Stephen Klinefelter Takes Over As New Army MARS Chief
On April 2, US Army Colonel (retired) Stephen G. Klinefelter -- a senior staff officer who oversees Army MARS operations for the US Army Network Enterprise Technology Command -- announced that he was assuming the post of Chief of Army MARS, effective immediately.
Klinefelter, 61, took the leading role last December in untangling a Pentagon decision to “phase out” the Army MARS Winlink 2000 messaging system, used by numerous state and municipal emergency management organizations; an investigation showed it lacked required certification for safety from hostile incursions. He successfully argued that the resources of Amateur Radio -- not just MARS or Winlink -- far outweighed any risk from enemy hackers. Lieutenant General Susan Lawrence, the Army’s Chief Information Officer, ordered an exemption from this policy for Army MARS, which officials said would extend to the Air Force and Navy-Marine Corps MARS programs, too.
Klinefelter attended Virginia Military Institute on a full ROTC scholarship, becoming a Second Lieutenant in the Signal Corps upon graduation in 1974. He served as Chief of the Global Network Operations Center of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) outside Washington, DC. After that, he was Deputy Commander -- and then Commander -- of the DISA’s European operations based at Stuttgart, Germany. Earlier, Klinefelter served for varying periods with four mechanized infantry divisions and earned a master’s degree in computer science at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. His last uniformed post was Chief of Information Technology at the US Military Academy in West Point, New York. Klinefelter served 31 years active duty in the US Army Signal Corps. After retiring from the Army, he joined the NETCOM G3 section (operations and training) as deputy operations officer, a position he will retain.
He succeeds Jim Griffin, who wound up 55 years in government service in the Army MARS Chief’s job since 2009. Klinefelter will retain his post in NETCOM Headquarters while leading MARS, but a new position of MARS Program Officer was being created to assist him.
Klinefelter and his wife Heidi -- a high school counselor -- have two sons and a daughter in college.