NATICK, Mass. (Feb. 9, 2010) - During a visit to the Natick Soldier Systems Center (NSSC), Maj. Gen. Nickolas Justice, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) celebrated a milestone in his military career... 40 years in uniform.

As he was receiving a briefing from Brig. Gen. Harold Greene, the NSSC commanding general, Justice spoke of his time as a young private going through training at Fort Devens, Mass.

"I stumbled upon Natick 40 years ago as a young private going through AIT," said Justice, a native of North Carolina. "This is the first foreign country I ever came to."

In the 40 years since Justice came to Natick, his career in military service has been distinguished. Before taking command of RDECOM, the general served as the Program Executive Officer for the Command, Control and Communications-Tactical at Fort Monmouth, N.J. and has more than 20 years of acquisition experience.

Justice talked about working on the weekends as a waiter at a Boston restaurant. He had to deliver lunch to the old Boston Garden for the Bruins.

"Phil Espisito sent me to Bobby Orr to sign the ticket for lunch, and I was just trying to get it signed," said Justice. "Orr asked if I knew who they were (meaning the Bruins) and I said no I don't, will someone just sign the ticket so I can get back to work. Being from North Carolina, I didn't know what ice hockey was. They gave me four seats behind the bench and explained the game to me. I have been in love with hockey ever since."

On the anniversary of 40 years of wearing the uniform, Maj. Gen. Nickolas Justice, returned to the scene of one of his earliest days as a Soldier.