Paul Arcangeli announced the beginning of a “reign of terror” after taking the helm of the committee staff when Democrats were in the majority. “You can call me Mr. Arcangeli or O Dark Lord,” he joked.
A nameplate bearing the latter appeared on his door, although staffers say his witty leadership is not oppressive.
Arcangeli, whose father served in the Navy in World War II, attended a military high school in Georgia; he participated in the ROTC program at North Georgia University and did graduate work at the Naval Postgraduate School in California. After a 13-year Army stint, he ran an international program at the Defense Department helping train locals in other countries to clear mines.
In 2003, Arcangeli traveled to Iraq and was disturbed by unsecured bunkers holding ammunition. He warned Hill staff that improvised explosive devices would be a “huge problem.” One year later, Arcangeli was asked to join the committee to manage the readiness portfolio.
“The last nine years has been an extension of my Army career,” Arcangeli, 48, says of his job, referring to long hours working with people dedicated to U.S. defense. It’s fun but difficult. “If I had hair I would pull it out,” he jokes. “And I had hair when I got here.”
This article appears in the June 13, 2013, edition of NJ Daily.