Today's Army "owns the night," thanks in large part to the contributions of the late Dr. Robert S. Wiseman who will be honored as a member of the AMC Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
Wiseman's wido, Norma "Woody" Wiseman, will accept the honor on his behalf.
Wiseman was the founding director of the Night Vision Laboratory which evolved into the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate.
Wiseman led the lab during the in-house development of image intensifiers from 1965 to 1968. In the 50 years since, more than a million image intensifiers were fielded to the Department of Defense.
"The night fighting advantage provided by this technology has profoundly changed the way the U.S. Army fights," stated Dr. Donald A. Reago, acting director of the Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, in the nomination package.
Besides his technological contribution, Reago said Wiseman also set forth a philosophical foundation that became a unique force in the Army, with a spirit and success that is still evident in the laboratory today. That philosophy gave scientists and engineers the freedom they needed to innovate with an understanding the importance of their work to the Soldier.
Wiseman once commented that "the history of Army night vision from World War II to 1972 proves how the right organization with talented people and proper support can succeed."
Wiseman volunteered in the Army Air Corps during World War II and trained as a private in pre-meteorology at the University of Chicago, he soon transferred to Aviation Cadet Communications Officer training at Yale University. He was commissioned in November 1944 and served on the island of Saipan and in Iwo Jima. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and served in the Army Air Corps and was active in the Air Force Reserve. He was ultimately promoted to lieutenant colonel.
Wiseman earned his master's and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Illinois.
Wiseman joined the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratories at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and developed the Warfare Vision Electrical Department. This was the team that developed the Night Vision Devices that enabled the military to see in the dark. He later directed the U.S. Army Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey and his responsibility ultimately expanded to all Fort Monmouth Electronic Labs.
In 1977, he became the technical director for the U.S. Army Electronics Research and Development Command in Adelphi, Maryland. He was promoted to the Senior Executive Service and became the deputy to the commanding general, then responsible for all of the Army's science and technology.
President Jimmy Carter awarded Wiseman the rank of Distinguished Executive in the Senior Executive Service in 1980. Wiseman retired from civil service in 1981. He died in August 2013.