An article on Danger Room provides a thorough overview of the technological legacy left by outgoing U.S. SECDEF Robert Gates. Pragmatic and highly effective (in my opinion), Gates made tough decisions and generally eschewed the media spotlight to focus instead on delivering critical warfighting technologies and setting the stage for reasonable cuts and future savings. Some highlights of his tenure from the Danger Room article:
After DoD worried about deploying too many MRAP's into theater, "A dumbfounded Gates went outside the typical Pentagon procurement process to surge them into Iraq and Afghanistan at the torrid rate of over 1000 per month, culminating in a whopping 27,000 of them purchased. With homemade bombs surging as well in Afghanistan, Gates' MRAP push saved the lives and limbs of thousands of soldiers and Marines."
Future Combat Systems
"Future Combat Systems was the smorgasbord of Army programs: a series of armored vehicles, sensors, data links, ground robots, cannons, even wearable computers for dismounted soldiers. Developed before the Iraq war, the Army kept adding stuff on to it, its chief of staff admitted, as insurgent bombs kept blowing up lightly armored tanks. The result was an unaffordable $200 billion mess."
"Ordered into existence by Gates in 2009, Cyber Command is supposed to defend military networks from hostile infiltration. At least that's the most public description of what the command will do. Booting hostile servers off-line? Who knows. Its leadership vows to have nearly no role in protecting the civilian, commercial internet. But in the fall, Gates penned an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security outlining circumstances where Cyber Command could get involved if other defenses are overwhelmed."
These are my highlights. See all 13 described here. Photo above from U.S. Air Force by way of Danger Room.