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U.S. Army
Research Institute of Environmental Medicine

20 Photos Celebrating USARIEM's 62 Years

USARIEM aerial view
On July 1, 1961, USARIEM was officially formed as a product of the merger between the Harvard Fatigue Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Armored Medical Research Laboratory at Fort Knox, Kentucky, the Climatic Research Laboratory in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and the Quartermaster's Environmental Protection Research Division and Earth Sciences Division at Natick.

Encircled by the shimmering waters of Lake Cochituate, in Natick, Massachusetts, the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) stands as a beacon for groundbreaking military research on the Natick Soldier Center's nearly 80-acre peninsula. Since its establishment in 1961, the research institute has remained committed to optimizing Warfighter performance and nutrition through biomedical research—;a mission that has been pursued for over 60 years.

From USARIEM's first commander Capt. Robert J. T. Joy, to the Laboratory's 24th and current commander Col. Michael I. Cohen, the institute is a staple in studying the gaps in health and performance in combat operations to find solutions in collaboration with other facilities such as the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command.

Sanctioned as the Department of Defense's premier facility, USARIEM focuses on Soldier physiology, nutrition, and physical and cognitive performance through environmental medicine. With three research divisions: Military Nutrition, Military Performance, Thermal and Mountain Medicine, and a Research Support division, USARIEM combines academia, unique facilities and the government to support Soldiers for a stronger Army of 2030.

Whether a scientist or Soldier is located a little over 14,000 meters above sea level at the Pike's Peak lab or at the Natick headquarters, USARIEM continues its legacy with its over 100 civilians, 50 Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education fellows and 60 active Soldiers. Let's celebrate our innovative medical research laboratory and take a look at USARIEM's research and honors throughout the years.

simulated aquatic environment
The Natick setting holds 10 unique facilities: Thermal Manikins and Clothing Biophysics Laboratories, Doriot Climatic Chambers, Metabolic Kitchen, Hypobaric (altitude) Chambers, Environmental Chambers, Water Immersion Laboratory, Bone Health and Body Composition Lab, Warfighter Cognitive Performance Lab, Psychology Lab and Center for Military Biomechanics Research. Submerged 10,000 gallons of water, a research participant is tested in the simulated aquatic environment.
Colorado mountain terrain
Complete a study with a view. While catching the sun's rays, a pair trains atop the Colorado mountain terrain.
Pike's Peak in Colorado
Up on the snowy summit of Pike's Peak in Colorado, a 3,000 square foot lab is stationed at an altitude of over 14,000 ft. The USARIEM High-Altitude Research Laboratory is a field lab used for various studies by researchers but is specially used for long-term altitude research.
Rucksacks carried by Warfighters
Rucksacks carried by Warfighters can easily weigh more than 50 pounds. Ongoing research investigates how the Soldier is impacted and solutions to improve a Soldier's readiness in cold and hot climates.
test beverage administered
A Soldier consumes a test beverage administered by Military Nutrition Division scientist Dr. Lee Margolis containing essential amino acids prior to completing an exercise session for a study in the Military Nutrition Division assessing the effect of amino acids on skeletal muscle function during endurance exercise with load carriage or endurance exercise with added weight.
environmental chamber
Temperature, wind speed, humidity and other environmental factors are controlled within the environmental chambers. Eight chambers are stationed on site for study experimentation.
ummer tour for children
USARIEM continues to teach and fascinate visitors of all ages. In 2005, a summer tour for children in the Water Immersion Laboratory occurs.
environmental chamber
USARIEM remains devoted to optimizing Warfighter health and performance through medical research. A group of Soldiers gather in front of USARIEM's headquarters during mid-June in 2005.
Summer tour for children
For half a century, USARIEM has continued to bring science to the Soldier and allow them to benefit from medical military environmental research. To celebrate, special guests such as Col. Gaston Bathalon, USARIEM's 18th commander, and Major General James Gilman, commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command spoke at the 50th Anniversary Ceremony in 2011.
environmental chamber
Scientists and Soldiers work closely together to carefully execute studies to support current and future Service Members. Every study is carefully executed with a team of experts, from biomedical engineering to nutrition and dietitian, that allows for careful data collection and analysis. As the sun slowly sets in December 2014, a pair walk along the grasslands.
Qualisys infrared video motion system
From the 12 camera Qualisys infrared video motion system to the patented dual-force platform treadmill, the Center for Military Biomechanics Research has it all to evaluate anything from muscle nerve activity to walking and measuring oxygen consumption.
Soldiers completing the Balanced Scorecard
Clustered in one of the institute's classrooms are Soldiers completing the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), a tool used to access the institute's readiness in four keen areas: resources, learning, internal processes, and customer and stakeholder needs. The BSC was one of the principal tools used to see how USARIEM is meeting its goals.
Celebrated hard work
It takes a village to run an institute as large and as mighty as USARIEM. Every face that makes up USARIEM is celebrated for their hard work, camaraderie and passion.
Training in the cold
Soldiers receive data collection materials during a field study in Norway, a collaborative research effort between USARIEM's Military Nutrition Division and the Norwegian Defense Force, assessing the health and performance benefits of protein and calorie-enhanced combat rations during strenuous military training in the cold.
in the air
Whether on the ground or high in the air, Soldiers always work together and support one another who all aim to achieve one goal—win.
Specially delivered turkey, USARIEM puts science behind to connect with the community during Thanksgiving.
in the air
Any step towards advancing science to better the Warfighter is a celebrated event. A ribbon cutting for the new High-Altitude Research Laboratory (HARL) was held for the nearly 1,200 square foot new lab at Pikes Peak, Colorado, in June 2022.
A Soldier records their daily dietary intake during the Measuring and Advancing Soldier Tactical Readiness and Effectiveness (MASTR-E) study, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary effort, led by U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command- Soldier Center. USARIEM's Military Nutrition Division assisted with the nutrition component to determine whether changes in energy balance and nutrient intake produce interactions with other human domains during sustained tactical scenarios.
study personnel hike
Hidden within tall trees and grass, USARIEM personnel and study personnel hike through the Taos, New Mexico, greenery, during the Acute Mountain Sickness Alert study. In late August 2022, smiles widen on faces after a job well done.

USARIEM is a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command under the Army Futures Command. USARIEM is internationally recognized as the DOD's premier laboratory for Warfighter health and performance research and focuses on environmental medicine, physiology, physical and cognitive performance, and nutrition research. Located at the Natick Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Massachusetts, USARIEM's mission is to optimize Warfighter health and performance through biomedical research.

Last Modified Date: 9/27/2023