Boutelle to succeed Cuviello as Army CIO

Maj. Gen. Steven Boutelle has been nominated to serve as the Army's chief information officer, replacing Lt. Gen. Peter Cuviello, who is retiring.

Boutelle, who also has been nominated for promotion to lieutenant general, is currently serving as director of information operations, networks and space within the Army CIO's office.

Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg, the Joint Chiefs of Staff's director of command, control, communications and computers, called Boutelle a "great officer" and said he is eminently qualified to succeed Cuviello.

"Gen. Boutelle was one of the key architects for Force XXI," said Kellogg, referring to the Army's experimental force for the future. "He is forever forward-thinking, but more importantly, he is always thinking first about the soldiers."

Cuviello became CIO in August 2000. During his tenure, the Army has undertaken several major technology initiatives aimed at improving how it manages both information and information technology. Projects include the Army Enterprise Infostructure Transformation and the Army Knowledge Online portal.

Retired Army Col. Robert Coxe, who served as chief technology officer alongside Cuviello, said the general served as both a lightning rod for criticism and a visionary leader who helped transform the Army.

"Gen. Cuviello has taken his hits and criticisms, but he has also stood up and said that the Army needs to change," Coxe said. "He said the Army needs to change in a way that won't break it, but will make the Army better in both the short and long term."

Cuviello's "vision and strategy for Army knowledge management was in lock step with the Army's strategic transformation plan," Coxe said. "He garnered support from the leadership of the Army and came into the job with conviction."

He said Boutelle is the protege of retired Army Lt. Gen. William Campbell, who preceded Cuviello as CIO.

Boutelle "helped start the digital battlefield lab at Fort Hood, [Texas,] and that is what gives us the weapons precision we have today," Coxe said. "If people in the Army liked what Gen. Cuviello was doing before, I expect we'll see Gen. Boutelle plowing the same field.

Ray Bjorklund, vice president of market intelligence and chief knowledge officer at Federal Sources Inc., a market research firm in McLean, Va., said 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 his 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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