By Dennis Neal, RDECOMJanuary 6, 2012
SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 6, 2012) -- While the U.S. Army's civilian scientists and engineers continue to deliver technical solutions to Soldiers in the field, the most sophisticated tool in the Army's arsenal to attract students into scientific fields began its mission Jan. 6.
The Army launched its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, Asset Vehicle with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Army Strong Zone as a prelude to Army All-American Bowl in the Alamodome Jan. 7.
Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, commander of the U.S. Army Accessions Command, and Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, commander of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, kicked off two days of high-tech displays and interactive demonstrations.
Col. Mark Rado, commander of the U.S. Army Accessions Support Brigade, said the vehicle is the newest edition to a fleet of 21 that travel across the nation.
"This ceremony marks the culmination of more than one year's partnership and teamwork between the U.S. Army Accessions Command the the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command," Rado said. "The Army STEM experience represents the Army's commitment to strength through science, technology, engineering and mathematics today and in the future."
Freakley told the crowd that the vehicle would bring Army technology across America to reinforce the importance of STEM.
"You know the Army is a cutting-edge organization in high technology," Freakley said. "In fact, General Justice's command leads our efforts in that with the laboratories and the work that he and his Army scientists and Soldiers work on day in and day out to provide the best equipment, the best food. The best ideas about the Army come from RDECOM, and we are so honored to have this partnership."
Threats to harm the nation through cyberspace will require an influx of young scientists, Freakley said.
"If we can get young people inside this van and get (them) turned on to be science, technology, engineering, math-focused young people, whether they join he Army or not, they will not only make us Army Strong but nationally strong," Freakley said.
Justice recognized 2011 eCYBERMISSION national finalists "Dr. Med" from San Antonio. Justice's command, RDECOM, leads ECYBERMISSION, a free web-based STEM competition for students in grades six through nine.
"Your coach and teacher was telling me how much other students in your school are starting to get interested in what you're doing because of the excitement built around some of the events the Army has done," Justice said.
"It makes us very proud to be in the Army to know that we can have a shaping effect on the youth in our nation to get involved in the things that will revive our economy to build a new future for us and you."