NATICK, Mass. -- Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey -- who is the Army Chief of Staff's personal adviser on matters affecting the enlisted force -- visited an organization dedicated to increasing the lethality and optimizing the performance of the nation's warfighters on Feb. 7.

Dailey toured facilities and received briefings by the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, both located at the Natick Soldier Systems Center.

He was also briefed by members of several other organizations located at NSSC, including the Program Manager, Special Operations Forces, or PM SOF; Product Manager, Force Sustainment Systems, or PM FSS; and the Integrated Logistics Support Center, or ILSC.

During his visit, Dailey received an overview of the Natick Soldier, Research Development and Engineering Center.

He was briefed by NSRDEC's Combat Feeding Directorate, or CFD, on Performance Nutrition and the latest advances in food, food packaging and food processing. He also received briefings by several other directorates on numerous topics, including Aerial Delivery; Soldier Performance: Monitoring and Assessing Soldier Tactical Readiness and Effectiveness, or MASTR-E; Exoskeleton; Soldier Survivability, including helmets, boots, load carriage and combat clothing; and Expeditionary Maneuver Support.

During his briefing by NSRDEC's CFD, Dailey sampled several foods, including rations aimed at optimizing performance through nutrition, as well as other offerings.

"I've eaten a lot of your products over the years," said Dailey. "I'm a loyal customer. Your food keeps getting better and better."

During his visit, Dailey received an overview Of USARIEM and was briefed on the science behind the Occupational Physical Assessment Test, or OPAT. He also was briefed on several other topics, including mission planning for heat, cold and high altitude; healthy eating and musculoskeletal injury prevention; clothing development for extreme environments; and cognitive readiness.

USARIEM worked with the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC, on OPAT, which helps identify the right jobs for individual Soldiers.
OPAT will not only help place Soldiers in the jobs for which they are best suited, it will also help reduce injuries.

Dailey noted that science is key to creating a stronger and more resilient force and had high praise for OPAT.

"I think it's phenomenal," said Dailey. "It's a huge success and worth its weight in gold."

Near the end of his visit, Dailey had a quick exchange with Claudia Quigley, director of NSRDEC's Expeditionary Maneuver Support Directorate and Clinton McAdams, science and technology lead, EMSD. Dailey told them he was very interested in chameleon camouflage.

Quigley and McAdams assured him that they were already working on it.

Dailey's concern for Soldiers and his commitment to helping them perform their best were apparent throughout his visit to Natick.

"Bottom line -- I'm a big fan of what you do here," said Dailey.

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The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Centeris part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities that provide decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the joint warfighter and the nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.