U.S. Army Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood, Director for Hypersonics, Directed Energy, Space and Rapid Acquisition in the Office of the Asst. Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) presented a special, virtual VIP Guest Lecture to acquisitions students at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), Oct. 22.
Thurgood is a Systems Acquisition Management graduate of the university returning, virtually, to share his perspectives on future directions and priorities of the acquisition force, in addition to broader lessons on preparation, leadership and opportunity. He wrapped up the hourlong engagement fielding several questions from participating students.
“If you hold yourself accountable to excellence, then excellence will become your habit,” he told the near 100 students in attendance. “You’re going to want to learn everything you can so that when you’re a battalion commander, you’re ready and prepared to execute.”
Thurgood spoke briefly about his own experiences at NPS, encouraging the students to take advantage of the opportunity they have to learn.
“From my personal experience, it’s easy to see officers who have graduated from NPS,” he said. “They come out of the gates running hard and fast, and have a good knowledge base. Use that to your advantage!”
In his position, 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 also leads the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office (RCCTO) mission to rapidly and efficiently performing research, develop, prototype, test, evaluate, procure and field critical enabling technologies and capabilities that address near and mid-term threats consistent with the Army’s modernization priorities.