Maj. Gen. Justice says goodbye to Natick
December 7, 2011
Returning to the region where he had his first assignment more than four decades ago, Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, Commander of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, came to the Natick Soldier Systems Center on Dec. 6 to say goodbye.
Justice has been visiting each of the elements of his command in advance of his mid-January retirement after 42 years in the Army. He was introduced by Brig. Gen. John J. McGuiness, NSSC senior commander, at a town hall in Hunter Auditorium.
"I've known General Justice for a while now," said McGuiness, who called Justice "a unique Soldier. Not everybody in the Army has that blend -- being an entrepreneur, a visionary, very politically astute. I mean that in a good way."
Justice pointed out that his career had begun at Fort Devens, Mass. Later, the North Carolina native attended the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.
"I fell in love with history up here," Justice said. "It's the birthplace of our country. There's so much to do here."
Justice told young Soldiers in the audience that they should take advantage of their time at Natick. "This could be the biggest stepping-stone for you in the rest of your life," he told them.
The RDECOM commander also reminded civilian employees about the importance of their work.
"It's awesome, what we bring to the fight," Justice said. "There is a lot more to do."
Going forward, said Justice, more will have to be done with less in an era of shrinking budgets.
"You want to sustain the great things and take opportunities to eliminate other things," Justice said. "As we go through the budget changes, the belt tightening, we're going to have to look and see … how to better get bang for our bucks."
Justice urged NSSC employees to look beyond what they are currently working on and consider the bigger picture.
"Maintain focus on three things -- unburdening, protecting, empowering the war fighter," Justice said. "If you will put yourself in that mindset each and every day … you will be focusing on what your mission is. And that mission is being the science and technology that stands behind the American Soldier."
At the conclusion of the town hall, Justice made award presentations to Natick employees.
David Roy of the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center was recognized for his efforts in developing the Ironman Ammunition Pack System, named one of the U.S. Army Soldier Greatest Inventions of 2010.
The 2011 David Packard Joint Acquisition Team Award was presented to the U.S. Special Operations Command Personal Signature Management Joint Acquisition Team. NSRDEC award recipients included Thomas J. Mills, program manager; Jonathan Rich, assistant program manager; Peter J. Capuzzi, project director; and Lisa Hepfinger, team leader, multi-functional materials team.
Two NSRDEC teams received Department of the Army Research, Development Achievement Awards.
Dr. Ravi Mosurkal, Dr. Romy Kirby and Jason Soares were honored for their work on a new class of eco-friendly, flame-retardant polymers.
A combined team from NSRDEC, the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, and Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center received were awarded for outstanding collaboration for work on the Future Chemical Ensemble Ground Soldier System Technology Demo Program. Team members included Marc Mathews, Jason Saylor, Rosemarie Guerra, Anabela Dugas, Heather Cumming-Rowell, Nazli El Samaloty, Andra Kirsteins, Julio Gonzalez, Laurie Blanchard and Thomas Endrusick.