ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- Soldiers assigned to the Army's newest command proudly added its recently approved shoulder sleeve insignia to their uniforms during a ceremony last week.

Maj. Gen. Pete Gallagher, director of the Network Cross-Functional Team (N-CFT), emblazoned the Army Futures Command (AFC) patch on the left sleeve of eleven Soldiers assigned to the team. Gallagher explained the meaning behind the patch's anvil -- a nod to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower's coat of arms -- and how the shield signifies forces uniting towards a common goal. He proceeded to remove the Department of the Army patch from each Soldier and slapped on the AFC patch, officially challenging the team to carry out the Futures Command motto.

"We're charged with pushing the envelope in the art of the possible to develop and enable immediate network successes," said Gallagher. "You all are a part of that AFC mission to 'Forge the Future.'"

The N-CFT, which was activated as a pilot last November, was permanently assigned to AFC in July 2018. The team is driving the Army's network modernization strategy to narrow capability gaps and address the most pressing challenges to the tactical network. Along with the service's other cross functional teams, their mission brings warfighters, developers and testers together through focused integration and disciplined innovation, enabling the Army to deliver leader-approved technology capabilities to Soldiers. Their effort has expanded to include integration and synchronization of tactical modernization with enterprise network modernization efforts.

The N-CFT conducts experimentations and demonstrations of proven joint and special operations solutions, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, and non-developmental items (NDIs) with operational units to inform future requirements. They do this in close coordination with their Program Executive Office (PEO) acquisition, testing and requirements partners.

Family members of those receiving the new AFC patch were invited to the ceremony held Dec. 20 at the N-CFT's new headquarters at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.