United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command

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U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command
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U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command
Active October 2003 – present
Country United States
Branch U.S. Army
Role To ensure decisive capabilities for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter, and our Nation now and through 2040.
Part of United States Army Materiel Command
Garrison/HQ Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland
Motto(s) Cum Scientia Commutare (“Through Science We Change.”)[1]
Website Official Website
Major General Cedric T. Wins [2]
Dale A. Ormond
(First Civilian Director)
Major General Nick Justice
Major General Paul S. Izzo
Major General Fred D. Robinson Jr.
Major General Roger Nadeau
Major General John Doesburg

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) was a major subordinate command of the Army Materiel Command (AMC), and is charged with "creating, integrating and delivering technology-enabled solutions to our Soldiers."[3] With its headquarters at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, RDECOM scientists, engineers and researchers work at laboratories and research center across the nation and the globe. With more than 14,000 employees, RDECOM performs nearly all of the Army's basic and applied research and technology development.

RDECOM develops technologies at six major research, development and engineering centers and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory across the United States. It also integrates technologies developed in partnership with an extensive network of academic, industry and international partners.

Operational Control

On April 6, 2016 Army Materiel Command devolved authority for Operational Control (OPCON) over RDECOM to strengthen Army Sustainment Command (ASC).[4] But in 2018, that OPCON is immaterial, as RDECOM now reports to Army Futures Command.


Less than a year after assuming command of the AMC, Gen. Paul J. Kern (CG October 2001 - November 2004) saw the need to streamline how the Army developed technology for its soldiers. The Army’s laboratories and research, development and engineering centers reported through multiple channels, among other apparent problems.[5]

“Right now, it is the impression of everyone out there that the laboratories take too long, they do science for science’s sake, engineering for engineering’s sake,” he said. “We’ve got to figure out how to get technology in the hands of Warfighters quicker.”

Kern’s solution was to unite all of AMC’s laboratories and RDECs under one command. Kern asked his deputy, Lt. Gen. Roy E. Beauchamp, to meet with senior commanders and civilians within AMC to discuss the concept. Soon the idea for a new major subordinate command called the Research, Development and Engineering Command was initiated.

The purpose of the new command was to ensure that the research, development and engineering components integrate their efforts to develop collaborative solutions for Army programs and science and technology efforts to support a full-spectrum force. Kern’s statement about “getting technology in the hands of Warfighters quicker” became the unofficial mission statement for the new command.

Kern named Maj. Gen. John C. Doesburg,[6] commanding general of the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command, as the transition director for the proposed command in August 2002. Doesburg would be dual-hatted and continue in both positions.

The new RDECOM (Provisional) was established October 1, 2002, by AMC Permanent Orders 267-1, dated September 24, 2002.

RDECOM initially consisted of personnel from the AMC Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations; AMC Deputy Chief of Staff for Resource Management; AMC International Cooperation Program Activity; AMC Field Assistance in Science and Technology; Army Research Laboratory; Army Materiel Systems Analysis Agency; and the science and technology elements of the Army Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command.

The RDECs were scheduled to come under the operational control of RDECOM later. The new RDECOM headquarters was created at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, from the headquarters elements of SBCCOM, which was in the process of standing down.

Part two of the creation of RDECOM (Provisional) took effect on June 1, 2003, as RDECOM assumed operational control of the RDECs, which included the Tank Automotive RDEC, the Armament RDEC, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, Natick Soldier Center, Communications- Electronics RDEC, and the Aviation and Missile RDEC.

The organizational ceremony for RDECOM took place October 9, 2003, at APG’s Fanshaw Field. At the same ceremony, SBCCOM officially stood down. Effective the same day, AMC Permanent Orders 282-1 added the AMC Acquisition Center and the 389th Army Band to RDECOM (Provisional).

RDECOM was officially established as a major subordinate command March 1, 2004, by AMC Permanent Orders 049-2, dated February 18, 2004. RDECOM’s official mission statement was “to field technologies that sustain America’s Army as the premier land force in the world.”

There was no geographic relocation of employees with the creation of RDECOM. The new command had more than 17,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel.

RDECOM initially had positions for three deputy commanding generals (DCGs), one each for Systems Of Systems Integration (SOSI), Operations, and Futures Divisions. However, the DCGs for Operations and Futures Divisions were soon discontinued. The DCG for SOSI became the sole RDECOM DCG in 2008 when SOSI’s elements were merged with the RDECOM headquarters staff.

Additional changes have occurred. In 2006, the 389th Army Band was designated the AMC Band and moved to Redstone Arsenal, Ala., in 2010. The Acquisition Center became the Contracting Center October 1, 2008, as part of the new Army Contracting Command.

AMSAA was removed from RDECOM April 1, 2009, reporting directly to the AMC Command Group. AMSAA was then reassigned to RDECOM January 29, 2010. AMSAA was again removed from RDECOM May 21, 2012, and designated as a separate reporting activity within AMC.

The Simulation and Training Technology Center in Orlando, Florida, became part of ARL in June 2010.

A major change occurred February 10, 2012, when Dale A. Ormond,[7] a civilian Senior Executive Service member, replaced RDECOM Commanding General Maj. Gen. Nick Justice; however, military leadership returned September 22, 2014 when Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton assumed command. On 9 August 2016 MG John F. Wharton relinquished command of RDECOM; MG Cedric Wins assumed command as the 8th leader of RDECOM.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Distinctive Unit Insignia
  2. ^ "RDECOM Leadership". army.mil. Retrieved 22 Sep 2014. 
  3. ^ "About RDECOM". army.mil. Retrieved 20 Mar 2012. 
  4. ^ Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC Commanding General (April 6, 2016) AMC announces Mission Command alignment
  5. ^ (2005) Life Cycle Management: Integrating Acquisition and Sustainment Kern's LCMC 2004
  6. ^ http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2004-10-28/news/0410280102_1_parachute-jumps-aberdeen-research
  7. ^ Ormand bio
  8. ^ (9 August 2016) New commander arrives at RDECOM

Coordinates: 39°28′24″N 76°08′27″W / 39.473451°N 76.140837°W / 39.473451; -76.140837

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