AMC Hall of Fame
The U.S. Army Materiel Command Hall of Fame, established in 2012, honors and memorializes those Soldiers and civilians who have made significant and enduring contributions to AMC and the Army. The Hall of Fame preserves the command's history and recognizes the exceptional leadership, service and dedication of former AMC members for their remarkable efforts.
Class of 2016
General Ferdinand J. Chesarek
Gen. Ferdinand J. Chesarek, AMC’s second commander, was a decorated World War II veteran who saw combat in Germany and France and was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Purple Heart and others.
Chesarek served the United States Army in a number of capacities from the date of his commission in 1938, including roles as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (Programs) and a special role as the United States Kermit Roosevelt Lecturer, during which he toured and addressed the students at many British military schools in 1968.
Promoted to AMC commander in 1969, Chesarek worked to decentralize project management by shifting the reporting channel to the major subordinate commands. Chesarek retired as the AMC commanding general in 1970.
General Henry A. Miley, Jr.
Gen. Henry A. Miley Jr., the third commanding general at AMC and second-longest tenured, was integral in helping the organization navigate the largest drawdown in U.S. Army history through the end of the Vietnam War.
Miley, who was commissioned in 1940, served throughout World War II and spent much of his career as an ordnance officer. Miley first joined AMC in 1964 as the Deputy Director, Procurement and Production. Following that assignment, he worked for several years as the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (Programs and Budget) until returning to AMC in 1969 as the deputy commanding general.
Miley was promoted to general in 1970 and given full command of AMC, having the distinction of being the first ordnance officer to attain the rank of four-star general. Miley spent the next five years at AMC, where he retired in 1975.
General Richard H. Thompson
Gen. Richard H. Thompson, the eighth commanding general at AMC, is the only Soldier in the quartermaster branch of the U.S. Army to ascend from the rank of private to four-star general. He is also remembered for his role in changing the organization’s name back to AMC from the Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command.
Thompson entered the Army in 1944 and advanced to the rank of staff sergeant before being commissioned a second lieutenant. Over the years, Thompson climbed the ranks and worked hard to better himself through higher education and a variety of training opportunities.
In 1977, Thompson became the first commander of the U.S. Army Troop Support and Aviation and Materiel Readiness Command – an organization formed by the merger of two AMC major subordinate commands, the Aviation Systems Command and the Troop Support Command.
After assignments at Department of Army Headquarters, Thompson received his fourth star in 1984 and was given command of AMC, a position he held until his retirement in 1987.
General Louis C. Wagner, Jr.
Gen. Louis C. Wagner Jr., the ninth commanding general at AMC, is most remembered for his role in the successful execution of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, where an entire class of nuclear missile was destroyed.
Wagner graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1954 and was commissioned a second lieutenant. Over the years, Wagner would go on to get his master’s degree, complete a variety of military educational courses, and serve in roles of increasing importance. Prior to joining AMC, Wagner was assigned as deputy director for Combat Support Systems, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff (Research, Development and Acquisition).
Wagner was promoted to commanding general of AMC in 1987, where among other challenges, he faced the implementation of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, which reworked the command structure of the entire U.S. Military. He retired in 1989 after 35 years of service.
General William G.T. Tuttle, Jr.
Gen. William G. T. Tuttle Jr., the 10th commanding general of AMC, lead the organization in Operation Just Cause, the command’s first major military engagement since the Vietnam War.
Tuttle graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1958, where he be commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry. Tuttle, who would earn his Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University, served in a number of important roles for the U.S. Army over the years, including an assignment as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Operational Test and Evaluation Agency.
In 1989, Tuttle was assigned commander of AMC, where he was integral in directing the organization through Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and conceived of “Vision 2000,” which helped facilitate AMC’s eventual move to Redstone Arsenal. Tuttle retired in 1992 after 34 years of service.
General Leon E. Salomon
Gen. Leon E. Salomon, AMC’s 12th commander, was integral in leading AMC to embrace the emerging technologies of virtual design and prototyping, and virtual testing and virtual manufacturing as tools for modernization.
Salomon completed Infantry Candidate School in 1959, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant. From there, Salomon got an education in the sciences, and eventually joined the Chemical Corps in 1962. Salomon, who served a tour in Vietnam, worked in the development of automating systems to support logistics.
After transferring to the Ordnance Corps in 1974, Salomon climbed the ranks until he was promoted to brigadier general in 1986 and was named commandant of the U.S. Army Ordnance Center and School and the Chief of Ordnance. He would eventually move from that position to a number of key assignments, including as the Deputy Chief of Staff for AMC from 1988 to 1989.
In 1994, Salomon would return to AMC as the commanding general, serving from 1994 until his retirement in 1996. Salomon became the Army’s second ordnance officer to earn the rank of four-star general.
Class of 2015
James L. Flinn, III
During his 35 years of civilian service, James L. Flinn III consistently demonstrated institutional and technical knowledge, leadership skills, and a commitment to Soldiers and civil servants that enabled him to make numerous substantial and long-lasting contributions to the U.S. Army. His pledge while Deputy to the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command: "To do the best I can to serve."
Flinn initiated concepts to sustain missile readiness above the DA goal of 90 percent during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He established the Logistics University at Redstone Arsenal to provide on-the-job continuing college education in logistics. Flinn also supported women and minorities with training and work assignments to afford them visibility and opportunities for advancement. Flinn contributed greatly during a time of war as well as significantly enhancing the command's image as an organization at the forefront of innovation and cutting-edge technology.
Henry B. Jones
Of his 52 years of federal service, Henry B. Jones served for 37 years with the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) in the field of procurement. He successfully served as a buyer, section chief, branch chief, division chief, and special assistant to the Commanding General of TACOM, Deputy Director of Procurement and Production, and as the Director of the Acquisition Center.
As the senior procurement official for TACOM, Jones was the chief strategist and overseer of acquisition of the Army's ground combat and tactical vehicle fleet. During his career at TACOM, Jones actively participated in the initial acquisition of every post-World War II tank culminating with the M1 Abrams tank. In addition, he was instrumental in the acquisition of the M113 family of Armored Personnel Carriers, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and the entire line of the Army's modern wheeled vehicle fleet, to include the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). Jones was a charter member of the Federal Government's Senior Executive Service.
Arthur R. Keltz
Arthur R. Keltz began his career with the U.S. Army as a Soldier from 1971 through 1977. After his military service, he joined the government service, quickly rising through the ranks. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 1984. He served as the Principal Deputy for Logistics to three U.S. Army Materiel Command Commanding Generals from 1992 to 1997.
Among his many accomplishments, Keltz was the prime mover in the development and employment of the AMC Logistics Support Element (LSE), a rapid response organization designed to provide logistical support to military and civilian relief operations throughout the world. Keltz was also the driving force behind the Integrated Sustainment Maintenance and Total Asset Visibility concepts in the Army. In support of each AMC Commanding General's equal employment opportunity program, he personally reviewed the recommendations of each Logistics and Acquisition Management Program Selection Panel to ensure adequate representation of women and minorities.
Dr. Walter S. McAfee
Dr. Walter S. McAfee served the U.S. Army Communications and Electronics Command and Fort Monmouth community for 42 years as a scientist, educator, supervisor, and mentor. From 1942 until his retirement in 1985, McAfee helped to create an inclusive scientific community that was dedicated to advancing communications and electronics research, as well as paving the way for the advancement of minorities in the Federal workplace. In 1971, McAfee was the first African American employee of the U.S. Army Materiel Command to be promoted to GS-16, a "super-grade" civilian position (predecessor of today's Senior Executive Service).
He gained special recognition in 1946 while with Project Diana by helping a team of scientists put a human imprint on the moon for the first time with radar. In the 1960s, McAfee directed work on developing sensors that were used to detect and track enemy movements during the Vietnam War. McAfee was one of the first recipients of the U.S. Army Research and Development Achievement Awards.
Lewis J. Ashley
For 26 years, Lewis J. Ashley served as the Special Assistant to the AMC commanding general and as the command ombudsman. Ashley was the focal point for business and industry requests and concerns and directly advised the commanding general on these matters. He was highly regarded for his knowledge and understanding of government and industry communities, his ability to address issues and develop timely solutions that were mutually beneficial to the government and the contractor, and always for keeping the Soldier in the forefront.
Ashley also established ombudsman positions at AMC's subordinate commands in an effort to improve information exchange, reduce contractor complaints, and provide timely responses by the buying commands to industry. The benefit to AMC was immediately apparent in the form of reduced contractor protests and improved communication. Throughout his tenure as the command ombudsman, Ashley provided superior technology and acquisition support to ensure AMC's relevance as the premier provider of Army and joint readiness.
Fredrick J. Clas
Frederick J. Clas was 18-years-old when he joined the Watervliet Arsenal's apprenticeship program in 1940. By 1963, he became the Director of Arsenal Operations, a position he held until retirement in 1985. Clas served under 18 commanding officers during his tenure as Director of Arsenal Operations. His long tenure was credited with insuring seamless transitions between each commander. During his career, he guided the arsenal's move from World War II battleship guns to nuclear-capable weapons for the Cold War, to self-propelled artillery for Vietnam, and to the Abrams Tank.
Among Clas' many accomplishments was the successful introduction of carbide into machine cutting tools, significantly increasing their productivity. He also helped develop the use of high-speed photography in the study of chip formation and the installation of flexible manufacturing systems. Long after retirement, Clas continued to mentor the arsenal's workforce.
Class of 2014
Major General Oscar C. Decker
Maj. Gen. Oscar C. Decker represented the U.S. Army in a truly exemplary manner for over 40 years. As a young private, he was assigned to the 20th Armored Division, which was involved in freeing the Dachau concentration camp and American Prisoners of War being held in Munich, Germany. He continued his Army career serving in many capacities including as Commanding General of the Tank and Automotive Command in Warren, Michigan, from 1979 until his retirement in 1983.
Many of the ground vehicles used in today's support of the warfighter were developed and produced under Decker's leadership. These include the M1 Abrams Tank, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (or HMMWV), and the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck. His visionary thinking and strategic direction have provided long-term solutions that are still effective today in saving the lives of our Soldiers.
Isabelle Hansen began her Army civilian service career as GS-1 clerk in 1945 at the Engineer Depot in Granite City, Illinois. Several years later, she began earning promotions within the procurement field. By 1976, she had become the first female employee to reach the GS-15 career level at the Armament Materiel Command at Rock Island, Illinois.
Hansen was promoted and served in the Senior Executive Service (SES) position of Deputy for Procurement and Production, Headquarters, U.S. Army Armament, Munitions and Chemical Command (AMCCOM), Rock Island, Illinois, from 1980 until her retirement in 1985. She was the first woman within AMC to be selected for the SES ranks, and she was one of four women selected to serve as an SES member within the Department of the Army. Hansen supervised and directed AMCCOM's annual procurement program of approximately $5 billion. She was recognized for her outstanding contributions in the field of contract management.
Edward J. Korte
Throughout his 31-year career of service to the Army Materiel Command, Edward J. Korte demonstrated exceptional leadership, service, dedication to duty, and contributions supporting the mission of AMC. His legacy of preventive law, proactive involvement in the mission, integral participation on the Command management team, and full service to the client continues to positively influence AMC's business practices and the relationship between government and industry. As the AMC senior legal counsel, Korte directed the Command Legal Program that included more than 250 civilian and military attorneys, and advised Source Selection Authorities and Source Selection Advisory Councils for major weapons systems.
As senior legal advisor to five AMC Commanding Generals from 1987 to 2003, Korte's professional philosophy of full service to the client, proactive involvement in the mission, and being part of the command management team, is encouraged and recognized throughout the Command today through the annual presentation of the Ed Korte Preventive Law Award.
Dr. Robert S. Wiseman
Dr. Robert S. Wiseman served as the founding director of the Night Vision Laboratory at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the precursor to what is now known as the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, from its establishment in 1965 through 1968. Wiseman led the laboratory in the in-house development of image intensifiers, which enabled the Army to "own the night." In the ensuing 50 years, over one million image intensifiers have been fielded. The night fighting advantage provided by this technology has profoundly changed the way the U.S. Army fights.
Not only did Wiseman make significant technological contributions to the laboratory, he also laid the philosophical foundation to Night Vision's organizational structure imparting a legacy that continues today, evident in the innovative spirit and the technological accomplishments of the laboratory. Wiseman's approach to leading the laboratory, creating a management structure that gave scientists and engineers the freedom to innovate and know the importance of their work to the Soldier, made it a unique force in the Army and the success that it is today.
William C. Pittman
William C. Pittman's storied and prestigious career spanning over 50 years with the U.S. Army's missile research and development laboratories at Redstone Arsenal began with his support to the famed German rocket team in the development and launch of the first Redstone ballistic missile in 1953. For the next 50 years, Pittman provided selfless and invaluable contributions to research and development of the Army's missile programs and mentored countless junior and senior engineers in their science and engineering careers.
Upon his retirement in 1999, Pittman continued his service to the Army as a Voluntary Emeritus, further solidifying his reputation of selfless government service and advancing the research and development of technology to support the Soldier in the field. Pittman's legacy of service is unmatched and his contributions to the Army and to the Soldier are simply incalculable. His influence and expertise continues throughout this and upcoming generations of engineers and scientists.
Class of 2012
General Frank S. Besson, Jr.
As the first Commanding General of the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC), Gen. Frank S. Besson was charged on Aug. 1, 1962 with consolidating six Army technical service organizations into a single command without disrupting effective materiel support for the Army. On May 27, 1964, Besson became the 75th officer in the U.S. Army's 189-year history to wear the four stars of a full general. He was the first Army officer to achieve that rank as head of a logistical organization in peacetime.
During Besson's command of AMC, this mammoth logistical organization had an annual budget exceeding $14 billion, an inventory of $21 billion, and employed more than 160,000 civilian personnel in addition to its military complement of 14,000. During his command, Besson recognized the emerging tactical importance of Army aviation, establishing the Army Aviation Depot Maintenance activity at Corpus Christi. Besson was instrumental in securing approval for the Army to not only procure its own aircraft but also to do its own research, development, and engineering.
After his retirement as the AMC Commanding General in 1969, Besson was recalled to active duty to serve as Chairman of the Joint Logistics Review Board, reporting on worldwide logistic support to U.S. forces during the Vietnam conflict. In 1970, he was appointed by President Nixon as a founding director and first CEO of the National Rail Passenger Corporation, the operators of AMTRAK. Besson retired in 1970 after more than 37 years of commissioned service, 25 of them as a general officer.
Lieutenant General William B. Bunker
AMC's first commanding general, Gen. Frank S. Besson, recruited Lt. Gen. William B. Bunker to serve as his principal assistant as AMC was being formed. Besson believed that Bunker "had a better understanding of the problems of logistics operations in the continental United States than any single individual." In June 1962, Bunker became the Comptroller and Director of Programs of the new AMC. He became the command's fourth Deputy Commanding General (DCG) on April 1, 1964, as a major general. On May 9, 1966, he became the first DCG at AMC to wear three stars when he was promoted to lieutenant general.
Widely recognized as one of the fathers of Army aviation and a pioneer in program management, Bunker improved the integration of technology and modeling and simulation. He recognized early the immense potential of the computer. His first IBM 604 was the tool that enabled him to put into practice effective theories of inventory control that had previously existed only in research monographs. Working with Besson, he produced the foundation of Army materiel management and program management.
Lieutenant General George Sammet, Jr.
Lt. Gen. George Sammet Jr. was part of the planning group in 1962 under Gen. Frank S. Besson, Jr., that put the initial AMC command concept together. During his career, he served in various assignments at AMC, culminating with his being named Commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command (DARCOM, formerly AMC) on Feb. 1, 1977. He retired from that position on May 17, 1977.
When asked in 2011 why he thought that Sammet should be inducted into the AMC Hall of Fame, Gen. John R. Deane Jr., the Commanding General of AMC/DARCOM from February 12, 1975 – January 31, 1977, said, "Among his many accomplishments and contributions to the success of AMC and its achievements, as the Deputy CG for Research and Development, is his designing, establishing, and providing the initial guidance to the Career Management Program for Army Program and Project Managers, perhaps his single greatest contribution to the Army. He also was a key player among the members of the Army Staff, the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), and AMC who brought 'The Big Five,' the weapons systems that are still the core systems of the combat force, to fruition."
Major General John G. Zierdt
While serving as Deputy Director, Research and Development, AMC, in 1962-1963, Maj. Gen. John G. Zierdt centralized direction and control of Army laser research. This effort ultimately resulted in concentrating Army high-energy laser research at Redstone Arsenal and provided much of the impetus that led, later in the decade, to the Army Missile team's development of laser semi-active guidance technology that found its first combat application in the "Smart Bombs" employed by U.S. forces in the later stages of the war in Vietnam.
From September 1963 until July 1967, as Commander of the U.S. Army Missile Command and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, he personally led the Army missile team in an era of many of its most significant achievements. Also, Zierdt’s personal support and direction enabled the Army laboratory at Redstone to design, fabricate, and demonstrate the first laser surgical device for treatment of cancer in humans.
After his retirement from the Army in 1967, Zierdt remained very active in the Huntsville, Alabama, community, spearheading efforts to establish the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He also proposed that the Army and NASA combine forces to establish a museum to commemorate the history of missile and space systems. This concept became the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
Sarah W. Clements
Sarah W. "Sally" Clements was the Assistant Chief of the Office of Project Management at AMC for eleven years (1964 to 1975). Lt. Gen. George Sammet Jr. summed up the important influence that Clements had during her tenure at AMC, "General Besson was the first father of Army Project Managers (PMs)… at that time every PM reported directly to him, everyone… if he was the father, Sally Clements was the mother. And so they all kind of ran to Sally since the PMs all (knew) that Sally had General Besson's ear. I was a Colonel, on the (Department of the Army) staff and I, too, went to Sally. I, too, said, 'Ma'am.' She was number two in the Command around Washington as far as the PMs were concerned."
In 1975, as Assistant Deputy for Materiel Acquisition in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations and Logistics), Clements became the first female career civilian super grade in the Army. She capped a career of unparalleled government service by serving as the Deputy for Materiel Acquisition Management, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, a position from which she retired in 1981.