8 Questions with Bob Carroll

Bob Carroll
Mission Area
Susan McGovern, Strategic Communication Directorate
March 1, 2022

“Part of my job includes understanding where technology is headed and what innovative solutions can enhance the Army network,” said Bob Carroll, lead engineer for the Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems (DCATS) project management office in PEO EIS’s Enterprise Information Environment Mission Area. “New technologies enable our networks to be more secure and dynamically responsive to traffic patterns.”

A wireless-telecom subject matter expert with acquisition savvy, Carroll manages a team of engineers implementing Army network modernization initiatives to support multi-domain operations. Carroll and his team work with the Army Cyber Command, Army G-6 and Network Enterprise Technology Command to help develop requirements for new acquisitions and performance standards for new capabilities.

Before joining PEO EIS in 2011, Carroll worked for a systems integrator and an aerospace-parts manufacturer. When not working, Carroll enjoys designing and building electronic projects. “I still build my own computers and am a licensed amateur radio operator,” said Carroll.

We asked Carroll, today’s #PEOEISTeammateTuesday, eight questions about his career and life.

What is the top challenge DCATS is facing today?
We are simplifying the Army network by taking complexity out. This enables us to provide high-bandwidth, low-latency transportation of voice, video and data.

How do you stay on top of industry trends?
I read periodicals and textbooks about new technology. I monitor several online forums to capture insights about the performance of new technologies. I also meet with industry. Industry helps us understand how to integrate new technologies to achieve efficiencies and cost savings. I reserve one day a week for my industry engagements. To request a meeting with me, company representatives can complete and submit the meeting-request webform.

What advice do you have for industry?
Before meeting with anyone from DCATS, industry needs to understand our mission and the technology we currently deploy. They also need to understand how we acquire capabilities. Our procurement forecast includes details about what we buy, how we buy it and who we buy it from. Industry should also read the Army G-6’s
Unified Network Plan and Army CIO’s Digital Transformation Strategy.

What is key to career success at PEO EIS?
Likability is key. We are in the people business. We deal with people every day, whether from industry, our customers or other stakeholders. You have to develop relationships. If people like you, they are more likely to communicate more often.

How do your colleagues describe you in three words?
They describe me as calm, fair and collected. I was an emergency-medical technician and volunteered as a first responder for an ambulance squad in Pennsylvania for 10 years. I was also an American Heart Association instructor of advanced first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. I was often the first person arriving on the scene in emergency situations. First responders have to arrive at the scene with confidence. If people have confidence in you, they feel a sense of calm. If they understand that you are there to help them, it lowers their stress level.

If you could have coffee with anyone in history or present day, who would it be and why?
My dad. I had some challenges early in life. My dad gave me all the tools and resources required to be successful. He was very logical and understood current events. I grew up with three sisters, and we were all my dad’s favorite.

What do you consider the most valuable virtue?
Honesty. Bad news doesn't get better over time. We want to hear the good news, but if there's some bad news, we need to have time to react. When people hold back bad news, we lose the element of time to influence it and potentially turn it around.

Who inspires you?
Everyone. I am inspired by a lot of people. I have worked for great leaders. Col. Robert Mikesh made me a better engineer. Col. Jay Shell makes us think creatively. All of my leaders left a little bit of them with me.

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