By: Diane Stirling
Nevertheless, his selection to the Cyberspace Operations and Support Hall of Fame this spring came as a humbling occasion, placing him among an elite group of about 50 other honorees cited for their contributions to the field of cyber security.
The retired U.S. Air Force Major General, adjunct faculty member at the School of Information Studies (iSchool), and doctoral candidate in the iSchool’s professional studies program will be honored in late June at a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base.
Inductees are nominated by their peers and are reviewed for selection by a committee of current Air Force general officers and current Hall of Fame members. Their selection recognizes them as “visionaries who guided the Air Force toward a technological and information-enabled future” and whose “dedication, vision, patriotism, and honor established a proud legacy on which we continue to build today's information superiority.”
Typically, several hundred people are nominated each year, so being chosen from among them is a significant honor, according to Meyerrose. “To be recognized as an elite contributor by your peers is perhaps the ultimate in professional recognition. It’s very humbling that the people already enshrined are people that I read about in history books, or who are my heroes,” he said.
In making the announcement, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. William T. Lord described Meyerrose's leadership and accomplishments as having had “a lasting and major impact on U.S. success in nationally important, high-consequence operations” during service “with distinction in an unprecedented and broad range of C4 assignments in the Joint community, Air Force, and the U.S. Government.”
Meyerrose retired from the Air Force in 2005 with more than three decades of military and government experience in cyber, communications, information technology, intelligence, command and control operations and space support. He is a decorated Southwest Asia veteran whose served as the first President-appointed, Senate-confirmed Chief Information Officer and Information Sharing Executive for the U.S. Intelligence Community in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. He also served the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command.
Among his many professional awards are the International AFCEAN of the Year, the Executive CIO Top 10 Leaders and Innovators Public Service Award for excellence in public leadership, and Computer World Fed 100. He also was recognized by the Government Computer News for Outstanding Information Technology Achievement in Government.
After leaving the military, Meyerrose became Vice President and General Manager of cyber initiatives for Harris Corporation, an international communications and information technology company. He led all aspects of strategy, business development, and program execution for cyber growth initiatives.
Since March, he has operated his own consulting firm, The Meyerrose Group. Located in Colorado Springs, the firm provides consulting, education and executive coaching services.
At the iSchool, Meyerrose teaches a 700-level course in distance format, “Leading and Securing Cyber-Enabled Organizations.” He also is pursuing a doctorate in the professional studies program and comes to Syracuse for residencies in May and September. In addition, he works with Associate Professor Lee McKnight on wireless grid technology ventures.
Teaching is something that Meyerrose plans to continue, he said. “It affords me the opportunity to interface with people that are looking to build their futures and enhance their careers. I’m motivated by interacting with my students and helping them understand and reach for their opportunities.” Most of those students are mid-career professionals working to advance their careers, comprising a mixture of government and private industry workers from all across the country, and some are deployed while taking the course.
Tremendous changes have occurred in the cyber field, from the time Meyerrose graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1975, he observed. “When I came in, there were 45,000 people in that business; now there is less than half that number.” The field was then called communications electronics, and Meyerrose recalled how his first military assignment was teletype maintenance. Initially, information was transmitted over communication lines to message centers, where it was copied, reproduced and sent around bases to recipients. That process now “has become writer to reader; that’s where technology has taken it,” he said.
“Cyber today – if you think about it, is a lot more important than defense. It is cell phones, it’s how you do your banking, and it’s…social communicating. The military portion is a small part of cyber work now.”