By Ms. Deborah Elliott (RDECOM)October 5, 2010
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, commander of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, gathered his military and civilian staff at the Edgewood Area Conference Center Oct. 4 to inaugurate the organization's future.
"The award we received last month was for distinct accomplishments," Justice said, referencing the Superior Unit Award RDECOM received during a Sept. 16 ceremony at Fanshaw Field. The accomplishments included developing and fielding nine of the Army's 10 best inventions in 2007.
"But that's not the end," Justice added, delivering a vision for RDECOM to be the Army's primary source for integrated research, development and engineering capabilities.
The emphasis, he said, is on integration.
"We don't want an all-star team," Justice said. "What we want is the best team in the country. We can create greater capacity and greater strength with the sum of the parts of this organization. You can see the power of that integration."
In seeking the power of integration, Justice has a specific goal in mind. He wants the efforts of the RDECOM to empower, unburden and protect the American Soldier and combat formations.
To illustrate, Justice told the story of the GCV, a 30-ton ground combat vehicle that was commissioned by the Army. When RDECOM engineers looked at the capability and capacity of the vehicle against the requirements, the GCV fell short of the need by more than 200 percent.
"There is no one else in the Army but us to do that," he said. "We're going to take that responsibility and build things that are integrated so that we can talk about the capability in our combat formation and what it is empowered to do and how much it is protected. We're going to do everything we can to unburden it.
"People are beginning to listen to us," Justice continued. "We're at that point of empowerment. It's why you need to understand where we're headed."
With the vision and goal for the organization laid out, Justice turned to the people packed in the conference center.
"People make the difference," he said.
"It's not about a single scientist or engineer," he continued. "It's about the power of bringing them together in what I define as good order and discipline. Good order and discipline means that you can literally leverage the power of many because they are not a gaggle of 180."
For Justice, good order and discipline for RDECOM means taking a systems-engineering approach to how the command gets where it wants to go. This includes establishing system integration domains, empowering technology focused teams, streamlining processes for all and maintaining total asset visibility.
The responsibility for establishing the system integration domains and technology focus teams falls to seven executives from RDECOMAca,!a,,cs subordinate organizations who received their charters during yesterdayAca,!a,,cs gathering. These executives are:
Aca,!Ac Dr. Laurel Allender, from Army Research Laboratory, as the lead for the Human Dimension and Training Technology Focus Team
Aca,!Ac Dr. Joseph Corriveau, from the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, as the lead for the CBRNE Systems Integration Domain
Aca,!Ac Dr. Jay Gowens, from the Army Research Laboratory, as the lead for the Network Technology Focus Team
Aca,!Ac Dr. Mark Nixon, From the Army Research Laboratory, as the lead for the Mobility and Logistics Technology Focus Team.
Aca,!Ac Dr. John Pellegrino, from the Army Research Laboratory, as the lead for the Sensors Technology Focus Team and the Power and Energy Technology Focus Team
Aca,!Ac Mr. Bob Zanzalari, from the Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center, as the lead for the C4ISR Systems Integration Domain; and
Aca,!Ac Ms. Jill Smith, from the Army Research Laboratory, as the lead for the Lethality Technology Focus Team and the Protection Technology Focus Team.
Smith will also become director of the Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center as long-time director Mr. Gary Blohm leaves the post for a position with the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology). Blohm was farewelled by the command at the town hall meeting.
These are big responsibilities that boil down to earning a simple, but priceless thing RDECOM and its subordinate organizations value Aca,!" their customersAca,!a,,c respect, according to Justice.
"If you want to earn Soldiers' respect, you have to bring them solutions. They have to be quick and rapid. Our focus on the Warfighter means we understand their problems; that we know how they're going to use technology and how it affects something else they're going to do."