By NSRDEC Public AffairsSeptember 17, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga. (Sept. 17, 2013) -- Fred Dupont recently received the Order of Saint Maurice "Legionnaire" award for his outstanding contribution to the Infantry. Dupont served over 30 years as an Infantryman including serving as an airborne Ranger, continues to serve as an Army civilian supporting Soldiers.
A group of senior officers, noncommissioned officers, and civilians nominated Dupont, Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center's liaison officer, for this award because they believed his long-standing contributions to the Infantry and service as an Infantryman should receive formal recognition.
"Fred Dupont has served the Infantry with great honor for many decades and we at the Natick Soldier RD&E Center are fortunate to have Fred as our liaison in Fort Benning. Thank you for recognizing Fred and watching out for all the Infantrymen at the center," said Col. Kevin Hillman, NSRDEC military deputy.
"To say that I am truly humbled is an understatement," Dupont said. "No one receives this level of recognition without realizing that it has been as a result of a number of team efforts throughout my entire career."
During the past 12 years Dupont has worked as the NSRDEC representative to the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga. He has voluntarily deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq as a civilian three times for the purpose of examining and reporting issues with Soldier loads in both the Infantry and Aviation communities.
"Being at Benning allows me to interact with Soldiers on a daily basis." Dupont said. "For me, it is all about listening and then conveying this information to the workforce at NSRDEC, so the experts there can better support the mission."
While Dupont focuses on key areas of support, his job requires him to rapidly respond to leadership or customer needs that may arise daily, and even hourly. As part of the Battle Lab Integration Team (BLIT) during the early part of his civilian career Dupont and the BLIT focused on experimentation support and processing of proposed technology development efforts; later on the roles and responsibilities increased.
"Serving Soldier needs as part of the NSRDEC-RDECOM team during twelve years of war was rewarding in and of itself," said Dupont. "There are so many reports citing Soldiers surviving or achieving mission success because of kit developed by the NSRDEC team, as well as our sister RDECs."
Currently, the primary focus is now longer term requirements that offer new challenges and opportunities for NSRDEC and other RDECs. Dupont will be there every step of the way to offer support in whatever capacity possible, just as he has in the past.
NSRDEC is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to develop technology and engineering solutions for America's Soldiers.
RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. AMC is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.