New Army CIO to deal with legacy

Maj. Gen. Steven Boutelle, newly confirmed as the next chief information officer of the Army, acknowledged May 27 that integrating legacy applications with new technologies will be one of his main challenges.

The Senate on May 23 confirmed Boutelle to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and succeed retiring Lt. Gen. Peter Cuviello as the Army's CIO. Boutelle is 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."

Boutelle spoke May 27 at the Army Information Technology Day sponsored by the Northern Virginia chapter of AFCEA International and said that one of his major tasks will be integrating legacy applications and platforms with the new technology that is continually emerging.

"The legacy force will be with us for 20 or 30 years, regardless of what else happens," Boutelle said.

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.

Cuviello's departure comes in the midst of a mini exodus from the Army and Defense Department. In the past several weeks, several top officials and servicemen have announced their intention to leave. In addition to Cuviello and Kellogg, those leaving include:

* Pete Aldridge, undersecretary of defense for acquisitions, technology and logistics.

* Army Secretary Thomas White, who announced his resignation last month.

* Army chief of staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, who will retire along with Cuviello and Kellogg this summer.

"Those who worry about the leadership changes should not," Cuviello said at the Army IT Day conference. "We have an irreversible momentum going here. We don't need to worry about the very top because we have people below them, all the way down to privates and GS-2s and 3s, who are doing the Lord's work."


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