A rich legacy
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Jun 02, 2003
Army Lt. Gen. Joseph "Keith" Kellogg Jr. has jumped out of hundreds, if not thousands, of perfectly good airplanes and led troops into some of the world's most forbidding territories, including Vietnam and the Persian Gulf.
Kellogg has commanded several infantry and airborne divisions, including the renowned 82nd Airborne — the largest parachute force in the world — and served as commanding general of Special Operations Command Europe.
His resume is not exactly loaded with information technology expertise, but that hasn't stopped Kellogg from recognizing how critical IT can be to the military services, especially when it contributes to joint operations. And when he retires as director of command, control, communications and computers for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Kellogg said he wants to stay in the defense IT business.
"I'll be changing career patterns," not retiring, Kellogg said last month during a one-on-one interview. "I want to stay in this business, probably in the private sector. What I love about it is you're always on your game, and it changes so fast. You have to be flexible, have mental agility...and it's fun."
Kellogg assumed his current position almost three years ago and has been in the Army since 1967. He said an exact date for his military retirement has not yet been set, but he did say the date will be determined by midsummer.
"Gen. Kellogg really demonstrated an understanding of how IT can really help the U.S. forces prevail in warfare," said Ray Bjorklund, vice president of market intelligence and chief knowledge officer at Federal Sources Inc., a market research firm in McLean, Va. "That's interesting because it's not his early career background. But he grasped how important it is and how to leverage it."
During his tenure on the Joint Staff, Kellogg has been an outspoken IT advocate, especially in the area of joint command and control. He has long crusaded for Joint Forces Command to be given complete control of such joint operations, including funding authority.
The military services balked at that proposal because they did not want to lose the money, but the Pentagon issued a decision earlier this year giving Joint Forces Command oversight of joint command and control, including responsibility for generating systems requirements for strategic and tactical operations, particularly in battle management command and control.
A 'Key Player' in DOD Transformation
Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry Raduege Jr., director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, said Kellogg is a "key player" in the Defense Department's ongoing transformation efforts, especially in advocating that any new systems be "born joint."
Raduege said that by ensuring future systems are built with joint operations in mind, Kellogg has helped satisfy the requirements for "early integration" set by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"We have worked closely, discussed concepts and philosophies, and bounced ideas off each other," Raduege said. "We think joint. We have always known the benefit and rationale for joint operations and the interdependence of the services operating together."
During his remaining time on the Joint Staff, Kellogg said he plans to continue focusing on three top priorities:
* Winning the global war on terrorism.
* Supervising the transformation of the force.
* Increasing the force's joint warfighting capabilities through joint command and control.
"We need to keep the momentum moving forward, and [Rumsfeld and Myers] are the right people to do that," he said. "We need to continue the momentum of change focused on information integration, [treating] IT as a weapons system and technology integration."
When Kellogg's latest tour is over, he plans to spend more time with his wife and three children, the oldest of whom will be starting college while the youngest will be starting eighth grade.
When he is not spending time with his family, he will be working to stay in shape. "I like to run by myself so I can think my way through it."
When asked what he'd like to be remembered for, Kellogg didn't mention a specific mission or victorious battlefield moment. Instead, he focused on the soldiers currently serving in the military.
"The legacy we all leave as leaders are the young men and women we see representing us so well in combat," Kellogg said. "That's not just me, that's all [DOD] leaders' collective legacy, and we're all very, very proud of it."