Military Deputy Chief Combined Action Group (USCYBERCOM and NSA)
Colonel John R. “Buck” Surdu was commissioned as a second lieutenant from the United States Military Academy as an infantry officer with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science in 1985. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Columbus State University in 1992 and a Master of Science degree in computer science from Florida State University in 1995. Colonel Surdu then earned a doctoral degree in computer science from Texas A&M University, focusing on simulation and artificial intelligence. His military education includes the Infantry Officer’s Advanced Course, Command and General Staff College, Program Managers Course and the Program Manager’s Skills Course at the Defense Acquisition University.
After graduating from the USMA, Colonel Surdu served in a variety of leadership positions while serving with the 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Vicenza, Italy. He was a platoon trainer in the 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry and commanded Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 507th Infantry at Fort Benning, Georgia. He also served at the Brigade Assistant Operations Officer in the 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, in the Republic of Korea.
Prior to joining USCYBERCOM as the Chief of the Combined Action Group, Colonel Surdu served as the military deputy director of the Army’s Communications and Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center. Previously, Colonel Surdu served as the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command and was the Science and Technology Acquisition Corps Advisor (STACA) in U.S. Forces Iraq. Before that Colonel Surdu served as a Project Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). He also previously served as the Army product manager for the One Semi-Automated Forces simulation system, which won numerous DoD and industry awards and leveraged cutting edge software development methodologies. Colonel Surdu has served as a research scientist at both the Army Research Laboratory and the Information Technology and Operations Center. At ARL, his research focused on unique uses for virtual reality technologies for command and control applications. Colonel Surdu also served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the United States Military Academy, West Point. Colonel Surdu’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Meritorious Service Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Commendation Medal (with four Oak Leaf Clusters), Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab. Colonel Surdu is married with two children.