CECOM DCG Larry Muzzelo
CECOM Deputy Commanding General Larry Muzzelo delivered remarks during a meeting of the Route 40 Business Association at La Banque de Fleuve in Havre de Grace, Nov. 13, 2018. (Photo Credit: File) VIEW ORIGINAL

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md.-  Larry Muzzelo, who served as the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command deputy to the commanding general, retired on Aug. 25, 2022 with more than 37 years of program management and engineering experience, primarily in tactical communications acquisition, research and development.

In addition to CECOM DCG, he previously served as the director of Programs and Engineering for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Headquarters, now called the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. In this role, he was responsible for synchronizing plans, programs and processes across RDECOM in order to deliver integrated science and technology solutions.

From 2013 to 2015 he joined the CECOM workforce as the director of the CECOM Software Engineering Center.

As the director, he led SEC’s efforts to ensure the software readiness of the Army’s C4ISR and logistics systems, thereby enabling the Army’s warfighting superiority and information dominance. He oversaw a global organization of approximately 4,000 military, civilian and industry employees in five major locations with an annual budget in excess of $600 million.

While serving in this role, he was selected to the Senior Executive Service on Jan. 12, 2014.

Career highlights  

When Muzzelo assumed the role of CECOM DCG on Nov. 16, 2015, he said he had to learn more about the “logistics business of CECOM.”

“It [CECOM DCG] is probably the most challenging,” he said. “I didn’t know much about logistics until I got this job. But obviously, it is the highlight of my career.”

Muzzelo said he started his career working on the H-250 handset, used for tactical field communications requirements. As a GS-9 project manager, he had to submit weekly reports to the CECOM DCG, he said.

“I never imagined I would be in this position,” he said.

Muzzelo also worked on the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System, or SINCGARS, program, the Secure Mobile Anti-Jam Reliable Tactical Terminal, or SMART-T program, and served as the deputy project manager for the Joint Tactical Radio System Handheld, Manpack, and Small Form Fit, or JTRS HMS.

“The reason I cite those is they were all ACAT 1 programs and they are all in the field still today,” he said. “So the fact that I got to work on three major acquisition programs, that are all in the field today, gone through some updates, etc. It gives me a sense of pride.”

He credited the “great teams” working on these programs for their success.

Promoting training, education 

As the DCG he served as the SES co-sponsor for the APG Senior Leader Cohort, a program designed to develop APG’s next generation of leaders. He also expanded leadership development for CECOM, working with CECOM G1/talent management.

“We have leadership development from GS-5s through 15s,” he said. “That I see as beneficial.” He advises the workforce to look at training positively.

“My view is, no matter what course you take, you can walk away with just one nugget you can use in your job,” he said. “So instead of complaining, figure out what you take from the courses.”

Under Muzzelo’s leadership and encouragement, CECOM partnered with Maryland’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School program with Harford County Public Schools and Harford Community College in 2019.

With this program, each student has a chance to complete their four-year high school diploma and obtain a two-year associate degree in cyber security or information systems in four to six years at no cost to the student. APG employees serve as mentors for this program.

Muzzelo said a requirement of the P-TECH program is at least half of the students meet the free and reduced-price lunch meal income criteria. This pipeline program helps APG reach more students, students who might not typically engage with the installation in high school, he said.

Another priority, he said, was bringing command emphasis on how CECOM is spending money. He aimed to ensure money was being spent efficiently and on time.

Larry Muzzelo
Official portrait of Larry Muzzelo, now retired US. Army Communications-Electronics Command deputy to the commanding general. He retired with more than 37 years of service on Aug. 25, 2022. (Photo Credit: Official) VIEW ORIGINAL

Thoughts on leadership  

Muzzelo said it is important to be a lifelong learner, no matter what stage of your career you are in. He said communication and collaboration are key when making decisions.

“We can’t do anything in a silo, whether it is on a team in CECOM or CECOM and other organizations,” he said.

As a leader, he aimed to be approachable, he said. Your decision-making and how you relate to people matters, not your title, he added.

“You are not better than somebody else, just because of your title,” he said.

He advises people to take ownership of their careers. If you are not happy or satisfied, decide to move on, he said.

“At the end of the day, your boss, CECOM, doesn’t owe you anything,” he said. “If you feel like you are not being treated appropriately, or you feel the decision was wrong, accept it and move, go somewhere else, you own it.”

If you have an aspiration to be a senior leader, he said, you need to solve problems and take challenging assignments in different places.

“Moving and taking different assignments comes with risk,” he said. “But that is really how you grow professionally.”

According to Muzzelo, building relationships is vital to a successful career.

“Make sure you build relationships whatever job you are in, close relationships, and [build] the broader network,” he said. “You never know when you have to rely on that.”

Muzzelo said when he spoke at emerging leadership training, he cited the 4 C’s of leadership: character, commitment, competence and compassion.

“[I hope I am remembered as] someone who has been thoughtful, a decisive leader, and a hard worker,” he said. “And someone who practiced the 4 C’s of leadership.”