NATICK, Mass. -- In recognition of her immense contributions to feeding the warfighter, Betty Davis, a longtime Natick employee, was inducted recently into the Research & Development Associates for Military Food and Packaging Systems Hall of Fame.

Davis is a supervisory food technologist and Science and Technology branch chief in the Combat Feeding Directorate, or CFD, at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center.

CFD is committed to optimizing Soldier performance, readiness, and lethality through the development of cutting-edge advances in food and nutrition, as well as food processing and packaging technologies. The directorate is also dedicated to creating high quality food items for the warfighter that will lighten the warfighter's carrying load.

According to the citation presented by R&DA, Davis was acknowledged, in part, for "her 30 years of service and significant accomplishments in support of the American warfighters serving their nation around the world. . . Davis recognized that nutrition is a key enabler for successful military operations and she contributed significantly over the years in optimizing our warfighters' nutritional status so that they could better endure the harsh environments encountered in today's battlefield."

"Betty's depth of knowledge in the area of field feeding research and her distinguished career as a science and technology manager have not only directly benefited the warfighter, but gained the respect and admiration of the entire military rations industry," said Stephen Moody, NSRDEC CFD director. "Her selection to the R&DA Hall of Fame was well deserved."

John McNulty serves as the executive director of R&DA, an organization dedicated to providing the safest and highest quality food to the U.S. Armed Forces. R&DA fosters communication and cooperation among private industry, government, academia and technical/trade/professional associations.

"It's an extremely high honor to be inducted into the R&DA Hall of Fame," said McNulty. "It's afforded only to those who have made an absolutely extraordinary contribution to the warfighter. Betty Davis is a major contributing individual to the improvement of our rations and to the science and technology that has gone into making our rations better, more nutritious and more prone to improve warfighter performance. We've only had 26 other hall of famers in our 72-year history."

During her career, Davis, along with others at CFD, has been involved in several key areas that led to significant ration improvement. Davis played a role in developing experimental packaging, the flameless ration heater and menu improvements for the Armed Forces Recipe Service -- only a few areas that benefitted from her contributions.

Davis was part of CFD's collaboration with the ration assembly industry to test and to potentially introduce cutting-edge technologies. She was also part of CFD's collaborative efforts with the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, or USARIEM, to develop the nutritionally optimized First Strike Ration.

"I recognize that it was teamwork that allowed some of the efforts that I was working on to transition so I accept the award for CFD and NSRDEC," said Davis. "My heart bursts with pride to be one of four CFD/NSRDEC employees to be inducted in the R&DA Hall of Fame since its inception."

The hall of fame induction reflects the supervisory food technologist's commitment to serving the warfighter.

"They repeatedly face situations where they may potentially lose their lives," said Davis. "Trying to provide them with technologies that make their life easier or improve their ability to fight and succeed in any battle, due to the nutritional solutions that we provide, is rewarding and very fulfilling."

"Natick is one of the most important government partners that we work with," said McNulty. "What Natick does is extremely unique. No one else does it. It's important for our industry partners to know what is going on at Natick. American industry produces the food, but government states the requirements and specifications and does the research and development."

"Over the years, doing what I can to put the best technology into the hands of the warfighter has been paramount to me," said Davis.

"Anything that contributes to the effectiveness and performance of our warfighters is very important," said McNulty. "And food is one of those of things."

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The U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center is 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.