By Jason B. Cutshaw, USASMDC/ARSTRATMarch 21, 2014
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- One man's journey led him to become the chief technology officer, or CTO, for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command.
Dr. Steve F. Pierce, director, USASMDC/ARSTRAT Decision Support Directorate, became the command?'s newest CTO, a senior executive service tier 1 senior leader position, March 23.
"It would probably always be exciting to get a job like this, but today, and what we are going through right now with space, with missile defense and with the priorities the Army has put on these areas, it is really an exciting time to become a CTO," Pierce said. "I am looking forward to trying to translate what the needs are of the Army and the Soldier to technology, and how technology can enable our Warfighters.
"My primary mission as CTO is to provide advice to the senior leadership of the command," he added. "One of the things I see as imperative to success in this new position is being able to link or tie together the different efforts that go on in this command. This command is responsible, not just for development of technology and acquisition of technology, but it is also responsible for combat development and force development."
SMDC's senior leader took time to congratulate Pierce on his selection as the command CTO, and said he looks forward to serving with him in supporting the Warfighter.
"Steve has the requisite technical and leadership skills to collaborate internally within USASMDC/ARSTRAT and externally with government, corporate, and educational institutions," said Lt. Gen. David L. Mann, SMDC commanding general. "He will use these skills to identify specific research areas that support the command?'s space and missile defense science and technology roadmap and help us continue to adapt to support the critical space and missile defense operational needs of our nation.
"Dr. Pierce has spent the majority of his adult life in service to his country -- first as a career Army officer and after retirement, as a Department of the Army civilian," Mann added. "Most recently he served as the director, Decision Support Directorate, or DSD, of the Future Warfare Center where he successfully changed the focus of SMDC's analysis, modeling and simulation, and high performance computing from organizationally centered to focusing upon impacting decisions at Army and higher levels. Dr. Pierce has extensive knowledge of the decision support tools needed to enable informed space, missile defense, and high altitude materiel and concept of operations decisions, which best support the Warfighter."
Pierce served in the Army as a field artillery officer and operations research and systems analysis officer from 1977 to 1997, when he retired as a colonel.
He arrived at SMDC in April 2001 as a senior military analyst for the command's Future Warfare Center and was promoted to division chief in 2002. There, Pierce led key Army and joint studies to include three operational missile defense studies for combatant commanders and a homeland defense study.
Pierce was assigned as the director of the DSD in February 2008. The DSD includes the command's Studies and Analysis Division, Models and Simulations Division, the Information and Computational Engineering Division and the Cyberspace Support Branch.
Under Pierce's leadership, the DSD has directly supported the Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman, leading a study that determined the missile defense requirements of the combatant commands. His team helped develop modeling and simulations that will be the foundation for the integrated air and missile defense efforts; led an analysis of alternatives, or AoA, that resulted in an acquisition decision memorandum based upon the AoA; and oversaw the development of labs supporting experiments and exercises involving Aegis and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense.
"I think one of the most important parts of the SMDC mission is to support the Warfighters out there in the areas of space and global missile defense," Pierce said. "We also want to look at what the potential technologies are out there. A lot of that ties into the intelligence of what the threats are that are developing. In a nutshell, my job is to help the command be more proactive than reactive and to start looking ahead at what we need to do to be a viable part of this Army and DoD."
Pierce talked about his job and what he can do to make the command more successful as it leads the nation in providing support to the troops.
"For SMDC, success really is normalizing our area of space as well as providing force protection for the troops out there," Pierce said. "Similar to (commercial GPS systems), if we can get to where the Soldiers don?'t even know that a lot of the intelligence capabilities they are receiving are from space because it is so normalized, we are successful. In the other major mission set we have here at SMDC, if we can provide force protection for our troops out there in critical areas, that is also success.
"I am excited about this position, and I will have the same mindset that our mission here at SMDC is not making SMDC better, but it is really providing the capabilities that enable our forces out there at the Army-level to be better," he added. "I see what I need to do is take what SMDC does and make sure that we keep up with the technology we have currently, and then look forward to see what potential there is out there in technology that can help enable our capabilities to provide support to the Warfighter."
Pierce was selected as the 2005 SMDC Civilian of the Year, and subsequently selected as the 2005 Department of the Army Civilian of the Year-Redstone Huntsville Chapter.
Pierce earned a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., a Master of Science in industrial engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a master's degree in business finance from Long Island University and a doctorate in philosophy in systems engineering with a minor in statistics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. His dissertation was nominated by UAH as best dissertation in 2007 and recognized as the second place dissertation nationally by the American Society for Engineering Management. Pierce also graduated from the first Defense Acquisition University Senior Service College, Huntsville, in 2007.