ADELPHI, Md. -- The Department of the Army announced that Dr. Patrick J. Baker will be the seventh director of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory. Baker will assume his new position Dec. 8.
Baker replaces Dr. Philip Perconti who recently left the laboratory to become deputy assistant secretary of the Army for research and technology and the Army's chief scientist.
The lab is the Army's corporate laboratory responsible for basic and applied research necessary for the ground fighting force of the future. With more than 2,000 military and civilian employees, the laboratory has the vision to be the nation's "premier laboratory for land forces."
Baker most recently served as director of the laboratory's Survivability Lethality Analysis Directorate before overseeing its transition to a new organization, the CCDC Data & Analysis Center.
"Dr. Baker has held several critical positions within CCDC," wrote John S. Willison, CCDC deputy to the commanding general, in an email to the workforce. "Under his leadership, CCDC ARL will continue to build on a history of innovative science and technology while contributing to our command's critical role as a component of the Army Futures Command."
Baker spent much of his early research career at the laboratory. A product of Army educational outreach, he started as an engineering trainee from Drexel University in July 1984 at one of the lab's forerunners, the U.S. Army Ballistic Research Laboratory. He left the lab to pursue graduate studies under Army Research Office funding at Vanderbilt University in 1989. After a stint at the University of Dayton Research Institute, he returned to the Army laboratory system in 1995.
Baker then rose from Army unique bench research in energetic materials though the leadership ranks, serving as branch chief, and division chief of the Terminal Effects Division and the Protection Division. Along the way, he continuously served in multiple broadening and developmental assignments on Army, joint and international panels as well as acting supervisory and deputy director assignments.
In May 2012, Baker was selected to the Senior Executive Service as the director of laboratory's Weapons and Materials Research Directorate where he served until August 2015. From October 2014 to March 2015, he continued broadening, serving as acting director of the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick, Massachusetts.
"I am grateful to the Army for this opportunity to serve in this new capacity," Baker said. "Our Soldiers deserve nothing short of the best from the discoveries that come from a committed, creative and teamed scientific community. I've seen the transformational impact this community can produce as part of the Army team, and I am confident the ARL Team will build even more momentum and continue to deliver as we move forward."
The CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army's corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our Nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.