By Joanna Bradley, AMRDEC Public AffairsJuly 3, 2018
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Keith Darrow, of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center, was formally appointed to the Senior Executive Service during a ceremony held July 2 at Bob Jones Auditorium. Dr. Juanita Harris, director, performed the installment of Keith Darrow as a member of the Senior Executive Service.
Dr. Harris spoke of the executive qualifications required to be assessed and considered for an SES position. The individual is rated and assessed against five very critical leadership-based executive qualifications: leading change, leading people, results driven, business acumen, and building coalitions.
"Those are the five areas where Mr. Darrow was measured against, and he was deemed suitable and exceptional to be able to move forward with the additional responsibilities that will be laid on him as a Senior Executive Service member," said Harris. "He has earned his place. I hope that the workforce will welcome him. He's already been in the role but this is our opportunity to honor him, honor his family, and to install him."
Darrow's service became effective May 13 as he began serving as the director for the center's Aviation Engineering Directorate. Prior to his appointment, Darrow served as the acting director for AED.
Family members in attendance include Darrow's wife Sheryl, son Jacob, and parents Lilla and Leo Darrow. "I am very much aware that whatever successes I have enjoyed in this life, personal and professional, those successes were built upon the strong foundation that [my parents] formed many, many decades ago as I was growing up in their household," Darrow said. He credits his family as his strong support network.
Darrow extended his thanks to many distinguished visitors and fellow SES directors, as well as the AED workforce. "I'm very pleased to see all four of my fellow directorate-level directors here today. Thank you all for being here today. Thanks for taking the time to train me and groom me in order to ascend to ever-higher positions of leadership. That's what lead me here today, so I certainly appreciate that," said Darrow.
Darrow spoke of his time with the Army's Developmental Flight Test Center, where he spent 11 years honing his career. "I learned a lot about leadership in a highly technical environment, and learned a lot about hazard identification in terms of aviation test and evaluation, and risk mitigation strategies, and ultimately risk acceptance on behalf of the commander as I was in different roles supporting him in that organization on flight test programs," Darrow said. He credits his time at the organization with giving him the leadership skills and qualities he now has to successfully lead AED.
Darrow began his career with the Department of the Army in 1980. During his 38 years of government service, he has served in various leadership, management, and staff positions. Darrow holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and a Master of Business Administration from Auburn University. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Darrow is a member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps and holds Level 3 certifications in both Test & Evaluation and Systems Planning, Research, Development, and Engineering.
U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.