WASHINGTON — The United States Army bid farewell Feb. 10 to its first civilian Chief Information Officer after more than two years of dedicated service in the role.
Dr. Raj G. Iyer, the U.S. Army CIO, was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal for his legacy of digital transformation efforts to build a data-centric Army.
Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo presided over the ceremony and described Iyer’s impact on the people inside and outside of the Pentagon, and on the Army’s modernization through his execution of the Army Digital Transformation Strategy.
“The Army is very lucky to have had Raj in this role as our first CIO,” said Camarillo.
Camarillo commented on understanding the “degree of difficulty” Iyer faced in standing up a new office, creating a new position from scratch and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
The initiatives have paved the way for future generations to come where employees can join the Army team and grow while making a lasting impact to our nation’s security. For example, the Army’s Digital Human Capital Strategy was a major cultural approach, shifting the Army to a digital-culture mindset.
“If I was going to give up something and come here, it was going to be an investment in the United States,” said Iyer. “Not in me or my career, but for something that has truly lasting impact. This truly has been an honor of a lifetime, and I am proud of what the Army has been able to accomplish in just two short years through digital transformation. We have achieved irreversible momentum at a scale and pace that will endure.”
Military leaders from across the Pentagon and DoD offered Iyer best wishes after his trailblazing time in the Office of the Chief Information Officer.
Iyer and his family were honored and celebrated by John Sherman, Chief Information Officer for the Department of Defense; John Whitley, former acting Secretary of the Army; Caral Spangler, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller; and senior leaders from across the Pentagon, including members from the G-6 directorate and other honored guests.
“We will miss Raj and all of his energy. We are very appreciative of everything he has done,” Camarillo said.
Iyer’s work on the Army Digital Transformation Strategy helped establish an overarching vision, lines of effort and a framework to move the Army forward. He prioritized initiatives to help the Army develop a more ready, lethal and modern force. Building a digital workforce will give the Army the competitive advantage when facing a peer adversary.
Iyer led more than 15,000 IT professionals and more than 10,000 service members, providing oversight and support to the Army’s $18 billion spend on IT and cyber alone, Camarillo stated.
Over the last two years, Iyer led IT reform and digital transformation of the Army in an unprecedented way. He spearheaded adoption of cloud, cutting-edge information technologies, and data analytics, all of which were designed to help the Army gain digital overmatch over our adversaries. Additionally, these initiatives are changing the workforce and the workplace, making it easier to access critical information at time of need from home through a bring-your-own device or from a mobile command post in theater.
“Raj has been a fantastic partner from day one,” said Camarillo.
Iyer leaves the Office of the CIO in the hands of Dr. David Markowitz, the Army’s chief data and analytics officer, who will be acting CIO and CDAO until Iyer’s replacement is identified, nominated and selected.