In October 1992, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) was activated, growing out of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, the LAB 21 study, and other evaluations. The new lab consolidated the seven corporate labs of the Laboratory Command (LABCOM) with other Army research elements to form a centralized laboratory concentrating on scientific research, technology development, and analysis.
For more than 50 years, in laboratories belonging to the Army Materiel Command (AMC) and their antecedents in the Technical Corps, civilians have conducted the great majority of the Army's basic science programs, whether as in-house scientists and engineers or as contractors in private industry and academia. Among their many successes, these civilians helped develop the proximity fuze; worked to develop ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the first operational, general purpose, electronic digital computer; grew some of the first synthetic large quartz crystals; and developed the titanium alloy T1-6A1-4V. Currently, ARL scientists and engineers are pioneering research in such areas as neuroergonomics, energetic materials and propulsion, individual warfighter protection, energy science, electronics technologies, network sciences, virtual interfaces and synthetic environments and autonomous systems.