On 9/11 Steuterman was at the Birmingham Airport in England returning to her post as mobilization assistant to the director of intelligence directorate, U.S. European Command Headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

“It was an adrenaline-filled time where we all pulled together, our resolve stiffened not to let this happen again,” Steuterman recalls. She says the event led to more information sharing among intelligence agencies within the government and the military.

One key to her success in the Air Force, Steuterman says, was her willingness to take on additional projects. “I always had eyes looking at me and that can be an advantage,” she says. “Taking on additional duties gave me more opportunities to prove myself.”Erika Steuterman

Steuterman also learned as a new second lieutenant fresh out of Purdue to respect the noncommissioned officers under her lead.

“The NCOs know the ins and outs of the organization,” she says. “I listened and learned from them, and it made the transition easier for me.”

The best piece of advice she received came from a brigadier general in Fort Worth, Texas, in the late 1980s: “Sometimes taking care of one will take care of many.”

"What he meant was one bad apple can affect the whole organization and bring productivity down," Steuterman says. "Manage that one person and it takes care of the other 99."

These days Steuterman and her husband, Ron, whom she met while they were both working on their MBAs at Krannert, live in West Lafayette. They have two grown daughters with disabilities who also live in the area.

In her free time, Steuterman enjoys reading, traveling, gardening and volunteering. She currently serves on the board of the Wabash Center and Arc of Indiana, two organizations that assist people with disabilities.

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