AFCEA Personality Profile: Maj. Doug C. Steinert, USAF

July 16, 2012
By Maryann Lawlor, SIGNAL Connections
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Actively participating in AFCEA calls for enthusiasm and commitment. The deep devotion one Philadelphia Liberty Bell Chapter member brings to every aspect of his life demonstrates that he has the right stuff. With a bachelor’s degree from William Carr College with a double major in psychology and theology and a master’s degree in divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, maybe it’s no wonder that Maj. Doug C. Steinert, USAF, is a grounded and powerful force in his work, family, church and chapter.

During his past 26 years in the service, Maj. Steinert has experienced both enlisted and officer life, participated in a number of major military operations, helped raise five children with his wife of 27 years, and became an ordained bishop in the Church of God. Although the major’s been attending and coordinating AFCEA functions for 10 years, he officially joined the association only a few years ago at the prompting of the Liberty Bell Chapter’s president.

Currently transitioning duty stations from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst where he served as a command cyber systems operations senior test director for the Air Mobility Command’s test and evaluation squadron, the major will soon call U.S. Special Operations Command home and be part of a team that provides special operators’ communications needs.

What I like most about my job is ensuring that warfighters get what they need and it is useful to them,” Maj. Steinert explains. “There's nothing worse than purchasing something that the warfighter can't use or that is ineffective.”

As a part of “small groups that have done things that nobody else in the world has had the opportunity to do,” the major intuitively understands the importance of reliable and effective equipment. For example, he was one of the first warfighters on the ground to set up munitions for the AC-130 gunships as part of Operation Just Cause in Panama in December 1989. “This was before we were always at war, and I kept telling my troops ‘Something's going to happen. Make sure you do your training right.’ So what I continue to learn is to be prepared,” Maj. Steinert shares.

Nearly two decades later, Maj. Steinert was part of the elite team of Operation Burnt Frost in 2008. The mission was a quick response to the uncontrolled re-entry of a 5,000-pound satellite containing more than 1,000 pounds of hazardous hydrazine propellant. Success depended on the quick work of military and Johns Hopkins University technical experts to modify, validate and install the Aegis system on three U.S. Navy ships. The result spoke for itself as a single Standard Missile-3 launched from the USS Lake Erie successfully intercepted the wayward satellite.

The major brings these talents in coordination, organization and collaboration to his involvement in the Liberty Bell Chapter. “Maj. Steinert played a key role in helping the chapter to form a close relationship with Joint Base McGuire–Dix–Lakehurst’s 87th Communications Squadron and to reach out to other joint base organizations,” Tom Rachfalski, chapter president, says.

Being a hands-on person, the major’s effort went far beyond improving relationships with local military organizations. He hosted two luncheon meetings, the first featuring Lt. Gen. William Lord, USAF, chief of warfighting integration and chief information officer, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, and the second with Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ) as the speaker. Events including this caliber of speakers are no small task. Maj. Steinert handled all on-base coordination and communication with public affairs, senior officers, security and joint base committees, Rachfalski relates.

Maj. Steinert’s experience with his church, family and career qualifies him as a good adviser to today’s young adults as they enter the work force. “Apply the Air Force core values in every situation: integrity first, mission before self and excellence in everything you do,” he offers. “If you do things with integrity, you do them to the best to your ability, and if you're always looking out for your employer, you will always be employed and a wanted commodity.”
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