ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Under warm, sunny skies today at Fanshaw Field, Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, Army Materiel Command commanding general, honored the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command with a Superior Unit Award.

Dunwoody insisted the honor was hers.

"What a great day for our Army and the Army Materiel Command; and what a really special day it is for the Research, Development and Engineering Command," she said. "I'm so proud of all of you."

A crowd of more than 2,000 people, including employees who were instrumental in garnering the award for RDECOM and its subordinate commands, watched as Dunwoody attached the Superior Unit Award streamer to their organization's colors. She also pinned their technical directors with the distinctive red and green lapel pin that each civilian employee of the command will receive and have the honor of wearing.

The Secretary of the Army established the Superior Unit Award in 1985 to recognize outstanding meritorious performance of a unit during peacetime, or of a difficult and challenging mission under extraordinary circumstances. The qualify for the award the unit must display such outstanding devotion and superior performance of exceptionally difficult tasks as to set the unit apart from, and above, other units with similar missions.

The Research, Development and Engineering Command and its subordinate organizations received the Superior Unit Award for developing nine of the Army's Top 10 Greatest Inventions of 2007.

"The award is not the culmination of the event...we are challenged to become more innovative and dedicated in everything we do," said Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, RDECOM commanding general.

"What's most impressive about these awards is who the judges are," Dunwoody said. "The judges are the Soldiers - the same Soldiers who trust their mission and their lives to the technology RDECOM develops."

"Soldiers are tough judges," Dunwoody added. "They will tell you what works and what doesn't work. They will tell you what they like and what they don't like. They will tell you what saves their lives and what doesn't."

Getting the right technology into the hands of American Warfighters is RDECOM's mission. They do this quickly, integrating research, development and engineering across the Army and the Department of Defense, looking to universities and other science and technology resources, and taking advantage of opportunities rapidly no matter where they arise.

The command was recognized for developing and accelerating innovative technology and sound engineering solutions and providing U.S. forces with decisive and dominant capability where they needed it, when they needed it. As a result, U.S. forces were enabled with the best technology on time, which saved countless lives on the battlefield.

"On behalf of the Warfighters around the globe, thanks to the 17,000 people on the RDECOM team. Every one of you has a share in this streamer. You truly are the best of the best," Dunwoody said.