Steve L. Muro was sworn in as the Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs on June 6, 2011. As Under Secretary, he leads 131 National Cemeteries in providing dignified burial services for military Veterans and eligible family members. His responsibilities also include: maintaining the cemeteries as national shrines; land acquisition, design, construction, and other activities relating to the establishment of new national cemeteries; overseeing other memorial programs to honor the service of deceased Veterans, including provision of headstones, markers, medallions and Presidential Memorial Certificates; and administering federal grants to help states, territories and tribal governments establish Veterans cemeteries.
Under Mr. Muro’s leadership, the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) developed an unsurpassed record of achievement on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). For the 2010 survey, and for the fourth consecutive time in 10 years, NCA attained the highest ranking of any participating entity, besting over 100 other federal agencies and industry leaders like Ford, FedEx and Coca Cola.
Mr. Muro’s life's work has been linked with the mission of NCA. Prior to this appointment, he served as Deputy Under Secretary and then Acting Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs. From February 2003 to October 2008 he was Director of the Office of Field Programs, and also served as its Acting Director from December 2002 to February 2003. In these roles, he provided leadership and direction to agency field offices and facilities and guided NCA through the largest expansion of the cemetery system since the Civil War. During his tenure, he initiated a new NCA Training Center to centralize and provide consistent training to employees. The first priority for the new center was implementation of a yearlong resident training program for Cemetery Director Interns. Seeing a further need to increase efficiency, he led the process to create a National Cemetery Scheduling Office and a centralized Human Resources function to support all national cemeteries.
Mr. Muro began his NCA career in 1978 as an automotive mechanic at Los Angeles National Cemetery. He then held multiple positions of increasing responsibility, including Directorships and Assistant Directorships at seven national cemeteries and the Memorial Service Network V, headquartered in Oakland, Calif.
Mr. Muro served in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1972, including two tours of duty in Vietnam: on board USS Benjamin Stoddert (DDG-22) and with the Seabees of Mobile Construction Battalion TEN.
He is a graduate of Mt. San Antonio Junior College, Leadership VA, the Federal Executive Institute, and the Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program. In 2008, Mr. Muro was selected by the President of the United States to receive a Presidential Meritorious Rank Award. Awarded to fewer than five percent of senior federal executives, the award recognizes exceptional leadership, accomplishments and service over an extended period of time.