The Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Hall of Fame welcomed several new inductees on June 22, to include a long time Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare & Sensors (PEO IEW&S).
Stephen Kreider, the PEO for IEW&S from 2012-2016 with more than 40 years of Federal Service as a Solider and Army Civilian was enshrined in the Hall of Fame, which recognizes and memorializes former members of the C5ISR community who have made significant and enduring contributions to the community, the Army and the Nation.
Kreider began his career by attending the US Military Academy at West Point and upon graduating, became a Field Artillery Officer serving in Germany and other key posts during the Cold War. After completing his initial service commitment of five years Kreider decided being a Solider was a long-term career. “It was the camaraderie of other officers and Soldiers that I worked with along with the challenge of the responsibilities of the job and the opportunities that it provided, which convinced me to stay,” said Kreider.
In 1988, he was selected to become one of the pioneering members of the Army’s Acquisition Corps. His operational experience led him to be selected as the Project Director and Technical Manager in Harry Diamond Laboratories followed by key roles as a Department of the Army System Coordinator for the Multiple Launch Rocket System in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research, Development and Acquisition), Product Manager for the Multiple Launch Rocket System Improved Launcher and Deputy for Ballistic Missile Defense in the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics). Then, as the Commander of Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), he was responsible for major system testing to include numerous C5ISR platforms. As Commander of YPG, Kreider had the vision to create the Joint Experimentation Range Complex which has been the foundation of Electronic Warfare testing and validation of all systems since 2003.
Kreider retired from active duty in 2008 and next accepted a Senior Executive Service position and became the Acting Director and Deputy Director Future Combat System Combined Test Organization, and finally served as Director Combined Test Organization where they designed and established the Network Integration Event (NIE) which was the premier C5ISR system testing event prior to Project Convergence.
Kreider next, transitioned to the PEO IEW&S as Deputy and then as the PEO in April of 2012, where he led a team of more than 1500 Soldiers, DoD Civilians and contractors responsible for developing, fielding and sustaining more than 80 Programs of Record and Quick Reaction Capabilities at the time.
His tenure as the PEO is marked with numerous successes that were a result of Kreider’s ability to create a construct that would allow for increased cohesiveness with aligned Army organizations, achieving effective and efficient synergy with the Science and Technology community as well as with the Army Centers of Excellence. This led to technical advancements that included lifesaving aircraft survivability equipment that resulted in not a single loss of Army rotary-wing or fixed-wing aircraft due to missile system threat during this time.
When the Army reinstated Electronic Warfare (EW) as a core competency, Kreider led the transition of EW systems from quick reaction capabilities to long term programs of record that years later are still key for Army operations. He also championed the development of the EW Planning and Management Tool, which was first utilized in 2016, to plan, coordinate manage, de-conflict and synchronize EW mission command and spectrum management operations. He also oversaw the Husky Mounted Detection System (HMDS) program and new intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) technology that further protected soldiers from IED’s.
Additionally, under Kreider's tenure as PEO, he directed the first deployment of the Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance Systems (EMARSS) and contracted support for the Guardrail modernization efforts, which improved the process of locating hostile communications on the fixed-wing RC12 aircraft. Kreider also managed the transition of many new programs into the portfolio to include Biometrics which provide situational awareness of potential dangers for Soldiers and battlefield understanding to commanders. The Biometrics capabilities allowed the DoD to identify 270,000 personnel onto the DoD Biometric Enabled Watch List (BEWL).
Kreider understood the value of sharing data with international partners as he fostered PEO IEW&S support to NATO by providing multiple ISR system products to enhance the ability to make real time decisions using the most valuable collected data.
One of the greatest successes Kreider noted for the team during his tenure as PEO was the organization being awarded the Army Superior Unit (ASU) Award. Few PEO organizations receive an ASU which is a peacetime award given to United States Army units who display "outstanding meritorious performance of a difficult and challenging mission carried out under extraordinary circumstances." PEO IEW&S, as led by Kreider, was selected because of the advancements achieved in the fostering of integration, collaboration and partnerships. When asked about his proudest moments while leading the PEO, he says it was “Coming to work every day seeing the team committed to their work of providing capabilities to the Force.” The Army Superior Unit Award was a culmination of the dedication Kreider had for the workforce and how he inspired that dedication from those who worked under his leadership.
“The Hall of Fame honoring Mr. Kreider is extremely well deserved as his numerous accomplishments served to create and improve tactical and strategic systems for Soldiers across the world, resulting in multiple mission advancements,” said Mark Kitz PEO for IEW&S. “His vision and leadership of the PEO IEW&S team has led to long-lasting technical solutions that our Soldiers are using every day.”
Kreider joins others from PEO IEW&S (Charlie Christianson, Eddie Bair, Lt. Gen. William Campbell, Maj. Gen. Harold Greene) who have demonstrated the attributes of a C5ISR Hall of Fame Member. “I am personally humbled by the award which to me represents all the great military, government civilians and contractors' support and performance that I had the honor of leading” said Kreider.