Robert Steigerwald

UNIT: U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command (USAMRMC)
TITLE: Decision Gate Coordinator
AWARDS: Excellence in Federal Career Award, Army Civil Service Award, Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal
EDUCATION: MBA, Touro University; B.A. in geo-environmental science, Shippensburg University; U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; Level III certification in acquisition, Defense Acquisition University


What do you do and why is it important to the warfighter?

As the coordinator for the DOD acquisition program for medical drugs, vaccines, and devices, I lead and coordinate one of USAMRMC’s most challenging programs. I’ve brought organization and proficiency to a critical process from its early, immature stages of development to a well-established program that integrates research from our six laboratories and two program management commands. My coordination and support have resulted in new and innovative products for our warfighters and their families. My contribution has been felt command-wide, and will have a long-term effect on Army medical research for years to come.

What are some of the milestones you’ve achieved?

I created a highly efficient review process of new drugs, vaccines and drugs for USAMRMC that has been exceptionally responsive to the expectations of the Milestone Decision Authority. My efforts in partnership with the Combat Developer, which determines where we have gaps in medical coverage on the battlefield, have resulted in 65 capability documents (These documents are required in order for researchers to develop new products for the warfighter) since January 2013. Ten products have passed Milestone B, and five products have passed Milestone C during the same time period. This is remarkable when one considers it takes more than 15 years to produce one Food and Drug Administration-licensed vaccine or drug.

What is your greatest satisfaction in being part of the Army Acquisition Corps?

The greatest satisfaction for me is knowing that each new drug, vaccine, and medical device will save the lives of our warfighters. Already, the Combat Application Tourniquet alone has saved over 6,000 lives since the Gulf War. Next would be the knowledge that I helped design the medical acquisition process to be fast and efficient, moving products through the complex systems of science, the FDA, and DOD acquisition.

In celebration of the silver anniversary of the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC), Access is publishing “25 for 25” — twenty-five profiles of members of the AAC across the Army Acquisition Workforce. These profiles provide unique insight into the variety and importance of the work done by the AAC every day.