SBCCOM Online Menu Bar  


Return to SBCCOM - Natick Public Affairs

U.S. Army Soldier & Biological Chemical Command
U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
(508) 233-5340

Date: November 28, 2001
No: 01-62

Ceremony honors former employee

Natick, Mass. --- The Soldier Systems Center's seventh annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held Nov. 16 at the Community Club.

The Hall of Fame recognizes former Natick employees whose work benefited our nation's soldiers and is modeled after the program at the U.S. Army Materiel Command. This year the inductee was Dr. Matthew L. Herz (posthumous).

Herz held many positions at Natick starting in 1969, including associate technical director for technology and director of the Advanced Systems Concepts Directorate. From 1998-2000, Herz served in a dual capacity as chief scientist of the Natick Soldier Center and as director of the Science and Technology Directorate.

After a luncheon, Dr. Ken Parham from the Natick Soldier Center, a close friend of Herz and master of ceremonies, read regrets from some former commanders. "Matt Herz certainly deserved to be a member," wrote Col. (Ret.) Richard Ross. "I always considered him an exceptionally fine gentleman."

A group at Natick characterized Herz as "multifaceted."

"Teacher, manager, supervisor, mentor and occasionally tormentor," Parham said, drawing laughter from the crowd. "If you could see through his tough exterior, which was really a thin veneer, you saw the compassionate man that he was."

Herz loved sports, science and his job, but most important to him were his family, his friends and his fellow co-workers.

His wife, Elise, and his children Harold and Ellen attended the event, along with many other family members, friends and colleagues from Natick. Many of these people were seen during a slideshow presentation.

As the presentation progressed, it was mentioned how Matt was smiling in all the pictures. "I think I speak for all of us when I say we will miss his smile," Parham said.

Col. (P) James Kennon, deputy for acquisition and readiness, U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command and installation commander, said that from everything he has heard since being at Natick, it was obvious that Herz was someone he would have liked to meet.

A plaque was then presented to Elise and their children. It includes a photo of Herz and states that he was inducted "for his exceptional technical and executive leadership, demonstrated by extraordinary programmatic vision, organizational ability, work ethic, and dedication to the advancement of science and technology to protect and sustain the individual warrior."

A minuteman statue, modeled after the one in Concord and traditionally given to Hall of Fame inductees, was also presented to the family.

Elise spoke about a heightened sense of pride and recognition for the work done here, and how proud she is to know that Matt's work is benefiting our soldiers and our country. She said that the family was "deeply honored" to have Matt receive this recognition, and they wanted to share it with his colleagues.

The group then convened in the lobby of the Administration Building to unveil the plaque in the Hall of Fame display case. Kennon said that the display is the "focal point" of the lobby and is the first thing noticed by our employees and visitors as they enter the building.

The lobby display reads, "In recognition of those members of the organization whose past contributions forged ideas into reality for the benefit of the American Soldier."

Natick is part of the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM). For more information about SBCCOM or the Soldier Systems Center (Natick), please visit our website at