Laboratory hosts time capsule ceremony to commemorate anniversary

ADELPHI, Md. (Oct. 24, 2017) -- The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the Army's corporate laboratory, recently held a time capsule ceremony to celebrate 25 years of excellence in Army science and technology.

The ceremony, held at ARL headquarters at the Adelphi Laboratory Center in Maryland, was attended by current ARL employees and leadership, ALC employees and laboratory alumni who have helped shape the lab and its success in Army science and technology over the past 25 years.

A time capsule including items such as ARL brochures and publications, technology, newspapers, photos, videos and a letter to the future director of ARL, was buried and is slated to be opened in the year 2067 on the laboratory's 75th anniversary.

The time capsule was constructed by ARL's Dave Weyand and Dave Hall, who took great time and care to ensure that the workforce of 2067 has a remarkable artifact to uncover that chronicles the life of ARL in 2017 and the 25 years since its establishment.

Speakers at the ceremony included ARL Director Dr. Philip Perconti, ARL Military Deputy Col. Kevin Ellison and ALC Garrison Manager William Cole.

"I stand before you honored to be the fifth permanent director of the Army Research Lab," Perconti said. "I follow in the footsteps of some really brilliant people in my mind."

Perconti went on to state that it is because of the previous directors and current and previous staff that ARL is a very well-focused organization dedicated to work that is Soldier-inspired, mission-relevant, and vitally important to the security of the United States and the defense of our Soldiers.

Ellison's remarks acknowledged the great work that the laboratory has done over the past 25 years in support of the Soldier.

"What an awesome day to be a Soldier and a part of this outstanding team, especially as we continue our year-long celebration celebrating our 25 years of exceptional support to our nation's Army," Ellison said. "In the next 50 years, the names may change, as well as the major priorities of our Army....but what I do believe will hold true is the dedication and professionalism of our workforce."

Cole spoke on behalf of the installation, and relayed the importance and significance a time capsule ceremony has to celebrations such as ARL's 25th anniversary.

"Hosting a time capsule ceremony is a wonderful way celebrate ARL's 25th anniversary," Cole said. "I like the idea of a time capsule because it creates a built-in opportunity to share ideas, thoughts and expectations to our future generations. This fits nicely with ARL's 25th anniversary celebration, as sharing knowledge and ideas is largely a part of ARL's mission and also makes ARL so special and the job here so rewarding."

Cole placed an ALC Area Development Plan and Area Vision Plan in the time capsule, which lay out what the installation should look like in the future. He said it is the hope that when the time capsule is opened in 2067, the workforce can see that we got things right and that a lot of progress has been made since the development of the plans in 2017.

It has been said that a moment may be temporary, but the memory lasts forever.

"The ARL25 time capsule now takes on the role of a memory for ARL, made up of moments that have defined the laboratory and its staff over the last 25 years, and defining moments that the workforce and world of 2067 can be proud of," said Jenna Brady, ARL 25 program manager.

Did you know?

The Computer

The Ballistics Research Laboratory, a predecessor organization to ARL, invented and developed the first multipurpose, electronic, programmable computer in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Engineering. The ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Calculator) was developed at the end of WWII originally to speed the calculation of artillery firing tables, but it became the progenitor of all the computers that we use today, from mainframes to laptops.