DISA Director Has Two Hats and a No-Fail Mission

March 5, 2009
By Henry Kenyon

Lt. Gen. Carroll F. Pollett, USA, the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) made sure at the beginning of his keynote address that listeners understood he holds a dual leadership role in his current position. In addition to leading DISA, he also is the commander of the Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations (JTF-GNO). Gen. Pollett went on to explain that the two organizations he commands are linked, with DISA delivering enterprise capabilities and the JTF-GNO operating and defending the enterprise.

DISA and the JTF-GNO are working to operationalize  the cyberspace domain and empower warfighters to achieve information dominance. He explained that technology should not be looked at as a solution for leadership but as a way to enable the human element. The general also stated "I have a no-fail mission. I have no flexibility." To succeed in his endeavors, he is looking for a change from an application mentality to a service mentality, and he has no interest in proprietary systems.

One of the general's top priorities is command and control (C2). To enable C2 through information sharing he says programs such as Net-Enabled Command Capability and Net-Centric Enterprise Services are critical. The director is focused on becoming familiar with the requirements of all the programs at DISA, dedicating five hours a week to talking with his GS-15s and military colonels about their requirements and the operational aspects of their programs. Gen. Pollett's goal is to address senior leadership with requirement adjustments when there are problems or to find ways to deliver capabilities to warfighters when something works well.

Gen. Pollett also addressed the change to the "New Normal." He said, "We've got to change the way we're operating if we're going to protect the enterprise." He also spoke of moving toward machine-to-machine capabilities because the military and its partners need to be abe to see the enemy and address threats. According to the general, personnel can not continue to make phone calls and fill out data logs to resolve problems.

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