NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — A top Army officer visiting Tennessee State University talked to students and faculty recently about civilian research opportunities in the military.
Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins oversees the U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM). With more than 14,000 employees, RDECOM performs nearly all of the Army’s basic and applied research and technology development.
Of RDECOM’s employees, 13,800 are civilians, of which 11,000 are scientists and engineers.
“It’s very common that many of the Fortune 100 companies are visiting our campus doing recruiting,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of TSU’s College of Engineering. “Our responsibility as faculty is also to expose students to other careers beyond the Fortune 100. That includes … the federal government, more specifically the branches of the military.”
Wins said recruitment of college students is beneficial to RDECOM down the line because of an “aging workforce where people are going to be able to transition out.”
“The large majority of my workforce is civilian, so there’s a lot of opportunity there for people who have decided that they want to serve, but they don’t want to serve in uniform for whatever reason,” Wins said.
RDECOM has several centers and laboratories that focus on research that includes armament, aviation and missiles, communications-electronics, and chemical threats.
A number of students at TSU have taken advantage of internships and other programs RDECOM offers, according to TSU research officials.
Akinwunmi Joaquim, a TSU graduate engineering student, said he’s considering one of the internships.
“I believe it will help me in what I’m doing,” said Joaquim, adding that RDECOM’s chemical research directly relates to his study of biosensors. “I’m going to tell my friends about RDECOM, and try to give them opportunities as well.”