“West Point Is My Home Town”: A Systems Engineer Analyzes His Career

Robert H. Kewley Jr.


COL Rob Kewley, USMA ’88, grew up in an Army family. His father graduated from West Point in 1961, and his brother followed him to the academy, graduating in 1989. During his childhood, his father was stationed at West Point twice, teaching in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. When COL Kewley arrived at West Point as a Cadet, he was pleased to find that two of his best friends from other Army posts were classmates. Upon graduation, he branched Armor and deployed on a REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) exercise and to Desert Shield / Desert Storm. He then served at Fort Knox, Kentucky, where he commanded two companies, B/1-70 Armor in the 194th Brigade, and E/5-15 Cavalry in the Armor Training Brigade. Following that assignment, he was selected for grad school with a follow-on to West Point in the Department of Systems Engineering, where he’s remained with the exception of time in the Center for Army Analysis and on deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently he is the Head of the Department of Systems Engineering. In this interview, he describes his childhood, his time as a Cadet at West Point, and his deployment to Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He discusses his experiences in the Department of Systems Engineering from the perspective of a junior rotating faculty member, a senior faculty member, a center director, and Deputy and Head of the Department. He details how systems engineering and operational research support the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan by providing analysis for the counter-IED mission. Finally, he explains why Projects Day is his favorite day of the academic year, how Cadets have changed since the late 80s, and what West Point means to him.


name Robert H. Kewley Jr.
institution USMA
graduation year 1988
service Armor
unit 1/32 AR; B/1-70 AR; E/5-15 CAV; Department of Systems Engineering
specialty Systems Engineering
service dates 1988 2918