A big thank you to the Maryland Army National Guard

March 20, 2014

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory recognized the Maryland Army National Guard for their support to ARL's greening course at a ceremony held at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Edgewood Area, on Feb. 26.

"The greening course is not only a special event for the participants, but also for the military. This is where we (the military) get to feel like we are contributing and making a difference. Our Soldiers are so used to being a part of something that's bigger than them. We learn as much from each participant as they do from us," said Sgt. Maj. Christopher Harris, ARL. "I wanted to make sure this event left the participants talking about it for a long time and encouraging others to participate and get to know the Warfighters that they help provide the technological edge for!"

That's exactly what many of the participants felt.

Twenty-five civilians from ARL recently completed what turned out to be "one of the best" greening courses the organization has planned and executed. The event took place at APG in January and included an aviation orientation by the Maryland Army National Guard and a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter ride.

Vishal Bhagwandin from ARL's Weapons and Materials Research Directorate, said, "My favorite experiences were the Blackhawk helicopter ride and driving the M1 Abrams tank – opportunities I thought I would never have!"

Harris wanted to ensure the crew at the Maryland Army National Guard knew how much they were appreciated.

"I wanted to personally thank the Maryland Army National Guard for their professionalism and dedication in making this event so memorable. We couldn't have been successful without their support," said Harris. "One team – one mission!"

The crew at the Maryland Army National Guard was happy to support.

"I and the aircrew were honored to receive the group plaque and the individual certificates from Sgt. Maj. Harris on behalf of the ARL staff," said one of the pilots, Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Eppler, 29th Combat Aviation Brigade. "We are happy the course participants enjoyed their Blackhawk experience!"

ARL's Staff Sgt. Kirt Wheatley who is an avid woodworker created the plaque that Harris presented to the group.

"It's a great feeling to be able to put your side talents to work by designing and creating the plaque for those at the Maryland Army National Guard who were so supportive to ARL's greening course," said Wheatley. "The course participants were so excited about the time they spent in the Blackhawk helicopter, as was I!"


Last Update / Reviewed: March 20, 2014