Army illustrator helps researchers

Autumn Kulaga is a biomedical illustrator at ARL. She uses CT scans to create a variety of 2-D and 3-D medical illustrations and animations, other graphic designs, data visualizations and 3-D models. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

ARL Public Affairs

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD (October 27, 2015) — An Army artist is making a difference at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

Autumn Kulaga is a biomedical illustrator at ARL. She uses CT scans to create a variety of 2-D and 3-D medical illustrations and animations, other graphic designs, data visualizations and 3-D models. All of these are used to clearly and succinctly communicate and visualize the injuries sustained.

Depicting injuries is not always easy using injury photographs and medical imaging, such as computerized tomography, or CT, scans. Scans do not necessarily highlight the injury of interest and, as a result, include unnecessary information such as unaffected body tissue and non-related injuries. They also sometimes reveal personally identifying features. Also, customers served by the ARL Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate, known as ARL-SLAD, are often not experts in anatomy, and benefit from illustrations to understand and analyze the injury depicted. ARL develops custom medical art and illustrations to help analysts visualize, archive and communicate pertinent information about injuries.

“I have always gravitated towards art and science,” Kulaga said. “To me these subjects are symbiotic, and therefore medical illustration seemed like a great path forward for my career. Not only does this let me use my creative talents on a daily basis, but I am constantly learning new material as I become involved in different projects.” Continue reading

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.

Read more …

Former “Cheers” actor visits Picatinny to learn military manufacturing techniques

During a tour of Picatinny Sept. 4, James Zunino (right), Picatinny Materials Engineer, shows actor John Ratzenberger a modular tool that can be added onto the Multi-Axis Modular Manufacturing Platform for additive manufacturing. Different tools allow the machine to perform different manufacturing techniques. Photo Credit: Erin Usawicz

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Actor John Ratzenberger, best known for his iconic role as postal worker Cliff Clavin on the TV show “Cheers,” is promoting manufacturing in the U.S.

His interest led him to visit Picatinny Arsenal Sept. 4, where he saw first-hand a number of the advanced manufacturing techniques the installation uses to equip the nation’s warfighters.

Ratzenberger’s interest in manufacturing previously inspired him to produce and host shows like “Made in America,” a Travel Channel TV production highlighting manufacturing companies that produce interesting products across the nation.

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Picatinny cultivates today’s teacher’s, tomorrow’s innovators

So much learning going on here.

So much learning going on here.


PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Why stop at just getting students more interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics when we can get local teachers involved and excited as well? Well that’s just what we did and we’re quite pleased with the results.

Click here to read more.

Picatinny to grant doctoral degrees

Soon we'll have people who have earned their PhD from Picatinny Arsenal.

Soon we’ll have people who have earned their PhD from Picatinny Arsenal.


PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Sure we’re already the Joint Center of Excellence for Armaments and Munitions. Now we’ll also be known as a degree granting institution. Who will be the first to earn their PhD from Picatinny Arsenal?

Click here to read more.

APG unveils center for STEM, education outreach

U.S. Army officials prepare to cut the ribbon of the Aberdeen Proving Ground STEM and Education Outreach Center July 30. From left: Col. Gregory McClinton, APG Garrison commander; Robert Carter, executive technical director of the Army Test and Evaluation Command; Dr. Thomas Russell, director of the Army Research Laboratory; Maj. Gen. Robert Ferrell, commanding general of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command and APG senior commander; Nicole Racine, a University of Maryland-Baltimore County sophomore; Dale Ormond, director of the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command; Jeffrey Singleton, director of basic research, laboratory management and educational outreach for the assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology; Suzanne Milchling, program integration director of the Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center; and Robert Zanzalari, associate director of the Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center.

 ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Aspiring scientists and engineers are now exploring their future careers at a unified APG facility dedicated to education outreach.

APG ushered in a new era of partnerships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for northeast Maryland with a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 30.

The APG STEM and Education Outreach Center brings tenant organizations together to pool resources that will enhance students’ experiences in scientific and engineering disciplines. The facility accommodates up to 200 students.

Read more:

http://go.usa.gov/jnM4

Natick wounded warrior, Reservist deploying to Afghanistan

Brian Scott, who works at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, is deploying to Afghanistan as a Reservist with the 344th Military Police Company. During a 2008 deployment to Iraq, Scott's life was saved by his Advanced Combat Helmet during an improvised explosive device attack.

Brian Scott, who works at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, is deploying to Afghanistan as a Reservist with the 344th Military Police Company. During a 2008 deployment to Iraq, Scott’s life was saved by his Advanced Combat Helmet during an improvised explosive device attack. Photo Credit: David Kamm, NSRDEC Photographer

NATICK, Mass. (April 2, 2013) — Staff Sgt. Brian Scott is getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan as a squad leader with the 344th Military Police Company, an Army Reserve unit out of Massachusetts, after being wounded in Iraq only five years ago.

On Aug. 28, 2008, Scott’s four-vehicle convoy was on a mission to an Iraqi police station. The vehicles were cutting across two main supply routes to get to the station. Scott was in the second vehicle, and an improvised explosive device, known as an IED, went off between his vehicle and the first vehicle.

“We had to stop and set up security and make calls to (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) and get an outer perimeter security out there,” Scott said. Iraqi National Police took care of outer perimeter security, but “they weren’t fully doing the job at the time, so I was in charge of interpreters.”

Read more …

Army biologist developing next-generation tools for Soldiers

 

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — U.S. Army scientists are developing new technologies, including smartphones that detect and identify chemical and biological agents, to empower Soldiers.

Dr. Calvin Chue, a research biologist with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, or RDECOM, is focused on the next generation of devices to protect Soldiers and civilians against unknown chemical or biological threats.

To read more:

http://go.usa.gov/gT4Y

Aberdeen Proving Ground leaders discuss vision for STEM education outreach

 

About 400 middle and high-school school students from Harford and Cecil counties explored Army technology, Sept. 23, 2011, during the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Educational Outreach Day at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

 

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Because of Aberdeen Proving Ground’s new role as the Army’s hub for science and technology, officials say the installation has the opportunity to become a national leader in science, technology, engineering and math education outreach.

The thousands of scientists and engineers at Aberdeen Proving Ground, or APG, should spur innovation as the Army promotes interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said Patrick Baker, who recently assumed the newly created position of APG STEM Champion.

Read more on Army.mil

Scientist begins Army career, protects nation against chemical warfare agents

 

Brandon Bruey, a chemist with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, handles, synthesizes, purifies and destroys chemical agents.

 

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — A recent college graduate moved from Texas to Maryland so he could work with the best scientists in the field of chemical defense.

Brandon Bruey, a chemist with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, said his position allows him the best opportunity to use classroom principles for real-world applications.

Read more on Army.mil

 

Army scientist recalls six decades of inquiry, breakthroughs

Harry Salem serves as chief scientist of life sciences for the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — After more than 60 years as a researcher, educator and mentor, Harry Salem remains committed to advancing the field of science in the U.S. Army.

Salem’s talents and expertise led to an already distinguished career spanning three decades in pharmacology and toxicology — including the development of the cold and cough remedies NyQuil and Contac as well as the extended-wear soft contact lens Permalens — all before joining the Army as a civilian scientist in 1984.

In his current role as the chief scientist of life sciences, Salem oversees and guides research efforts at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. He has recently created a Center of Excellence for Stem Cell Research, recruiting 12 post-doctoral students to help embark on his vision.

Read more on Army.mil

Educating with aqua-bots

This underwater robot was built by students younger than 16 years of age. Imagine what they'll build when they graduate from college.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Were you building robots before you turned 16? A select number of students who participated in our summer educational outreach program did just that.

Click here to read more.

Soldier’s science project may benefit entire Army (with help from Picatinny Arsenal)

1st Lt. Derek Wales (shown in photo with green screen background prior to his promotion) shows his "DemonEye" invention that rapidly tells a Soldier where he is on the battlefield and can be produced on the cheap.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — A Soldier’s quest started small, with a simple inspiration during a cadet field exercise in 2010.

His West Point electrical engineering and computer science class instructor gave him the “go-ahead” to follow that inspiration to the completion of his senior class project.

Now, that simple and popular invention could find a place with Soldier’s Army-wide.

Click here to read more.

Measuring human behavior

The Target Behavioral Response Laboratory conducts tests to study how humans react to various devices and how they can be made more effective.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Along the winding Snake Hill road in the Picatinny Arsenal 3500 area sits the Target Behavioral Response Laboratory, which is responsible for providing answers to what engineers developing products seek most.

“What happens if… ? Under these conditions, how will people react?”

The Target Behavioral Response Laboratory, or TBRL provides non-invasive, behavioral human research experiments with devices that are non-lethal, less-than-lethal, or enhance lethality. Essentially, researchers study the effects of products on live test subjects: people.

Click here to read more.

Student robotic challenges also place emphasis on teamwork

The Roxbury Township basketball robot takes a shot at the basket during a recent FIRST Robotics Competition. Standing in back cheering in a red jumpsuit, his right arm raised, is Shahram Dabiri, the Roxbury team coach and mentor. Dabiri is also the DoD Ordnance Technology Consortium Technology Manager at Picatinny Arsenal.

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Eight high school robotics teams mentored by engineers at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) competed March 31st to April 1st at the Mount Olive High School in some friendly robot basketball.

The teams participated in a competition called “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” (FIRST), which challenges student teams to design, build and compete against one another with…

Click here to read more.

Army promotes science, technology opportunities to Harford students

Edgewood Middle School students extract strawberry DNA during the Technology Needs Teens program at Harford Community College May 24 at Bel Air, Md. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

Edgewood Middle School students extract strawberry DNA during the Technology Needs Teens program at Harford Community College May 24 at Bel Air, Md. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

By Dan Lafontaine, RDECOM Public Affairs

BEL AIR, Md. — Eighth-grade students explored emerging global-mapping software and DNA extraction with U.S. Army scientists May 24 to boost their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM education.

The Army, technology manufacturers and universities joined about 180 eighth-graders from nine Harford County middle schools. The scientists showcased the array of career opportunities in STEM fields as part of the fifth annual Technology Needs Teens program at Harford Community College.

Lanie Wallace, a research biologist with the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, led students through a hands-on demonstration of extracting DNA from a strawberry. She explained the range of applications for DNA research, including medical, pharmaceutical and agricultural.

Mary Doak, ECBC’s community and educational outreach manager, said the country needs students to pursue STEM careers because a large number of scientists and engineers are nearing retirement age.

At ECBC, 44 percent of employees are eligible for retirement within 10 years, Doak said. The Department of Defense has 35,000 scientists, 56 percent of whom can retire within eight years.

Wallace, who attended Edgewood middle and high schools, has started work on a doctorate degree, which is paid for by the DoD through the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Scholarship for Service Program.

Doak encouraged the students to pursue DoD-sponsored scholarships and internship programs, including SMART; Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Sciences, or GEMS; Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program, or SEAP; and eCYBERMISSION.

Matt Sparaco, a computer scientist with U.S. Army Communications–Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, demonstrated the Command and Control Multitouch Enabled Technology, or COMET, to Patterson Mill Middle School students.

The COMET is a large touchscreen computer that can be mounted vertically to a wall or set up horizontally like a table. Sparaco said CERDEC is developing software to track Soldier patrols, detect enemy fire and view damage from natural disasters.

Students explored the COMET by locating local landmarks using the mapping feature to create fictional scenarios.

Sparaco said researchers are also hoping to add facial-recognition software to allow Soldiers to take a photo with a smartphone or tablet and identify potential enemies. He said the Army plans to transition the software to flexible displays that Soldiers will wear on their uniforms during combat operations.

Army scientists develop deployable renewable-energy solutions

 

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Soldiers stationed in remote combat outposts face logistics and safety challenges to power their radios, laptops and GPS units.

U.S. Army scientists are researching methods to harness the sun and wind to ease the burdens associated with transporting fossil fuels to dangerous areas.

Marnie de Jong, an electrical engineer with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, is helping to develop renewable-energy based microgrids that work independently of traditional grid power.

Microgrids help to integrate different sources of energy for more efficient use and storage, she said.

“There has been a larger demand from the field for fuel reduction and power in remote locations,” de Jong said. “As that demand has increased, we have increased our focus in those areas.

“Microgrids will be able to take solar, wind and batteries and use them together. You can use solar when there is no wind available. Different pieces of the puzzle work better in different places. By making this a solution set, you can take what you need given your location.”

To provide alternative power sources to Soldiers in combat, de Jong and her colleagues at RDECOM’s Communications–Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center are developing two systems — Reusing Existing Natural Energy from Wind and Solar, or RENEWS, and Renewable Energy for Distributed Undersupplied Command Environments, or REDUCE.

EASING LOGISTICS CHALLENGES

CERDEC started work on RENEWS in 2009 under an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act program for photovoltaics in which it partnered with RDECOM’s Army Research Laboratory and Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center. The team has developed RENEWS prototypes and is finishing internal testing, de Jong said.

Units are being sent for operational assessments from Soldiers at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., and U.S. Africa Command.

“The RENEWS system is completely renewable energy [with] solar and wind components,” de Jong said. “It’s meant for smaller, mostly communications systems in very remote locations that are difficult to get to re-supply fuel or [where] it might be dangerous. It would be a self-sustaining system.”

RENEWS is designed to power two or three laptops continuously as long as there is power coming daily from the solar panels or wind turbine, she said. The storage component will be able to provide power at peak demand for about five hours when energy is not being generated by the renewable components.

The RENEWS components weight about 100 pounds, and it is stored in two cases weighing about 70 pounds each.

The Army intends the RENEWS and REDUCE systems to be complementary, resulting in power-grid technology that addresses power generation, distribution, load, renewables and storage.

A major concern for military logisticians is securing routes for fuel-truck convoys. According to Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, environment and technology, said one in 46 convoys suffers a casualty.

“There will be a reduction in fuel that is necessary for regular operations,” de Jong said. “That is one of the major concerns in the field in transporting fuel — logistics and safety. We are working to reduce fuel consumption by supplementing generators with renewable energy sources.”

INTEGRATED, INTELLIGENT POWER SYSTEMS

Work on the three-year REDUCE program is in the early stages, de Jong said. It is designed to be towed on a Humvee trailer.

“The key behind the system is the intelligent power management and distribution, as well as the plug and play capability for devices. Automatic-device detection and power distribution make it a network of power systems that is capable of adjusting based on mission demands and needs,” she said.

The REDUCE integrates renewables with traditional fossil-fuel generators to reduce consumption. The goal is to ease the Soldier’s work by having the system manage all the power.

“The problem with a lot of [Army] systems is that they don’t all work together. Pieces from one don’t necessarily work with pieces from another,” de Jong said. “You can’t get two systems to parallel when they’re made from different places.

“Under the REDUCE system, we’re looking to make that all happen automatically. We [will] have an interface defined for all the systems components such that you don’t run into the problem where the different pieces don’t work together.”

UNBURDENING THE SOLDIER

Scientists and engineers across the Army focus on removing obstacles for Soldiers. By integrating smart power systems, CERDEC’s aim is to allow Soldiers to concentrate on their missions instead of monitoring power systems.

“One of the biggest challenges is getting different systems to work together,” de Jong said. “It’s really frustrating for Soldiers in the field when they just want to use this cable with this battery, and it doesn’t work. One of the major technical challenges is having standardization for interfaces and smarts that make all the pieces work seamlessly so the Soldier doesn’t have to configure anything.

“Soldiers will appreciate the plug and play capability. They don’t need to be an expert in power systems. They can just turn it on, and it gives them situational awareness into their power systems. It will report back to them what is going on and if there is a problem.”

REDUCING ENVIROMENTAL IMPACT

The RENEWS and REDUCE systems will also contribute to the Army’s goal of increasing energy efficiency and lessening the reliance on fossil fuels, she said.

“Renewable energy solutions are helping to reduce the carbon footprint. They generate energy more efficiently on-site from renewable sources. It’s good for the Army, good for the Soldier, and good for the environment,” de Jong said.

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.”

Army undersecretary talks business

Undersecretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal (center) tours a facility at Picatinny Arsenal accompanied by Brig. Gen. Jonathan A. Maddox (right), Program Executive Officer for Ammunition and Picatinny Arsenal senior commander. (Photo by Todd Mozes)

Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. – While the public may associate the U.S. Army with Soldiers and weapons on the battlefield, there is also an “institutional” Army that has functions similar to those of large corporations in the private sector, a top Army official told a business group here April 2.

Speaking before the Morristown Chamber of Commerce, Undersecretary of the Army Joseph W. Westphal said the institutional or “business side” of the Army was responsible for the training, recruiting, staffing, equipping and sustaining of the Army forces.

Click here to read more.

Four RDECOM Soldiers vie for command honors

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Four enlisted Soldiers will test their physical fitness, endurance, technical aptitude and reasoning skills March 26 to 30 for top honors within the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.

On a sunny, cool and breezy morning, three staff sergeants and one private first class kicked off the five-day competition for RDECOM Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year.

Vying for the awards are:

— Staff Sgt. Sharalis Canales, a behavioral health NCO assigned to Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center at Natick, Mass. She is from New York City and has six years of service.

— Staff Sgt. Christopher Duff, an explosive ordnance disposal team leader assigned to the EOD Technology Directorate at Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. He is from Riner, Va., and has eight years of service.

— Staff Sgt. Markus Whisman, a research and development adviser assigned to Army Research Laboratory at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. He is from Palm Bay, Fla., and has seven years of service.

— Pfc. Joshua Inserra, a signal support systems maintainer assigned to Communications–Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center at APG. He is from Yerington, Nev., and has one year of service.

They began with the Army Physical Fitness Test, followed by weapons qualification at an ARL small-arms target range. RDECOM NCOs Sgt. Maj. William Tager and Sgt. 1st Class Chris Currie supervised the M-4 Rifle marksmanship test, as well as an M-240B Machine Gun function check that included loading, unloading and correcting malfunctions.

The participants will continue with tasks that examine their physical and mental abilities: a land-navigation course at Lauderick Creek Training Site, obstacle course at Gunpowder Military Reservation, Warrior tasks within training scenarios, 12-mile road march with 40-pound rucksack, essay and written exam, media interview and board appearance.

RDECOM Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie will preside over an awards ceremony March 30. The winners will advance to the Army Materiel Command NCO and Soldier of the Year competition.