said. "Traditionally, the Army has not been as IT-centric as the other services."

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