White Sands Missile Range is now accepting nominations from all sources until the end of March for its Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame was established in 1980 to honor former missile range personnel who made lasting contributions of an outstanding nature. It is the highest award the missile range can bestow on one of its own.
Past honorees include such individuals as Wernher von Braun, the famous German rocket scientist, and Dr. Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto. But you don’t have to be a world-class scientist to be recognized in the hall of fame. If anything, Tombaugh and von Braun are the exceptions.
The hall of fame really has a great deal of diversity as far as the 52 folks now in it. It contains both men and women, both civilian and military personnel, both government and contractor employees and a huge mix of professions – everything from chaplain to missile flight safety to public affairs to professional engineer to equal employment opportunity to “mover and shaker.” It is the embodiment of “Team WSMR,” the phrase missile range leaders have thrown around for decades.
Last year the first personnel from the Army Research Lab, Donald Hoock and Joseph Trammel, were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
For information on nomination procedures or to re- quest a copy of the White Sands Hall of Fame Guide, call the WSMR Public Affairs Office, (575) 678-1134. The guide contains the forms, guidelines and procedures for nomination.
To get into the hall of fame a nominee must have been responsible for significant and lasting deeds or achievements in support of the missile range mission. The contributions may be in various areas such as research, cost savings, technological advances, safety, public relations, equal opportunity or heroic deeds.
All former military, civilian and contractor personnel who once served at White Sands are eligible for nomination. No one currently working at the range is eligible.
Submit nominations to:
U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range
Chief of Staff
ATTN: TEDT-WS-CS (Hall of Fame) White Sands Missile Range, NM 88002
Some Suggestions for Submitting a Nomination
By Jim Eckles
Suggestion #1. Get help. Too many of these nominations are attempted by loved ones or friends who really don’t understand what the nominee did. You need information about the person’s accomplishments and why they were meaningful. You need the person’s personnel file if you can get it – asking them for it is one way. You need to find the nuggets of information and put those in the package. Some work associate from the nominee’s past might be able to help.
Suggestion #2. The review people in both groups really don’t want to see copies of evaluations, award certificates, etc. In fact, in my experience, they are always trying to limit what is submitted to 3 or 4 pages.
Suggestion #3. Find the good stuff – grab it and jettison the rest. It is in the mountain of paper you want to submit but won’t. Take the real examples of the nominee’s great work and succinctly write up what he or she did, how it made a difference to the mission, and support it with a quote from an evaluation or an award certificate. If John Doe designed a new camera widget or lead an effort to save millions of dollars, explain what it was. The quotes from the evaluation or award are then the proof that he or she did them and that they are, indeed, important.
Suggestion #4. Make sure everything is specific. I’ve seen a lot of packages where nominators sought an endorsement from their congressman thinking it would impress. It doesn’t.