Langston leaves DOD with eye on the past and future

Langston leaves DOD with eye on the past and future

'There's always a risk in everything we do in life,' says Marvin J. Langston, who is making a foray into the world of business.

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

As he left Defense Department service last month, Marvin J. Langston saluted the information technology revolution of the past five years and pledged to keep in touch with his former colleagues.

The departing deputy chief information officer described his work at DOD and for the Navy as a period when the growing interest in IT among agency leaders, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of Defense 'made it easier and fun.'

Langston left his post Jan. 28 to become chief operating officer of Salus Media Inc. in Carpinteria, Calif. He acknowledged that there were risks in joining the company, given his lack of business experience and the company's fledgling status. Salus Media integrates movie and Web technologies to help employees in large companies and health management organizations lead healthier lifestyles, he said.

'There's always a risk in everything we do in life,' Langston said. 'I'm envisioning that at the worst, I'll have warmer winters' than in Washington while learning about the business, he said.

Reeled in

Langston took the job after retired Rear Adm. John R. Batzler, a former commander of the USS Nimitz, introduced him to Peter Douglas. Douglas, a former movie producer, is Salus Media's president and chief executive officer.

Before taking on the deputy CIO post, Langston was director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Information Systems Office from October 1997 to June 1998.

Langston also had been acquisition deputy secretary of the Navy for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, and he was the service's first CIO.

Before that he had been an engineering officer in the Navy for two decades. During a mid-1970s duty tour in Minnesota, where he served as test director for the acquisition of guided-missile destroyers, Langston often made trips to the Pentagon.

He said he gained an appreciation of how Congress, the General Accounting Office and the Office of Management and Budget work to ensure that the government is accountable to taxpayers.

Langston said he hopes the Global Information Grid project and its governing DOD Executive Board will help department officials improve the interoperability of Defense systems.

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