LTG L. Neil Thurgood
Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition
Lieutenant General L. Neil Thurgood is the Director for Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. He assumed duties in March 2019.
In this position, LTG Thurgood is responsible for the rapid fielding of select capabilities to deter and defeat rapidly modernizing adversaries, including overseeing development of an Army Long Range Hypersonic Weapon. He leads the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office mission to rapidly and efficiently research, develop, prototype, test, evaluate, procure and field critical enabling technologies and capabilities that address immediate, near-term, and mid-term threats, consistent with the Army’s modernization priorities.
LTG Thurgood most recently served as the Director for Test, Missile Defense Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. LTG Thurgood most recently deployed from 2017-2018, when he served as Deputy Commander, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, Operation Resolute Support/Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Prior to his deployment, he served as the Deputy for Acquisition and Systems Management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology), in Washington, D.C.
LTG Thurgood enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1983. Following his commissioning in 1986 as an Aviation Branch Officer, he served in multiple company grade and battalion aviation positions in both the U.S. and overseas, including multiple combat deployments. LTG Thurgood was then selected and served in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) as a Platoon Leader, Operations Officer and Company Commander.
After transitioning into the Army Acquisition Corps in 1995, he served in various program offices for conventional and special programs. As a Project Manager, LTG Thurgood served in the Utility Helicopters Office, and as a Program Executive Officer, LTG Thurgood led the PEO for Missiles and Space, at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. LTG Thurgood participated in operations supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq.
LTG Thurgood holds undergraduate degrees in Business from the University of Utah; a master’s degree in Systems Acquisition Management from the Naval Postgraduate School; a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the Air University, Air War College; and a doctorate in Strategic Planning and Organizational Leadership from the University of Sarasota, as well as several professional certifications.
Robert K. Strider
Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office
Army Hypersonic Project Office
Mr. Strider received a limited term appointment to the Senior Executive Service and was appointed to the position of Deputy Director, Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) on July 7, 2019. He also concurrently serves as the Deputy, Army Hypersonic Project Office (AHPO) for the RCCTO, which is responsible for the fielding of an experimental prototype hypersonic weapon system. This position entails overseeing the cost, schedule. performance, budget, contracting and testing activities to field this capability by Fiscal Year 2023. He maintains close coordination with senior Army leadership, Army Futures Command, Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Sandia National Labs, industry, and other organizations, while ensuring the RCCTO Director is informed on all activities. Mr. Strider is also the Army Program Manager of the OSD Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) effort and coordinates Army activities with the other services, including the Missile and Defense Agency (MDA), and is responsible for the production efforts of the Common Hypersonic Glide Body.
Prior to this assignment, Mr. Strider served as the Chief, Strategic Systems Division, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command Technical Center. Mr. Strider directed SMDC/ARSTRAT support to the OSD CPS sponsored hypersonic flight tests and developing an Army strategy for a long range strike weapon. Mr. Strider joined SMDC in 1991.
He also served as the Program Manager (PM) for the Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle and was the Operations Lead prior to being the PM. He visited Afghanistan twice developing basing options for this capability. Mr. Strider worked at the MDA from 2005-2010 as the System Ground Test Lead. He led approximately 80 contractors and six government personnel in running Hardware in the Loop (HWIL) testing of the Ballistic Missile Defense System to determine system effectiveness of elements and the entire system against threat missiles. His previous assignments were leading the SMDC Experimentation Plan, developing and fielding simulation to tactical stimulation systems, and conducting studies and analysis for Attack Operations. The Attack Operations work led to the requirement for an extended range Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). He has led several acquisition efforts. His early engineering career supported the Army Test Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment (TMDE).
Mr. Strider earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Alabama-Huntsville. He holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in education and was a high school teacher for six years prior to earning an engineering degree. He ran a successful custom residential construction company for 21 years and is a partner in a local restaurant. Mr. Strider is a Defense Acquisition Corps member and Level III certified in Engineering and Test & Evaluation. He is married with three children and five grandchildren.