A ballistic combat shirt that increases Soldier performance and survivability earned the
inaugural Maj. Gen. Harold “Harry” J. Greene Award for Innovation.
Reflecting on the Army’s drive to improve Soldier capabilities in current and future
conflicts, Gen. Dennis L. Via, commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command
(AMC), said these awards recognize “solutions that increase efficiencies, strengthen our
position and ultimately save lives on the battlefield.”
“We are proud to honor Maj. Gen. Greene with a culture that fosters creative research
and aims to empower, unburden and protect the nation’s warfighter,” said Via. On March
16, Via hosted a ceremony for Greene’s widow, Dr. Susan R. Myers, at the Association
of the United States Army Global Force Symposium and Exposition in Huntsville,
Alabama, to announce the new award and memorialize Greene’s contributions to
research, development and cutting-edge warfighter capabilities during his 34 years of
service to the Army.
Individual – civilian winner Robert DiLalla of NSRDEC leveraged multiple components
across the Army’s research and development programs to develop the new combat shirt.
DiLalla is a supervisory general engineer at NSRDEC and leader of the Infantry Combat
During peak deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom
and Operation Enduring Freedom, Soldiers’ protective gear expanded in number of parts
and weight. In FY12, NSRDEC engaged in a deliberate science and technology initiative
intended to revolutionize body armor architecture and thus enhance Soldier performance
and survivability. With the support of the Program Executive Office for Soldier since
2014, DiLalla and a team of scientists and engineers integrated more than four types of
high-performance materials created through research by the athletic apparel industry
and the Army to produce the Ballistic Combat Shirt.
In a statement endorsing DiLalla’s efforts, NSRDEC Director Douglas A. Tamilio said the
Ballistic Combat Shirt “significantly increases the protection and flexibility of our personal
protective ensemble, ensuring we are giving our Soldiers the edge they need.” The
Ballistic Combat Shirt will be part of the Army’s Torso and Extremities Protection system,
slated for fielding in 2019, which incorporates lightweight materials such as polyethylene,
a type of plastic instead of heavier Kevlar for lower-risk missions.