Klooster shares secret to success before retiring

By Renee Hatcher
Office of Strategic Communication and Public Affairs
August 3, 2022  


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Larry Klooster, vice director of Defense Information Systems Agency’s Operations and Infrastructure Center, closed out his career during a retirement ceremony Aug. 2.

For the last 46 years, Klooster has served the United States from just about every angle. Starting with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Klooster spent 29 years in the Army, then five in industry, and the last 12 as a civilian with DISA.

“It’s been fun being at DISA and I’ve had a great time,” said Klooster, a kid from a blue-collar family who joined the Army to get a free education. “DISA employees have a unique opportunity because the impact you can have on operations at the tactical and strategic level is incredible.”

Klooster came to DISA in 2010. For his first job at the agency, he was sent to Afghanistan to help lead the development of the country’s infrastructure. There, he served as the senior telecommunications advisor on the International Security Forces Afghanistan staff.

“That was probably my most enjoyable job, and the one where I may have had the biggest impact,” Klooster said. “My job was to work with the minister of communications and technology to develop an IT strategy and architecture that would support the country and help them move forward.”

Another of Klooster’s notable accomplishments was when he took on a special assignment from 2019-2020 to lead the DISA organization responsible for the IT support for the Pentagon, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Staff.

“I loved working in the Operations Directorate,” he said. “I was overseeing IT capabilities for DOD to get voice, data and video capabilities to the warfighter where ever they needed the support. I also enjoyed supporting other governmental agencies, State Department, FBI, the Intel Community and others. It was unique and exciting work to support everything from tactical units on the field in the middle east to humanitarian efforts in the Pacific during a tsunami. We were a big part of major events that the U.S. participated in and we made a difference.”

Klooster said one secret to a successful career for him was being willing to move around organizationally and geographically which gave him a broader experience.

“You have to love your job if you are going to do well,” he said. “It’s more fun and exciting if you have different jobs because you will meet different people and you will learn different things.”

Klooster also attributes his success to a daily routine that includes his faith and a combination of cardio and weight training.

“Every day, I work out and look to a higher entity,” he said. “That’s what keeps me going day-to-day.”

Following his official retirement date of Sept. 30, Klooster said he is looking forward to pursuing hobbies like coffee, wine and travel with his wife of 39 years, Julie. Originally from Colorado, the Kloosters will call Texas home, living near their two sons, Derek and Brett.

“Julie and I are going to have a great time,” said Klooster, who may consider some consulting work after a few months of retirement.


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