Father's play a special role in our lives, teaching us valuable life lessons and skills. This weekend, we celebrate Father’s and their impact to their sons and daughters. We’re highlighting three teammates at Program Executive Office Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO IEW&S) whose dad’s helped shape not only the individuals they would become but the careers they would have. To all the dads who have helped shape the people we are today, Happy Father’s Day.
Col. Chris Anderson, Project Manager, Intelligence Systems & Analytics (IS&A)
My Dad, Wayne Anderson, grew up in Chicago and enlisted in the US Army Medical Corps in 1966, at the height of the war in Vietnam. After completing basic training and combat medic school, he deployed overseas and served as a surgical orderly in the 71stEvac Hospital in Pleiku, Vietnam. At the 71st, he conducted casualty triage and assisted with life and limb-saving surgical procedures on grievously wounded servicemembers. He also volunteered as a helicopter “Dustoff” medic, rescuing wounded soldiers on the front lines and providing emergency medical care on the aircraft while enroute to the field hospital.
Military service is often generational, and in many cases even a “family business.” Both sides of my family have strong ties to the military, mostly serving during times of need for both the US and Canada. With that in mind, I signed up for Army ROTC in college out of curiosity about serving, and also because I needed the physical education credit. That was 29 years ago, so apparently it stuck.
Dad never talked much about Vietnam, but his wartime experiences as a young man affected him deeply and profoundly for the rest of his life. He comforted countless young men as they made the transition between this world and the next, and understood firsthand the true costs of ground combat. Dad was also intensely patriotic, and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Nation that he loved.
Wayne Anderson passed away in 2018 from complications caused by exposure to Agent Orange; he was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery alongside over 400,000 of his brothers and sisters. My Dad was (and remains) my hero.
As the Project Manager for Intelligence Systems & Analytics, I’m responsible for critical Army Intelligence Foundation modernization initiatives. Specific programs include the Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node (TITAN), the Intelligence Applications program, the Army Intel Data Platform (AIDP), Project Linchpin, the Joint Tactical Terminal (JTT) Next Gen (JTT-NG), the current force Distributed Common Ground System – Army Family of Systems.
Bradley Steadham, IT Specialist, PM Electronic Warfare & Cyber (EW&C)
My father served in the United States Army as a Field Artillery Radar Operator/Repairer, retiring as a First Sergeant after 22-years of service. Since his retirement in July 2008, he has supported multiple Army Acquisition Programs as a contractor, to include PM Radars, PM Tactical Networks, and PM EW&C. He also served as a DA Civilian supporting PM EW&C and is now currently serving as a DA Civilian supporting PdL Communications Security as a Logistic Support Manager.
I was taught from a very young age the value of taking pride in your work, the importance of serving others, and to approach every day as an opportunity to make a positive impact. Through each of his interactions, I see these characteristics exemplified through my father as he strives to ensure the needs of our warfighters are met. His dedication to going above and beyond in providing the best quality products and support is something I hope to match throughout my career.
Currently, I am an IT Specialist for PM EW&C, providing full scope support for end-user devices on NIPR, SIPR, and other Army networks. Serving as the IT Team Lead and lead IMO, I work to ensure access to computers, mobile devices, video teleconference (VTC) systems, and Army network resources is maintained to allow PM EW&C to conduct its mission and support the Warfighter.
Kate Conneally, Operations Specialist
My dad, Steve Conneally, was a Major in the Air Force and also served as the chief of Foreign Intelligence at the Army Research Lab. After graduating from Georgetown University, he was drafted and went to Vietnam. He used his knack for linguistics and logic to serve his country for his entire career from Vietnam, to Desert Storm, to right here at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) where he retired in 2001.
As a kid I was curious about what my dad did, but he didn’t share much about it. Vietnam was not a subject we ever mentioned, and as for the rest…well, he took security very seriously. I got the chance to attend “Take Your Daughter to Work” day in 1998 and it consisted of donuts and an Army recruitment video in the theater, a demonstration of a hydraulic press, and an afternoon sitting outside of my dad’s office door because I didn’t have a clearance.
Years later, I headed to New York to study film and pursue a career in the television and film industry. Life, however, had other plans for me. After 10 years in New York, I moved home to Harford County. I got a job at APG. I’m older and less rebellious now, but my career is still colored by the life my father led before me. Dad passed away in 2009 from dementia.
I like working at PEO IEW&S because the work we do modernizes the military and helps keep our soldiers at arm’s length from the danger of warfighting. I want to know that the work I do is, in even a small way, helping to keep people safe. Behind all the technology there are people with families who care about them. When I push to get our taskers done on time, I’m pushing to keep our programs on track so they can be implemented as soon as possible to benefit those using them. I want the dads of other kids to be around for many more Fathers Days than my own dad was.