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GROWING Greatness

by Mr. C. Stephen Cornelius

It’s called “building the bench,” and it is more than a sports metaphor. It is a way of doing business. It is at the center of what the missile enterprise does to support Soldiers in the field and in the future. It is critical that young engineers and scientists have the opportunity to learn their craft from established experts early in their careers so that they can make important discoveries and contributions to the Army.

What they learn is not taught in school—they must learn by doing.

The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC) Redstone Arsenal, AL, employs a number of programs to recruit, train and retain world-class engineers and scientists.

The Pathways Internship Program and summer hiring provide students in high schools, colleges, trade schools and otherqualifying educational institutions with paid opportunities to work at AMRDEC while completing their education. Through dynamic team structures and mentoring, information exchange and employee development are encouraged across varying ages, years and types of experience, and organizational divisions.

Below are stories of just a few of the young employees who are having a direct impact on the AMRDEC mission to deliver collaborative and innovative technical capabilities for responsive and cost-effective research, product development and life-cycle systems engineering solutions to equip the warfighter with the best technology today and tomorrow.


Nathan Mathis, a graduate of Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, is working as an aerospace engineer in propulsion technology for AMRDEC’s Weapons Development and Integration Directorate (WDI) in Huntsville, AL.

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