news | 10 June 2024

DIU Announces Maj Gen Steven J. Butow as Military Deputy

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA (June 10, 2024) — Major General Steven J. Butow, Commander of the California Air National Guard, has been selected by the National Guard Bureau (NGB) to fill a dual-status tour with the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Military Deputy for the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) with an effective date of June 1, 2024. Butow is the second general or flag officer to hold this position.

“As a member of the reserve component, Major General Bucky Butow possesses the dual fluency as both an experienced military leader and technologist with significant experience working with the commercial technology sector,” said Doug Beck, DIU’s Director.  “Bucky’s  experience helping lead the Department’s leveraging of commercial space technology and experience in integrating and fielding new and emergent commercial technology will help to create asymmetric advantage for the joint force and allied warfighters.”

Butow joined DIU as the organization’s West Coast Military Lead in 2015.  A year later, he assumed increased responsibilities as DIU’s first Space Portfolio Director leading prototype projects focused on accelerating the adoption of commercial space satellites, launch vehicles and other capabilities for national security and defense.  His successes include catalyzing domestic sources of commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) small satellites, prototyping small responsive launch capabilities, accelerating the advancement of in-space servicing and multi-orbit logistics, and launching commercial integration efforts to realize a hybrid space architecture providing secure, assured, low latency, multipath and resilient communications to all terrestrial domains from space.

Butow greets U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III at the DIU offices in Mountain View, California.

As Military Deputy, General Butow will lead more than 75 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Guardians representing active and reserve components of the U.S. armed forces.  Collectively, these service members, along with their civilian counterparts, execute DIU’s strategic vision as a national mission force for innovation supporting the combatant commands, the joint force, allies and global partners.

The mission of DIU is to accelerate the adoption of commercial technology at speed and scale. Since 2016, DIU has executed $5.5B in commercial prototype agreements matched by $19.1B in private investment. For more, view DIU’s FY23 Annual Report 2023.