Patrick J. O’Neill became the chief technology officer for the U.S. Army Materiel Command April 5, 2015, at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Previously, he was the U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity technical director at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. He holds a master of science in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, a master of science in computer science from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor of science in mathematics and computer science (double major) from Loyola University. He has published numerous AMSAA technical reports and presented numerous papers in national and international operations research and military forums.He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in March 2011.
Interview with Army Materiel Command Chief Technology Officer Patrick O’Neill
Army Technology: What is your vision for the Army of the future, and what role will technology play?
O’Neill: We should try to be the best. To enable that, I encourage us to challenge the status quo, empower and encourage innovation and professional growth, navigate our thinking, and infuse industry and academia in our plans.
As we think about the deep future, we should work closely with industry and academia to identify potential technologies early and to identify ways to support them for use in existing systems. How should we think differently? By partnering with industry and academia on systems still under development.
The challenges the Army faces, especially with the continued competition for resources, will be daunting. Our chief of staff, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, characterized it well by describing that the “velocity of instability is increasing and protecting technology is very critical.”
Army Technology: You’ve said that we should focus on being more efficient and effective. What is the best way to accomplish this?
O’Neill: It is important, especially with the threat of sequestration, to acquire technologies in a cost effective and efficient manner through joint collaboration and leveraging of investment dollars. It is critically important that the Army collaborate with other services, industry and academia to identify potential technologies early and to identify ways to integrate those technologies into the Soldiers’ kit.
The Defense Innovation Initiative is a new approach to allow new thinking focused on threats and challenges to our military and technological superiority. At the center of Force 2025 and Beyond will be the ability to provide technologies for supporting future operations and to streamline operational processes to produce a more adaptable, agile and effective Army. I believe the new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental in Silicon Valley will help create the presence we need in order to best identify and speed the technologies of tomorrow.