Posts Tagged leadership

Exclusive Interview with the Honorable Heidi Shyu

photoAssistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Heidi Shyu serves as the Army acquisition executive, the senior procurement executive, science advisor to the Secretary of the Army, and the Army’s senior research and development official. She also has principal responsibility for all Department of the Army matters related to logistics. She appoints and manages program executive officers and manages the Army Acquisition Corps and Army Acquisition Workforce.

What is your vision for ASA(ALT) collaboration with industry, academia and other organizations?

I think collaboration is really essential. No single person or organization possesses a monopoly on innovative ideas. It is critical for us to collaborate with industry, academia, federally funded R&D centers and other government organizations to solve difficult problems. So my vision is that we will collaborate across the board to spur innovation.

In the S&T arena, we work closely with academia. We also have the Broad Agency Announcement, small business forums, cross–service collaboration on Research, Development, Test and Evaluation. We collaborate with DARPA and university affiliated research centers. We have individual investigator grants and collaborations with partner nations. Defense companies are willing to invest their R&D dollars to help solve the Army’s challenges, so we need to dialogue with them to inform them of our challenges and stay abreast of their ideas, design and development activities. The goal is to get a multitude of ideas to figure out how to solve problems. Collaboration is critical.

How do you see technology providing Soldiers with the decisive edge?

There are many technologies that can provide Soldiers with the decisive edge. One of our key goals is to develop lighter and stronger armor. Why? Because it will enhance survivability and improve mobility. We’re also developing initiatives like continuous soldier health sensing and monitoring, disruptive energetic materials that could provide increased lethality, bio-inspired sensing to eliminate tactical surprise, and energy harvesting to reduce our dependence on fuel.

How do budget concerns affect your vision?

The Army has by and large protected its S&T budget. The rest of the budget has faced double-digit reductions. The American Soldier is the best equipped in the world – thanks to our materiel enterprise. We must continue to invest in S&T in order to equip our Soldier of the future.

We have focused on a 30-year plan, called the long-range investment requirements analysis, or LIRA, which is enabling us to link S&T efforts to programs of record. This will allow us to focus our research activities to address capability shortfalls.

How does ASA(ALT) partner with U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, its centers and laboratories?

The partnership we have with RDECOM is critical. RDECOM plays a very important role across all of the PEOs and the acquisition community by providing critical functions and skill sets such as research, development, systems engineering, design, performance analysis, modeling and simulation, software, reliability analysis, prototyping, integration and test, and more. For example:

  • CERDEC Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate S&T provided our Soldiers the ability to dominate the night
  • NSRDEC has provided transportable high energy efficient shower units, kitchen units and shelters
  • AMRDEC has provided critical missile expertise to PEO Missile & Space
  • TARDEC has provided high-fidelity modeling and simulation capabilities that accurately predict blast effects on our vehicles and enable us to design more survivable vehicles to reduce injuries to our Soldiers
  • All of CERDEC has provided technical assessment of the effectiveness of our tactical radios

What are your expectations from Army researchers, scientists and engineers?

It’s important for our Army researchers, scientists and engineers to stay fully abreast of the latest technologies and where the research is going. They really have to be masters of their domain to solve the Army’s difficult problems. We rely on them to give us the next generation of capabilities.

I’d like to see tighter linkages between the S&T community with the PMs, PEOs and the requirements community to ensure relevance, especially in this fiscally challenged environment. Ultimately we must understand the art of the possible and how to structure that for the future. As we look at the S&T capabilities we need to develop, I think it is critical for our researchers to tie into our 30-year road-map.

One of the key things I think the Army needs to do is ensure we provide our people with a research environment where they can innovate. We have world-class scientists and engineers in their field, and they are highly motivated to solve the most difficult problems for our Soldiers. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of our outstanding researchers, scientists and engineers, and I really admire their dedication, passion for their work and innovation. I’m very impressed with our caliber of researchers, and they are the critical enablers for us to develop the next generation of capabilities for our Soldiers.

Daniel R. McGauley (left), RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center executive officer, describes a Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station thermal imager protective cover designed and fabricated by his team at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 15, 2013 during a visit from Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, deputy for acquisition and systems management at ASA (ALT); Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology; and Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general, Army Materiel Command. (U.S. Army photo)

Daniel R. McGauley (left), RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center executive officer, describes a Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station thermal imager protective cover designed and fabricated by his team at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 15, 2013 during a visit from Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, deputy for acquisition and systems management at ASA (ALT); Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology; and Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general, Army Materiel Command. (U.S. Army photo)

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Secretary of the Army visits Picatinny, assesses sequestration impact on R&D

Secretary of the Army John McHugh looks at a technology display during a visit to Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. McHugh visited the New Jersey military installation, which has been designated the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition, Sept. 26, 2013, to assess the effect of sequestration on the installation's efforts in research, development, acquisition and lifecycle management of weapon systems and ammunition. (U.S. Army photo by Erin Usawicz)

Secretary of the Army John McHugh looks at a technology display during a visit to Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. McHugh visited the New Jersey military installation, which has been designated the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition, Sept. 26, 2013, to assess the effect of sequestration on the installation’s efforts in research, development, acquisition and lifecycle management of weapon systems and ammunition. (U.S. Army photo by Erin Usawicz)

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. (Sept. 26, 2013) — Secretary of the Army John McHugh was at the Picatinny Arsenal Thursday, to assess the effect of sequestration on the installation’s efforts in research, development, acquisition and lifecycle management of weapon systems and ammunition.

“This is a unique facility with a critically important mission; there really is no other government or industry counterpart to Picatinny,” McHugh said, underscoring the arsenal’s contribution to national security. “The workforce possesses knowledge and expertise that increases the lethality of the joint services warfighter.”

Picatinny Arsenal was designated the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition, providing products and services to all branches of the U.S. military.

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Engineering director encourages cost-consciousness

James Lackey is the new director of the Engineering Directorate at the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. to Credit: Ryan Keith

James Lackey is the new director of the Engineering Directorate at the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. to Credit: Ryan Keith

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Former Naval Air Systems Command test project engineer James Lackey has joined the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center as director of the Engineering Directorate.

A native of Maryland, Lackey had a near 25-year career at the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River, Md. He was a strike aircraft flight test project engineer for more than a decade, and between 1999 and 2008 held a variety of program management assignments.

Lackey said he is looking forward to applying his background from the Navy to the Army and multiple-service customers supported by AMRDEC.

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APG organizations establish STEM agreement with Harford schools

 

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army is bolstering its commitment to science and math education in northeast Maryland to increase the number of students seeking high-tech careers.

Eight major APG tenant organizations agreed to a partnership Dec. 14 with Harford County Public Schools to expand educational outreach efforts in science, technology, engineering and math, commonly known as STEM.

The agreement will help increase participation and improve HCPS students’ performance in STEM and programs that expand academic opportunities, officials said.

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http://go.usa.gov/gVGC

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RDECOM NCOPD kicks off at Redstone Arsenal

RDECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie (far right) and 52 noncommissioned officers stand next to a CH-47 Chinook helicopter Nov. 5 while attending professional development training at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — Fifty-two Soldiers convened Nov. 5 in northern Alabama for a week of professional development and the opportunity to learn about the nation’s leading Army installation for aviation and missile research, development and testing.

The noncommissioned officers of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command will complete a physical fitness test and receive briefings, training, and facility and capability tours. They will conclude this session of NCO Professional Development with a tour of Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, Tenn., a Civil War historic site.

Soldiers are stationed at each of the RDECOM’s seven research, development and engineering centers across the country. They provide technical and operational input to the RDECs where they are assigned.

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RDECOM welcomes new executive to leadership team

Acting Deputy Director, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

New Acting Deputy Director, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

RDECOM welcomes Ms. Barbara Machak as acting deputy director and bids farewell to Mr. Joe Wienand. Joe returns to Edgewood Chemical Biological Center as technical director. Barbara joins our leadership team from the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center in Picatinny, N.J. Today is her first day working at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Please give her a big welcome!

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RDECOM senior NCO discusses support for Soldiers

Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's senior noncommissioned officer, returned May 13 from a nine-day mission to Afghanistan.

Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command's senior noncommissioned officer, returned May 13 from a nine-day mission to Afghanistan.

 

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie assumed duties as the leader of U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s enlisted Soldiers March 16. He took over for Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin, who served as RDECOM’s senior noncommissioned officer since 2007.

In an interview with RDECOM public affairs, Beharie discussed the role of the command’s enlisted Soldiers, the needs of Soldiers in theater, and how Army scientists and engineers will continue to provide the technological edge for its Soldiers.

What is your message to RDECOM’s enlisted Soldiers?

“Being the new sergeant major, I want to get to know who they are, what they do for the organization, and talk to them about their concerns. As a junior Soldier, I wanted to know that my leaders were not only going to give me a mission but care about me and care about what I care about.

I want to get to know them. We have great Warfighters at RDECOM. They are helping RDECOM become a better organization with better support to our Warfighters.”

How is your role different at RDECOM, where the workforce is predominantly civilian, compared with your previous assignments?

“You have to take a different approach when working with Department of the Army civilians. They don’t have any less love for the military. I find they are just as proactive and proud of their service to our Warfighters; it’s just a different uniform.

The things they want to do for Soldiers, they want to know that it matters. [It's the] same thing with Soldiers in the field in an operational organization. We have a mission; we have our marching orders, we know what we need to do for the Army. With civilians, it’s exactly the same.

Everyone wants to do great and wonderful things and to know that we are doing that with one thing in mind — to make a nation stronger by making our Warfighters stronger.”

How do RDECOM’s enlisted Soldiers help the command empower, unburden, protect and sustain the Warfighter?

“The Soldiers of RDECOM are subject matter experts within their military occupation specialty, and they bring this professionalism with them to this command. They represent every Warfighter within our Army by using their knowledge to advise our scientists and engineers when they develop materiel solutions for the Army.

We are basically supporting ourselves. We are Warfighters. We come out of the war for a small bit to come to RDECOM and places like RDECOM that support the Warfighter. We bring that wealth of knowledge from the battlefield. We are the ones using all this technology being developed by RDECOM. Knowing and having a feel for that is invaluable to our scientists and engineers. Bringing that to the command is absolutely important.

The second part of that is bridging the connection between civilian scientists and engineers to the Warfighters out in the field. We know them. We were them. To bridge that gap, that is another thing we do well as Soldiers in RDECOM.”

What are the greatest technology needs Soldiers have in Afghanistan?

“We are there to protect the population. We are there to separate the enemy from the population and to give the population a fighting chance to develop into a great nation. That’s what they want.

What we need is the security to do that. Any technology that gives us the edge to be more secure to do our jobs better in and around the battlefield is what [Soldiers] want. Technology gives us that edge. We do it better than any other country in supporting our Warfighters to accomplish their mission.”

How can RDECOM’s scientists and engineers have the greatest impact on Soldiers?

“We have great systems in place within RDECOM. We have the RFAST-C [RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan] in theater. Our Warfighters go directly to the engineers and say, ‘I need this, and I want it to look like this.’ Our engineers at the PIF [Prototype Integration Facility] in theater can produce a materiel solution in very little time.

We have even bigger support mechanisms in place. We have our Science and Technology Assistance Teams. We know what [the Soldiers'] needs are because we are there with them as they go through the throes of battle.

We have reachback capabilities to our scientists who have a wider assortment of tools and materiel solutions to help our Warfighters accomplish their missions.”

What advice did Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin give you during your transition period?

“We knew each other before I was selected for this position. Once I knew I was coming here, we talked about what this command is, what [it] does, and how well it does what it has to do.

This doesn’t always happen in the military where you get time to transition. He and I had time to sit down, and I picked his brain. [We] traveled to see our RDECs [Research, Development and Engineering Centers] to talk to our folks. We have a great tradition at RDECOM of supporting the Warfighter. That’s exactly what I intend to do.”

How can RDECOM better inform Soldiers about in science and technology for Soldiers?

“That’s a continual process. We have a great network of people around the world looking for technology, trying to develop technology with partners in other nations. Just this morning, I had a theater update brief, where all of our folks in different countries dial-in to talk about the challenges that their supported elements are having and what RDECOM can do to help the Warfighters out there.

Our [public affairs office] tells the stories of our organization. [We] use all the multimedia sources to get the information out. I believe that becomes even more relevant for our Soldiers to know what we do, what we can provide, and how we can provide it. That’s the biggest challenge. We have to get after that every day.”

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With combat experience, NCOs offer insight to engineers

Richard Cox, Harbor Defense Museum Curator, briefs Soldiers from the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command about cannon used in defense of New York harbor. The trip was part of professional development training.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Soldiers from the U.S. Army Research Development and Engineering Command toured historic coastal defenses at the Verrazano Narrows March 22 as part of noncommissioned officer (NCO)professional development at Picatinny Arsenal from March 18-23.

Visiting Fort Hamilton, N.Y. on the east side of the narrows and Fort Wadsworth, N.Y. on the west, the NCOs saw historic fortifications, cannons and mortars that are now relics but had once been integral to state-of-the art systems designed to prevent enemy ships from attacking New York City.

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RDECOM recognizes NCO, Soldier of the Year

 ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — After five days of competition that pushed four Soldiers’ physical abilities and technical expertise, Staff Sgt. Markus Whisman and Pfc. Joshua Inserra earned honors March 30 as the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year, respectively.

RDECOM’s enlisted corps serves an important role by acting as Soldier representatives with the Army’s scientists and engineers, Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie said.

RDECOM Director Dale Ormond and Beharie presented the winners Army Commendation Medals; gift certificates from AAFES and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and an RDECOM backpack filled with T-shirts.

Ormond recognized all the participants for their important role in RDECOM’s mission of empowering, unburdening and protecting American Soldiers.

“Thank you for your service. Thank you for your enthusiasm, motivation, leadership and commitment to excellence,” Ormond said.

Whisman, a research and development adviser assigned to Army Research Laboratory at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., and Inserra, a signal support systems maintainer assigned to Communications–Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at APG, now advance to the Army Materiel Command NCO and Soldier of the Year competitions.

Also vying for the honors were:

– Staff Sgt. Sharalis Canales, a behavioral health NCO assigned to Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center at Natick, Mass.

– Staff Sgt. Christopher Duff, an explosive ordnance disposal team leader assigned to the EOD Technology Directorate at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.

The Soldiers discussed their backgrounds, family lives, personal goals and combat tours with the RDECOM public affairs office during the competition week.

GAINING LEADERSHIP, EDUCATION, SKILLS

The Soldiers agreed they have benefited tremendously from their decision to enlist.

Inserra, the junior Soldier among the competitors with 22 months of service, said he enlisted because of his family’s positive experiences in the military. His brother served in the Army, and a cousin served in the Marine Corps.

“They had that feeling of knowledge, training and confidence. I wanted that,” Inserra said.

Inserra is planning to use the Army’s educational benefits to complete his degree in electrical engineering. He praised his NCOs for their leadership and hopes to emulate them as he progresses during his Army career.

“I have a great bunch of NCOs in front of me. I want to be like them. I want to have the leadership that they have,” he said. “I’ve gained so much more confidence in myself than I could have ever imagined. I’m enjoying that confidence. I’m more confident in my writing. I’m more confident in the way I speak to people.”

Canales has changed her life dramatically since enlisting six years ago.

“I was homeless. I was living in a shelter in Times Square for six months. I needed a sense of direction. I went to the recruiting station and I joined,” she said. “The Army has been my family, and it’s been everything to me.”

Canales completed her associate’s degree three weeks ago. She is now studying for a bachelor’s degree in psychology and then plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work. After retiring from active duty, she hopes to return as an Army civilian employee.

“[I want] to continue serving in the mental-health field to help Soldiers, families and retirees,” she said.
“It’s weird how I went from being homeless and before that living in a foster home with counselors.

“When I joined the Army, the roles reversed. Now I am a counselor, so I’m able to give back. I think it’s wonderful that I can do that. My experience before I joined helped shape what I’ve learned.”

COUNTERING MISCONCEPTIONS

The Soldiers said the American public holds misconceptions about the Army that are reinforced by incidents such as when Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians.

“One of the misconceptions is that we all go to Iraq, run around, shooting guns at whoever we see, and killing everyone,” Duff said. “That’s not what we’re there for at all. It’s not what it’s all about.

“There is a mission over there. We are all over there for a small piece of that mission and to come home safely.”

Canales echoed Duff’s comments. She said her military experience differs greatly from the images seen on TV news of infantrymen on patrol in Iraq or Afghanistan.

“I think a lot of civilians who don’t know much about the Army believe that all we do is go to war, fight, and kill people,” Canales said. “Even my brothers believe I carry a gun at all times. I wish they could come and see what we do in the Army. I’m a counselor, and I’ve been in the hospital setting for the last six years.”

COMBAT BRINGS A NEW PERSPECTIVE

Whisman and Duff have deployed to the Middle East, and they gained a better understanding of the military’s objectives in the area.

“When you deploy, you get to see a little bit of the bigger picture,” Duff said. “You see why we do what we do and what we’re there to do. For a family, it reassured my wife that she can get through a deployment and keep the house under control.”

Whisman said he has a new appreciation for life as an American.

“I saw some things that definitely put my life here in perspective. They have so little. I’ll never again take for granted what I have at home,” Whisman said. “It could be so much worse. As bad as you think you might have it, it could always be a lot worse.”

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New command sergeant major assumes role at RDECOM

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command introduced its new senior noncommissioned officer to the community March 16.
Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert O. Beharie assumed duties as the leader of RDECOM’s enlisted Soldiers during a Change of Responsibility ceremony at the Post Theater. About 150 Soldiers and Army civilian employees welcomed Beharie to RDECOM and APG.

MARIN BIDS FAREWELL

Beharie takes over from Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin. The Army promoted Marin to the rank of command sergeant major in 1999, and he has served as RDECOM’s senior NCO since Aug. 5, 2007.

A native of Honduras who moved to New York City at age 10, Marin enlisted in September 1981. He described his journey from a child through his three decades as a Soldier stationed across the globe.

“My journey began a long time ago when I first got to this great country. I felt a sense of duty immediately,” Marin said. “I wanted to give back to this nation for what was given to me — an opportunity to get an education, an opportunity to live free in a democratic country, a place where opportunities to excel are endless, an opportunity to serve and sacrifice for the good of all citizens of this nation. I joined the Army as part of this sense of duty. I wanted to ensure those who came before me who may have lost their lives did not do so in vain.

“As a young boy living in Honduras, I used to chase helicopters down the street. I was very fascinated by that piece of machinery. I always wondered, ‘How can something like that hang up in the sky and fly?’ So when I entered the United States and began my studies in New York, I had my eyes on becoming an aviator. Through hard work, perseverance and encouragement from family, I managed to meet the qualifications to enter the Army as an aviator. Here I am today.”

Marin thanked his fellow NCOs for their efforts to interact with RDECOM’s scientists and engineers to ensure the success of the command’s mission to empower, unburden and protect Soldiers.

“Since my arrival here, I quickly got engaged with our noncommissioned officers to ensure we understood our role in providing our engineers and scientists with relevant feedback to assist with the development of new technology and delivering it to the hands of Warfighters,” Marin said. “Our noncommissioned officers have a vital role in making sure that RDECOM is technology driven and always Warfighter focused.”

BEHARIE TAKES OVER AS SENIOR NCO

Beharie will lead the command’s 80 enlisted Soldiers at its APG headquarters and seven research centers with offices around the world. The command sergeant major serves as the principal adviser to the director in enlisted matters. He is responsible for the training, professional development, retention, readiness and discipline of Soldiers under his charge.

Beharie said he has been impressed by the passion of RDECOM scientists and engineers to support those in uniform.

“I have had some great opportunities to serve over my military career. However, serving as RDECOM sergeant major is a dream job,” Beharie said. “This organization and its professional workforce touch the lives of all the men and women in the Armed Forces, as well as our nation.

“Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit some of our labs and meet some of our men and women who work tirelessly to give our troops the fighting edge on the battlefield. I was blown away by the technology that they have developed and are currently working on.”

Beharie will report to RDECOM Director Dale Ormond, who replaced Maj. Gen. Nick Justice as the organization’s senior leader Feb. 10. Ormond thanked Marin for his dedication to the Army, RDECOM and Soldiers.

“What a terrific story of Command Sergeant Major Marin. [He is] a terrific Soldier and a leader of Soldiers,” Ormond said. “He wanted to give back for the opportunities that America gave him. He has connected our scientists and engineers to the Soldiers, communicating with Soldiers and talking to them about what their real issues, challenges and needs are. [He made] sure that was funneled back into us so that we have that connection to what is going on in theater.

“[He made] tremendous personal efforts to stand up the RDECOM Field Assistance in Science and Technology-Center at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. He helped put in place how we as RDECOM solve materiel [problems] at the point of need.”

In one of his first official duties, Beharie will oversee RDECOM’s annual Noncomissioned Officer/Soldier of the Year Competition at APG March 26 to 31. Five enlisted Soldiers will compete in a physical fitness test, weapons range, land navigation, obstacle course, 12-mile ruck march, essay and written exam, media interviews, and board appearance.

Beharie has served as the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade’s command sergeant major at Fort Campbell, Ky., since April 2009. He enlisted in 1986 and has four combat tours in the Persian Gulf.

Beharie and his wife, Sabrina, have three children.

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Civilian takes charge of RDECOM

 

Dale A. Ormond (left) assumes responsibility for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command in a ceremony hosted by Army Materiel Command Commanding General Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Feb. 10. Maj. Gen. Nick Justice (right) had served as RDECOM commander since Dec. 4, 2009.

Dale A. Ormond (left) assumes responsibility for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command in a ceremony hosted by Army Materiel Command Commanding General Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Feb. 10. Maj. Gen. Nick Justice (right) had served as RDECOM commander since Dec. 4, 2009.

 

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command changed leaders Feb. 10, welcoming a civilian executive at the helm for the first time.

Dale A. Ormond assumed responsibility in a ceremony at the APG Post Theater. About 500 Soldiers, Army civilians and local elected officials attended Ormond’s introduction to the community.

ORMOND TAKES REINS

Ormond is the first civilian to lead RDECOM since the Army created the command in 2004. He assumed leadership from Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, the RDECOM and APG installation commander since Dec. 4, 2009.

Ormond thanked Justice for his 42 years of Army service and commitment to the nation.

“[Justice] has built a tremendous organization at RDECOM,” Ormond said. “Now comes our challenge to build upon that foundation.”

RDECOM’s employees must continue to support Soldiers with the best technology for current conflicts, as well as to defeat future adversaries, Ormond said.

“For the RDECOM employees, I have been so incredibly impressed with each of you. Each one of us has the central motivation to help a Soldier in the middle of nowhere execute their mission and come home safely,” Ormond said. “I don’t know that anyone does this more profoundly than our RDECOM employees do.

“To the men and women of RDECOM — we have a lot of work to do. We must continue to accelerate the work that is already in progress to support our Soldiers. I know you are up to the task.”

Ormond comes to RDECOM from the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where he served as deputy to the commanding general since 2008. He previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Elimination of Chemical Weapons) and as acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Policy and Procurement.

Ormond is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a master of science in environmental systems engineering from Clemson University. He was selected for Senior Executive Service in 2004.

FAREWELL FOR JUSTICE

Justice joined the Army as an enlisted Soldier and earned his commission upon graduation from Officer Candidate School in 1977. He was promoted to major general in 2008.

Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command, praised Justice’s work to empower, unburden and protect America’s Soldiers. She also commended his efforts as a trailblazer in Army information technology.

“I was just issued my first Apple iPad. Nick Justice is the only guy in the entire Army who could teach me to use it,” Dunwoody said jokingly.

“The Army quickly recognized that we have a tech genius in Nick Justice,” Dunwoody said. “He had a greater impact on Army information systems and the way Soldiers communicate than anyone in our entire institution.

“Nick is the founding father of Army Knowledge Online. Today, it is the largest intranet in the world, but it all started with this man.”

Dunwoody also recognized Justice’s emphasis on inserting RDECOM’s scientific and engineering expertise into the operational Army. Through this accomplishment, the mission to empower, unburden and protect Warfighters has moved even closer to the battlefield.

“In a time when the need to get the benefits of science and engineering out to our Warfighters was never greater, Nick was there — on point — making sure it happened,” Dunwoody said. “He personally worked with the commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan to get science and technology embedded in our operational units.

“Nick has employed nearly 1,300 members around the globe. Now more than ever, RDECOM has a global presence, a global force and a global voice around the Army.”

Justice echoed Dunwoody’s remarks about RDECOM’s scientific contributions enhancing Soldiers’ capabilities.

“You heard General Dunwoody recognize our deployed capabilities. It will be an enduring presence in the future that will be integrated into the Army’s deployable capabilities,” Justice said. “That recognizes your skills, talents, importance and value to the operational Army.

“We have changed the very essence of war this decade much out of the strength and intellectual capacity of this organization. I salute you, RDECOM, for what you do for me and my brothers in arms.”

Justice thanked many of those in attendance — his fellow Soldiers, civilian employees, Gold Star Families, state and local elected officials, and his wife — for their support during his time at RDECOM and APG.

“We will always have you in our hearts. We will always be involved in the relationships and associations that we have established in this community. Thank you very much for what you done for me.

“This is one of the greatest assignments that a Soldier could ever have.”

RDECOM is made up of nearly 17,000 civilian researchers, scientists, engineers and support personnel. There are about 100 Soldiers assigned to provide important feedback to researchers developing technologies.

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RDECOM leaders urge deploying team to engage with Warfighters

RDECOM leaders urge deploying team to engage with Warfighters

Command Sgt. Major Hector Marin speaks March 21 to RDECOM civilians and Soldiers who are preparing to deploy.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Scientists and engineers deploying to Afghanistan need to make Warfighters aware of the Army’s technical solutions, Command Sgt. Major Hector Marin said March 21.

U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s senior officer, Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, and senior noncommissioned officer spoke to RDECOM civilians and Soldiers attending orientation and reach-back training in preparation for deployment.

“You have to get out there and get hands-on with the Warfighter,” Marin said. “You have to understand the capabilities of the command.”

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RDECOM organizes to maximize integration

RDECOM Town Hall

Maj. Gen. Nick Justices points to the future as he addresses the assembled RDECOM staff. (Photo by Conrad Johnson)

The commander of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, gathered his military and civilian staff at the Edgewood Area Conference Center Oct. 4 to inaugurate the organization’s future.

The emphasis, Maj. Gen. Nick Justice said, is on integration.

“We don’t want an all-star team,” Justice said. “What we want is the best team in the country. We can create greater capacity and greater strength with the sum of the parts of this organization. You can see the power of that integration.”

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Army partners with University of Maryland

Army partners with UMD

Dr. Nariman Farvardin, University of Maryland interim president, left, and Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, commanding general, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, prepare to sign a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement in College Park, Md., Sept. 28.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Sept. 29, 2010) – The U.S. Army continued to expand its relationships with institutions of higher education by signing an agreement with the University of Maryland here Sept. 28.

Leaders from the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and the university entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, or CRADA, at the school’s Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building.

Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, RDECOM commanding general, told an audience of about 150 university leaders, professors and staff, Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets and instructors, state officials and leaders from Army research centers that education is key to the success of the Army and the nation.

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New ARDEC director reflects on growth as a leader

New ARDEC director reflects on growth as a leader

“You better get down here,” said the caller.

Dr. Gerardo Melendez returned the phone to the cradle. Some special operations Soldiers were downstairs in his building at Fort Monmouth, N.J.,where he served before his new assignment here as director of the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center.

The “Green Berets” wanted to see the people involved with fitting specialized equipment on their vehicles operating in Iraq.

Melendez hadn’t heard much specific information about how the equipment was performing.
“I guess because of the nature of their operations,” said Melendez.

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U.S. Army technologies to star at inaugural Maker Faire Detroit

The U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command will engage Makers – techies and Do-It-Yourself enthusiasts – from all over the nation at Maker Faire Detroit, July 31-Aug. 1.
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Panel discusses technological opportunities, challenges for Army

Scientists need to engage Soldiers and consider how new technology translates to the battlefield, according to a panel of five experts who discussed the Army’s opportunities and challenges for fighting wars in the 21st century.

Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, moderated the panel discussion and asked the scientists from the Army and academia to ask tough questions during the research and development process.

“Is what you deliver to the Soldier really worth having?” Justice asked.

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Senior Army research director retires

Senior Army research director retires
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. ― The U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center Technical Director Richard “Rick” W. Decker II was honored for 24 years of outstanding service during his retirement ceremony April 23 at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Conference Center here.

“As with all good things in life, there is always a time to stand down and, for me, that time is now,” Decker told the center’s workforce. “Twenty-four years ago, I began my career as a civil servant with the last two plus years as ECBC’s Technical Director. Words cannot express what a privilege it is to have served in this capacity and witness the great work that is done on a daily basis. As the Center’s leader, I am truly humbled.”

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Army names AMRDEC technical director

Army names new AMRDEC technical directorABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – The Secretary of the Army announced April 30 the new senior civilian leader for the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center, Redstone Arsenal, Ala. Eric Felton Edwards has been appointed as AMRDEC technical director.

The Research, Development and Engineering Command’s aviation and missile center has been without a director since the retirement of long-time physicist Dr. Bill McCorkle late last year. Dr. Robin Buckelew has served as acting technical director since November 2009.

Edwards comes to the new job from the AMRDEC Integrated Material Management Center where he served as executive director.

“Please join me in congratulating Mr. Edwards in his new Assignment and welcome him to the RDECOM community,” wrote Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, RDECOM commanding general in an e-mail to key leaders April 30. “I know he can count on your support as we strive to find ways to improve our support to Soldiers and our combat formations.”

Justice also wanted to public recognized the contributions of the interim director.

“Dr. Buckelew has done a great job in ensuring that AMRDEC maintains its critical role in supporting the aviation and missile communities and providing cutting edge technologies and engineering support to the AMCOM community and the Army,” he wrote.

Edwards will assume his duties at RDECOM’s Aviation and Missile Center as of May 9.

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APG civilians complete leadership course

APG civilian leaders complete leadership training program
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Army Management Staff College Civilian Education System Basic Course students who got their diplomas today all graduated “first in their class.” They were the first to graduate the basic course on the Aberdeen Proving Ground and, in fact, the first to graduate from this course off campus from Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The two-week course improves leadership qualities in Army civilians to more effectively lead and care for teams. Read more…

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