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Professional Life


Distinguished HBCU Grad Starts New Year with Major Advancements
By USBE Online
Dec 23, 2013, 14:51

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Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell is an Army Stars and Stripes Honoree. The award recognizes an officer who has made a distinguished contribution to the mission. Each military branch selects an award winner every year to be honored during the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM Global Competitiveness Conference held each February.
On December 20, the United States Senate confirmed the nomination of Hampton University alum Robert S. Ferrell to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as Chief Information Officer/G-6. Lt. Gen Ferrell will begin his new assignment early January 2014.

As Army CIO, the general will lead LandWarNet transformation. LandWarNet is the U.S. Army’s contribution to the information grid that consists of interconnected Army information capabilities, associated processes, and personnel for collecting, processing, storing, disseminating, and managing information supporting warfighters, policy makers, and their personnel.

It includes all Army (owned and leased) as well as Department of Defense/Joint communications and computing systems and services, software (including applications), data security services, and other associated services. LandWarNet exists to enable the war fight through Mission Command.

Other U.S. service equivalent efforts to LandWarNet include the Navy's "FORCEnet" and the Air Force's "C2 Constellation."

In Feb. 2013, Lt. Gen Ferrell was welcomed as  20th commander of the Army Communications-Electronics Command and Aberdeen Proving Ground in a ceremony on the campus of the C4ISR Center of Excellence in Maryland.

As CECOM commander, Ferrell led an organization of more than 12,000 military and civilian personnel responsible for coordinating, integrating and synchronizing the life-cycle management of the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems for all of the Army's mission areas.

Ferrell completed his undergraduate degree at Hampton University and was commissioned  in 1983 as an Army Signal Corps officer. He received a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a master's degree in strategy from the U.S. Army War College. He has  served in multiple Signal commands to include the 13th Signal Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division and the 2nd Signal Brigade, 5th Signal Command. His most recent assignment was as director of the Command and Control, Communications and Computer Systems J-6 and CIO for the   the U.S. Africa Command during which he spent considerable time in Africa.

Ferrell spent his formative years as a teenager on Fort Monmouth, when his father was part of the command. His father entered the Army Signal Corps in 1952, campaigned in the Korean and Vietnam Wars and retired from active service at Fort Monmouth in 1974 as a sergeant first class.

Lt. Gen. Ferrell, the first African American to be selected as CIO/G6, is an Army BEYA Stars and Stripes Honoree. The award recognizes an officer who has made a distinguished contribution to the mission. Each military branch selects an award winner every year to be honored during the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) STEM Global Competitiveness Conference held each Februray. 

The BEYA conference is one of the nation's largest gatherings of professionals committed to increasing minority participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics--also referred to as STEM.

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Promoting STEM

The development of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers is integral to America's advancement. Career Communications Group publications--US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology magazine and Women of Color magazine--offer a blueprint for continued growth and success in STEM fields by highlighting progress and people at all stages of the STEM pipeline; from the college student taking his first engineering courses to the senior executive managing the projects that will change the ways we live.

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