FORSCOM Command Sgt. Maj. explores the science supporting the Soldier
September 12, 2012
- "The purpose of what they are doing is to provide the best equipment and best technologies in our Soldiers' hands in harm's way."
- "It's been an eye-opening experience from how they gather things from the field and from industry [and] make them better"
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Command Sgt. Maj. Darrin Bohn of the U.S. Army Forces Command has spent more than 30 years on active duty, including tours in Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. But it wasn't until he toured the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command that he understood how scientists and engineers support the Soldier.
"The last couple of weeks…we've traveled around throughout the United States [visiting RDECOM facilities]," he said. "It's been an eye-opening experience from how they gather things from the field and from industry, make them better and put them in the hands of Soldiers. It has been a very educational experience for me."
RDECOM headquarters is located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., but the command has laboratories and facilities throughout the country. Home to more than 16,000 military and civilians, RDECOM develops technologies in its seven major laboratories and research, development and engineering centers.
"What impressed me the most about RDECOM is the workforce. Mainly comprised of civilians, the energy, the professionalism, the pride they take in their work, never losing sight of what the end purpose is," Bohn said. "And the purpose of what they are doing is to provide the best equipment and best technologies in our Soldiers' hands in harm's way."
Command Sgt. Maj. Lebert Beharie, RDECOM senior enlisted adviser, felt the same way before he took over his position with the command.
"[Before coming to RDECOM,] I had no clue where our technology came from," Beharie explained. "When we got back and we're doing 'reset', we got a lot of stuff…we just wanted to know we had the best equipment, train on it, take it to combat and bring our soldiers home."
Beharie wanted to ensure Bohn had the opportunity to learn how RDECOM supports the Soldier and how the command could collaborate with FORSCOM.
"The Soldiers we have in this organization that advise our scientists and engineers come from [FORSCOM], and to make sure we pick the right soldiers and to have the right soldiers represent the rest of the field is absolutely important," Beharie said.
After visiting RDECOM's facilities, Bohn agreed.
"I would like to see FORSCOM get more involved with some of the technologies and sharing ideas from the Soldiers coming back from a theater of operation on how to better a piece of equipment," Bohn said. "[The Soldiers could] share those ideas and experiences with the scientists and the people who work for RDECOM to make things better and to be part of that process. I think the collaboration between the two commands would be very important and really provide some insight into the future."