Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. (March 2, 2016) -- The U.S. Army Materiel Command's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, would like to give a warm welcome to its new military deputy, Col. Matthew F. Schramm. Transitioning from his previous duties at the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, Col. Schramm joined the CERDEC workforce on Feb. 1.Hailing from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, the decorated military deputy has served at several duty stations during his time with the Army ranging from the 123rd Signal Battalion in Kitzingen, Germany and Operation Bright Star in Egypt to the 1st Squadron, 7th U.S. Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas.Schramm brings a wealth of knowledge that will stretch across the Aberdeen Proving Ground, or APG, installation and enhance the community over the next few years.The CERDEC Corporate and Public Communication Office recently sat down with the colonel for an introductory Q&A. Let's get to know the new military deputy, shall we?Q. Tell the CERDEC workforce a little bit about yourself.I am thrilled to be residing in an area so close to my family again. After graduating from The Citadel, I was commissioned in 1994 and began various command and staff positions as a signal officer. After eight years working in tactical signal, I transitioned to the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps.Q. How has your prior experience prepared you for this position?My acquisition assignments included significant time serving in both PEO IEW&S and PEO EIS. As a Centrally-Selected List (CSL) Product Manager, I managed the cost, schedule and performance of an Army acquisition program of record. At times, I worked directly with CERDEC while assigned to programs such as the Counter Radio Controlled IED Electronic Warfare Program Office (PM CREW). Coming here was familiar territory, and I'm looking forward to being part of this organization.Q. As a CERDEC asset with Program of Record roots, how do you think you will be able to help the PEOs?Our R&D community can work closely with TRADOC Centers of Excellence and Capability Managers on shaping achievable technology requirements before they are ever written. We can help mitigate program risks by linking our S&T investments to the Army Operating Concept and Warfighting Challenges and demonstrate technology objectives early in the acquisition lifecycle. We can play a very important role in better setting up our PEOs for success.Q. What impresses you most about the APG infrastructure... especially in terms of the C4ISR campus? What are the advantages of this, and how does it increase return on investment for the Army's S&T/Acquisition community?I was stationed at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey roughly 10 years ago. The modernization of facilities here at APG after the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) is impressive. They are state-of-the-art for our important mission. But the CERDEC footprint extends well beyond APG, and the continuous improvement in this infrastructure allows us to support the Combatant Commander, deliver rapid prototypes and capabilities, and maintain technical advantages.Q. You have been a Soldier for 21 years. How important is the green suiter's perspective in research and development?A Soldier's role in R&D is very important. Sometimes a Soldier will see equipment that gets fielded but never used because it's not of great value in an operational environment. Collectively, we need to ask, "Why? How did that come to be, and where are the lessons learned?" There's a lot of afterthought being put down range, so as a team we need to look at what we're missing, or haven't forecasted. Talking with the Soldier is a big part of that.Q. CERDEC has been without a permanent military deputy for quite some time. What do you hope to put in place in the next three years?Providing a bridge to U.S. Army TRADOC is one of my main priority areas so our workforce clearly understands present day capability gaps and requirements. This is the important foundation for materiel development across our Army. We need to be a part of that greater collaboration among the TRADOC Centers of Excellence to build the future our Army wants. I would also like to help drive accelerated acquisition by facilitating the timely transition of technologies from the research lab to our customers in the PEO/PM and elsewhere. I want to encourage the organization to continuously learn, adapt and innovate.Q. Being a civilian in a predominantly civilian organization, I'm curious about what Soldiers' experiences are when they come here. What can you tell me?Most soldiers assigned to CERDEC have never worked with DA Civilians. This is new to them. I think it is imperative we educate each Soldier coming to CERDEC so each understands his/her role and responsibilities, and that the supervisors (who are mostly civilians) also understand those roles and how to best utilize Soldiers' experiences in the job they're assigned.Q. How can Soldiers demonstrate their value here? What do you want their dynamic to be with the civilians?I'd love to come here and advance the relationship between the Soldier and the civilian to get the most out of everyone's skillsets. Soldiers bring unique skillsets to R&D that most civilians don't have, and vice versa, and optimizing that team will get the most out of what we're trying to do for our Army.Q. Is there anything else you would like to add as you begin your tenure with CERDEC?As I transition to CERDEC, I look very forward to being part of a 2,200 member workforce of scientists and engineers who develop and deliver innovative technology solutions for our Army - an organization that performs important R&D efforts in today's security environment and helps deliver dominant capabilities for the next generation.