By Bob Reinert/USAG-Natick Public AffairsSeptember 23, 2010
Nine out of 10 is a pretty good record.
That's what the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command achieved in 2007, when the organization developed nine of the Army's top 10 greatest inventions of the year.
For that stellar performance, RDECOM received the Army Superior Unit Award. In a ceremony held Sept. 21 at Hunter Auditorium at Natick Soldier Systems Center, Maj. Gen. Nickolas G. Justice, RDECOM commander; Sue Butler, acting director of Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center; and Sgt. Maj. Hector Marin, RDECOM sergeant major, added a streamer to the RDECOM flag to mark the award.
"Take a look at that Army flag," Justice told the large audience, noting the streamers. "That's the way the Army remembers its history. Our history is our heritage and our traditions. And today, we made history."
Butler agreed, saying, "I never expected to be part of a historical moment and it would be so exciting and so fun. I've been here 26 years. I've never had such an exciting time to belong to such a great institution."
RDECOM was recognized for the period of Jan. 1, 2007, to Dec. 31, 2007. The award stated that the organization developed nine of the Army's top 10 greatest inventions during the year and "developed and accelerated numerous technology and engineering solutions to critical warfighter needs saving countless lives on the battlefield."
Though none of the inventions came from NSRDEC, Butler said she was proud of all the organization had accomplished in 2007, including the recognition it earned as the Army's Small Lab of the Year.
"That was a great year for us," said Butler of NSRDEC in 2007. "We were making a difference to warfighters in current (operations) every day of 2007, each and every day."
The ASUA was established by the Secretary of the Army in 1985 to "recognize outstanding meritorious performance of a unit during peacetime of a difficult and challenging mission under extraordinary circumstances. Those circumstances may be deemed to be extraordinary when they do not represent the typical day-to-day circumstances under which the unit normally performs, or may reasonably be expected to perform, its peacetime missions."
Justice pointed out that RDECOM's important work will continue.
"It's a commitment for us to rededicate our efforts to our combat forces out there," Justice said. "That's what this ceremony is all about."