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Distinguished Honorees


The U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Fame honors past members of the organizations dedicated to support the United States efforts in air, space, and missile defense.

This wall honors selected civil servants who made a significant engineering, scientific, technical, analytical, management, or administrative contribution to the research, development, test, and evaluation of missile defense and space technologies or systems. Selected civil servants must also have maintained a high level of commitment to the Nation’s missile defense and space missions.

The Air, Space, and Missile Defense Association (ASMDA) is proud to sponsor this U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Fame. New members are nominated and selected every other year.

Click on the 'Read More" button for a full Bio


Sara L. Bruce


Ms. Bruce held various supervisory budget and program analyst positions during her tenure with the organization until her retirement from the Systems Technology Project Office in August 1979.

Read more: Sara L. Bruce

C. E. Richardson, Jr.


Charles E. Richardson was assigned as Deputy Commander of the Ballistic Missile Defense Systems Command on 10 Oct 75.

Read more: C. E. Richardson, Jr.

Paul O. Phillips


Mr. Paul Phillips was associated with Ballistic Missile Defense Systems Command (formerly SAFEGUARD, SENTINEL, NIKE-X, and NIKE ZEUS) since 1959 when he joined the Army Rocket and Guided Missile Agency, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

Read more: Paul O. Phillips

Dr. Julian Davidson


Dr. Julian Davidson spent over 16 years in the ballistic missile defense program for the U.S. Government with increasing levels of responsibility culminating as the deputy ballistic missile defense program manager.

Read more: Dr. Julian Davidson

William F. Graves


During the period of January 1963 to February 1972, Mr. William F. Graves served as Chief of the Missiles and Warhead Branch, Development Engineering Division, Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Directorate.

Read more: William F. Graves

William O. Turney


Mr. William O. Turney served as the Chief, Contracts Office, U.S. Army SAFEGUARD System Command, during the period of July 1968 to April 1973.

Read more: William O. Turney

Dr. William O. Davies


Throughout his 20 year government career, Dr. William Davies received numerous awards for his exceptional performance. He was the author of more than 50 publications in the fields of chemical physics, reentry physics, space flight, and strategic technology.

Read more: Dr. William O. Davies

Cecil Dale (Rich) Richardson


As Director of the Systems Technology Project Office for the Army’s Ballistic Missile Defense Systems Command in Huntsville, Mr. Richardson managed an Army antiballistic missile development program involving hundreds of millions of dollars and employing 130 people.

Read more: Cecil Dale (Rich) Richardson

Mr. John E. Reece


John E. Reece was director, Sentry Project Office, Ballistic Missile Defense Systems Command, a position which he assumed in June 1983. Sentry is a program aimed at refining a system concept for a generic, low altitude ballistic missile defense (BMD) system for defense of U.S. military targets, such as land-based strategic missiles.

Read more: Mr. John E. Reece

Alan D. Sherer


In June 1993, Alan D. Sherer was appointed Program Manager for the Army Theater Missile Defense (ATMD) Program Office. In this capacity, he was responsible for the acquisition and deployment of a suit of TMD sensors, command and control systems, and weapons.

Read more: Alan D. Sherer

Mr. Bobby Sisco


Mr. Bobby Sisco (Deceased)led the analysis team for the Sentinel Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Defense System deployment as a special assistant to the Missile Defense System Manager. 

Read more: Mr. Bobby Sisco

Mr. Fred B. Stevenson


An early inductee into the Space and Missile Defense Hall of Fame, Mr. Fred B. Stevenson passed away on 22 June 2010.

Read more: Mr. Fred B. Stevenson

Mr. James C. Katechis


Before joining government service, Mr. James Katechis was an engineer with the Thiokol Chemical Corporation where he was involved in rocket propulsion design and program management of three air-to-air guided missiles, SAFEDUARD missile rocket motors, and space application motors for the SATURN rocket.

Read more: Mr. James C. Katechis

Ms. Lois N. Spruiell


Ms. Lois N. Spruiell served as comptroller, U.S. Army Strategic Defense Command (USASDC) since March 1986, managing an annual budget of over $1 billion. Her federal service career began as a GS-4 clerk-stenographer with the Social Security Administration.

Read more: Ms. Lois N. Spruiell

Jerry W. Cavender


From 1970, Mr. Jerry Cavender held a variety of positions in the Army ballistic missile defense organizations, including division chief and branch chief positions.

Read more: Jerry W. Cavender

Dr. Edward L. Wilkinson


Dr. Edward Wilkinson worked the first 17 years of his career in basic solid-state research as a research physicist.

Read more: Dr. Edward L. Wilkinson

A. Q. Oldacre


Mr. A,Q, Oldacre started his career in air and missile defense systems in 1963 in a short range air defense project office, followed by an assignment in 1965 to the Systems Integration Division of the SAM-D/PATRIOT Project Office.

Read more: A. Q. Oldacre

Robert G. Menotti


As a physicist with the U.S. Army Missile Command from 1960 to 1969, Mr. Menotti supported various ballistic missile defense research efforts sponsored by the Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Read more: Robert G. Menotti

Dr. Michael S. Holtcamp


Dr. Michael Holtcamp began his career at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Winston-Salem, NC, in 1960. In 1962, he joined NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in the early days of the Saturn rocket development.

Read more: Dr. Michael S. Holtcamp

Tom A. Bair


Mr. Thomas Bair was employed at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC), as its Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Resource Management (DCS, RM) and the ACPM for Career Program 11.

Read more: Tom A. Bair

Frank Vann


A pioneer in infrared optical sensors, Mr. Frank Vann was inducted into the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor as a part of a reception during the 4th Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference held at the Von Braun Center, on Tuesday, the twenty-first of August, 2001. 

Read more: Frank Vann

Dr. Thomas Patton


Dr. Thomas Patton was arms control advisor for the U.S. Army Strategic Defense Command (USASDC).

Read more: Dr. Thomas Patton

Donald S. Russ


Mr. Donald Russ, a fast senior-level Army executive, was a veteran of 20 years of government service.

Read more: Donald S. Russ

James R. Pignataro, Sr.


A world-recognized expert in missile defense discrimination, Mr. James R. Pignataro (Deceased) was inducted into the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor as a part of a reception during the 4th Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference held at the Von Braun Center, on Tuesday, the twenty-first of August, 2001. 

Read more: James R. Pignataro, Sr.

Dr. Peter G. Pappas


Dr. Pappas served as the Chief Scientist of the U S Army Space and Strategic Defense Command. He demonstrated real-time stereo processing of early warning satellite data to detect ballistic missile launches.

Read more: Dr. Peter G. Pappas

William E. Roberson, Jr.


A pioneer in the Ground Based Interceptor Project, Mr. William E. Roberson, Jr. was inducted into the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor as a part of the opening reception for the 6th Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference held at the Von Braun Center, on Tuesday, the nineteenth of August, 2003. 

Read more: William E. Roberson, Jr.

Melvin Capps


Mr. Melvin Capps served as a program director and principal technical advisor for the U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command for advanced research and development plans and programs for strategic and tactical survivability, lethality, advanced materials, and power technology from 1985 to August 1994.

Read more: Melvin Capps

Thomas A. Perdue


Mr. Thomas A. Perdue was project leader to organize, staff, and manage a multibillion dollar research project to develop a rapidly deployable low altitude ballistic missile defense system to defend the U.S.’s land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles from enemy attack.

Read more: Thomas A. Perdue

Dr. J. Richard Fisher


Dr. J. Richard Fisher has held key executive positions with USASDC since 1971 and was a charter member of the Senior Executive Service (SES).

Read more: Dr. J. Richard Fisher

Dr. Shelba Proffitt


A pioneer for women in the missile and defense industry, Dr. Shelba Proffitt was inducted into the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor as a part of the opening reception for the 8th Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference held at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center on Monday evening, the fifteenth of August, 2005. 

Read more: Dr. Shelba Proffitt

Edward Harris Vaughn


A leader in Strategic Defense Initiative public affairs, Mr. Edward Harris Vaughn was inducted into the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor as a part of the opening reception for the 8th Annual Space and Missile Defense Conference held at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center on Monday evening, the fifteenth of August, 2005. 

Read more: Edward Harris Vaughn

Thomas M. Devanney


Mr. Thomas M. Devanney’s served in the Senior Executive Service including assignments as the Deputy Program Director for the National Missile Defense (NMD) Joint Program Office (JPO), the Deputy Director for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Joint Program Office and as the Acting Program Director for the GMD JPO.

Read more: Thomas M. Devanney

Jess F. Granone


A former Director of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Mr. Jess F. Granone was inducted into the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor as a part of the opening reception for the 10thAnnual Space and Missile Defense Conference held at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama on Monday evening, the thirteenth of August 2007. 

Read more: Jess F. Granone

John Cady


Over the course of 37 years, Mr. John Cady held various positions within the Army, rising in rank with increased and diverse responsibilities from a GS 9 to a GS-15 Supervisor, enabling him to become well versed in every functional area of an Army Legal Office.

Read more: John Cady

Otto Peter Cerny


Mr. Cerny worked for defense contractors in Huntsville, including Northrop, CSC, Teledyne Brown Engineering, and SPARTA and had spent over 27 years as a civil servant in the federal government, most recently as Chief of the System Integration Division in the Missile Defense Agency.

Read more: Otto Peter Cerny

Dr. Darrell W. Collier


Dr. Darrell Collier joined the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command as the Chief Scientist in October 1993 following a tour in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of the Army (Operations Research) as the Special Assistant for Forces and Program Evaluation since February 1993.

Read more: Dr. Darrell W. Collier

Dr. Glen Priddy


Former Director of the Missile and Space Intelligence Center, Dr. Glenn Priddy was inducted into the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor as a part of the 12thAnnual Space and Missile Defense Conference held at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama; on Tuesday, the 18th of August 2009. 

Read more: Dr. Glen Priddy

Dr. Bernard W. Vatz


A pioneer in missile defense and sensor technology, Dr. Bernard W. Vatz was inducted into the U.S. Air, Space, and Missile Defense Distinguished Civilian Wall of Honor as a part of the 12thAnnual Space and Missile Defense Conference held at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama; on Tuesday, the 18th of August 2009. 

Read more: Dr. Bernard W. Vatz