EMTM: Launching the Military's Next Generation
of Technology Leaders
Technology and innovation is not just a core competence for business. Today, close to 50 EMTM graduates and currently
enrolled students work in the U.S. military and in military-related civilian jobs that are technology intensive. We
recently talked with three alumni about the impact of EMTM on their own careers... and learned of a potential shortage
facing today's military.
Bill Sanville, EMTM'93
Deputy Project Manager, Maneuver Ammunition Systems
When Bill Sanville (EMTM'93), a civil engineer, enrolled in EMTM more than a decade ago, he was a project engineer
on a howitzer system. Today, Sanville manages an annual budget of $1.4 billion, and supervises a direct staff of 90
and an indirect staff of 500.
As the U.S. Army's Deputy Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems, Sanville is in charge of the research,
development and purchase of all direct-fire munitions fired on the battlefield and used in training by every division
of the U.S. Department of Defense as well as several other government agencies.
It's a high profile job that has involved testifying to Congress about how government funds have been spent, and whether
the Department of Defense has enough ammunition to execute U.S. military strategy. One example of the types of business
and technical challenges Sanville faces: an organic ammunition plant he oversees accelerated its production from 400
million bullets in 2000 to 1.7 billion bullets in 2005.
"Given the rapid pace and the high visibility of every aspect of my job now, I wouldn't be in this position if I didn't
have that EMTM training," says Sanville. "I can look at things in the bigger picture and view problems in a new light
with a whole new set of metrics available to help me evaluate what the answers could be."
Drawing upon his EMTM training, Sanville recently developed a "portfolio management approach" to improve processes for
buying 40mm hand grenades. The Office of the Secretary of Defense recognized this effort by awarding Sanville with the
David Packard Award for Program Management as well as the Small Business Award for Innovation.
So far, Sanville has sent three of his direct reports through EMTM. "I recommend this program highly. EMTM prepares my
highest performers to move up to division leader jobs by imbuing them with a broader perspective and more sophisticated
business and technical skills."
Gary Martin, EMTM'95
Technical Director, Communications-Electronics, Research Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC)
Similarly, Gary Martin (EMTM'95), says, "EMTM is a very important program for our future leaders because managing
technology development is our core competency. That's what we do for a living." Martin is the Technical Director
of the U.S. Army's Communications-Electronics, Research Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC), responsible
for an $800 million budget and oversight for a staff of 2,200 more than half of whom are engineers and scientists.
Martin has 10 EMTM graduates and current students on staff at CERDEC, which coordinates technology development
for virtually every type of electronic device that the Department of Defense uses for radio communication ground
satellite communications terminals, night vision, radar, radar- and radio-frequency jamming, and the computing
technologies that link these systems together. "Being responsible for such a broad scope of technology is fun
because in each of these areas there are cutting edge technologies that are evolving almost at the speed of
light," says Martin, an electrical engineer who has achieved five promotions since his graduation from EMTM.
Both Martin and Sanville view EMTM as an important tool for cultivating the military's next generation of technology
leaders. Both are coping with a shortage of potential managers in the military today a legacy of hiring freezes
during the 1990s throughout the military and civilian branches of the Department of Defense workforce.
"We went through a decade when we didn't hire people that's now starting to manifest itself," says Sanville.
"The people who would have been hired in the 1990s would now have 15 years experience and would be ready to be
trained as managers. But there's almost a 10-year gap of people. That's a leadership vacuum that needs to be
filled rapidly. Right now we're trying to get younger people with five-to-seven years of experience trained
fast and to cultivate more experienced people who for whatever reason haven't chosen to be managers before.
Whether EMTM is the solution is a judgment call person-by-person."
Rapid technological change has accelerated this management gap within CERDEC. "Moore's Law is alive and well
in our group," says Martin. "Because every 18 months the processing power underlying all our technologies
doubles, we have made a rapid transition from hardware intensive solutions to software intensive solutions.
The people hired as radio communications engineers 20 years ago were schooled in the art of discrete electronic
components such as capacitors, inductors and power amplifiers. Our radios today are largely software-enabled
devices so we're hiring software programmers to build our next generation technologies."
Martin has hired nearly 130 engineers a year for each of the past few years to help his division integrate
these new skills, and has worked to retrain more senior staff to adapt their skill sets.
Accelerated training in business practices outside the realm of the military and its big defense contractors
is a significant draw for the EMTM program. "An MBA isn't a good fit for us because we're not a business or
profit-making organization," says Martin. "By contrast, EMTM provides a way for the military to import the
best business practices that people in private industry have developed for competitive advantage and to
maximize resources. The classes and the informal interactions with leaders in industries outside the Department
of Defense gave me a much broader perspective on how people in the commercial marketplace do things, and gave
me the insights to be an effective manager in negotiating agreements and arrangements with defense contractors."
Lynne Lebron, EMTM'99
U.S. Naval Air Systems Command
Lynne Lebron (EMTM'99) can speak to the value of the EMTM training in managing these crucial interactions with
defense contractors. As a systems engineer for the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Lebron is a liaison between
the uniformed Navy and literally hundreds of private military contractors who are developing the Navy's 21st
century catapult, known as an electromagnetic aircraft launcher.
When this aircraft launcher is used for the first time, a decade from now, it will take just three seconds to
launch a plane from a carrier deck to flight speeds between 50 to 180 knots (or 58 to 207 miles per hour).
Because the electromagnetic aircraft launcher needs a level of electrical power that isn't available on existing
aircraft carriers, it will require the development of a whole new class of aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy.
When Lebron first began overseeing the research and development for this aircraft launcher, it was a technical
challenge in an unfamiliar realm well beyond her undergraduate training as a chemical engineer. She recalls how
at the time she asked her supervisor for permission to enroll in EMTM, saying, "You moved me into a new area.
Help me to develop the skills I need to do this." In retrospect, she readily lists the practical benefits of
her EMTM training:
- Lebron applied the queuing theory she learned in Operations Management to resolving bottlenecks in launching
aircraft off a carrier;
- She relates the Organizational Design knowledge she gained to the managerial needs of defense contractors as
they evolve from agile research and development firms with little hierarchy to the more stable and disciplined
environment required by a manufacturer;
- Her Telecommunications classes helped Lebron evaluate the networks and network interfaces needed on an aircraft
- A course on Robotics helped her integrate automation on the flight deck for activities such as loading weapons.
"When my project moved from a smaller scale research and development effort into the development of the full system,
I was ready to take everything I had learned in EMTM and apply it to something that's really meaningful," she says.
Lebron was promoted to systems engineer, responsible for the bidding and subcontracting for developing the electromagnetic
catapult, during her final year in EMTM. "When you're spending this kind of money and have this much responsibility
and visibility, the stakes are pretty high," says Lebron. "Had I not participated in EMTM, I wouldn't have had the skills
or the confidence to take on this job. Going through EMTM broadened my horizons well beyond research and development."