Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland -- The U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, or CECOM, honored some of the Army's brightest, innovative minds on June 23 during the second annual CECOM Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
This year, three former Communications Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, employees - Dr. Rudolf G. Buser, Mr. Robert Giordano and Dr. Raymond Filler -- joined the hall after being inducted during a ceremony in the Myer Auditorium, at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
The 2017 Hall of Fame induction focused on CECOM's rich history of developing, integrating and maintaining Army network and intelligence systems, said event host CECOM Commanding General and APG Senior Commander, Maj. Gen. Randy S. Taylor.
"CECOM has a storied past full of many contributions to our Soldiers, science and society," Taylor said. "Our intent is to honor our past while employing those learned lessons in the future."
CECOM's second Hall of Fame class featured five honorees described as "change agents who make things happen."
"They were willing to take personal and professional risks for the good of the Army," said guest speaker, retired Maj. Gen. Gerard Brohm, former CECOM and Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, commander. "They were speakers of truth [who exhibited] moral courage, and I've seen that. They are visionaries. They are leaders. They are patriots who have sacrificed for the greater good."
The first CERDEC honoree was Dr. Rudolf G. Buser, a former director of CERDEC's Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate. Buser, who was born in Ludwigshafen, Germany, began his 38 years of civil service in 1958 at Fort Monmouth's Institute for Exploratory Research where he pioneered laser developments for radars, aided surveillance and target acquisition.
During his tenure as Night Vision director, Buser helped structure the U.S. Army's investment in electronics, laser and sensor technologies. Some of these, such as the Forward Looking Infrared, or FLIR, thermal sensor, the Thermal Weapon Sight and the Driver's Vision Enhancer, are still used.
"When I assumed command of CECOM, Dr. Rudy Buser was the director of NVESD in CERDEC, and he was the most practical, scientific mind that I think I've ever known," Brohm said. "He totally understood all the scientific principles, theories and technologies associated with sensors, but more importantly, he knew and understood the potential impact of those technologies and theories to the Solider in the field. He used to say to me, 'Hey sir, can I talk to you? I think I've got a better idea,' and I learned to never ignore those requests."
Buser, who passed away Feb. 15, 2007, was represented at the ceremony by his widow Dr. Waltraut Buser and daughter Dr. Claudia Buser. His impact is still felt said Dr. Donald A. Reago, CERDEC acting director.
"Dr. Buser was a friend and mentor to NVESD, CERDEC, CECOM and the whole of the Army community," Reago said. "The efforts he championed have exponentially increased the capabilities of our Soldiers, and his work has saved Soldiers' lives. The positive impact of his work will be felt for generations."
The second CERDEC honoree, Mr. Robert Giordano, was CERDEC's second director. Giordano was instrumental in linking electronic warfare programs across the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force and is recognized by many across the DOD as a premier expert in countering enemy air defense radar.
The New Jersey native served 33 years as a Department of the U.S. Army civilian during which time he also helped transform Army Command and Control systems from a series of separate programs with little to no linkage, to an integrated force multiplier. Giordano, who combined multiple labs to create what would eventually become CERDEC's Intelligence and Information Directorate, or I2WD, made significant contributions to digitizing the battlefield and helping the Army maintain information dominance.
"I can stand here today and confidently state that digitization of the Army, the foundation for the C4ISR Architectures, systems and technologies that we are employing today, would not have happened without [Giordano]," Brohm said. "He was the best, most persuasive, most convincing salesman for his positions and the Army's needs that I ever met. … He never shrank from a difficult decision; he never backed away from a fight that he thought was necessary. He was the proverbial 'Roosevelt's man in the arena.'"
Giordano, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was represented by CERDEC I2WD Director Gary Blohm.
"If he was here today, he would fill this room with his physical presence, his vocal presence and his intellectual presence," Blohm said. "His leadership and drive always brought the organization to fulfill the things that he sold, [and] he did not sell a product that we did not deliver. When I spoke with him last night, he was very humbled and honored to be a member of this class."
CERDEC's third honoree, Dr. Raymond L. Filler, was a 36-year veteran under CERDEC and the former Positioning Navigation and Timing, or PNT, Division chief for what eventually became the Command, Power and Integration Directorate, or CP&ID. Filler worked on experimental navigation technologies that resulted in several advancements for Army PNT and commercial GPS system development.
"Ray is an outstanding individual, held in high esteem by his former peers, subordinates and superiors. Throughout his personal and professional background, he has exemplified leadership, service and dedication to duty, reflecting only positively on the Army," said CERDEC CP&ID Deputy Director John Soos.
A recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, or IEEE, W.G. Cady award in 1999, Filler's research included discovering how to adjust quartz resonators to minimize timing changes and improve sensitivity for GPS receivers in precision-guided weapons. There are 594 known citations of Dr. Filler's work, citing 36 of his more than 62 publications and he has eight patents related to quartz crystal resonators.
"Working with Ray was enlightening; he was grounded in common sense and at all times fun. He had a great way to boil engineering down to the basics," said Paul Olson, chief engineer for the CERDEC CP&I PNT Division. "He would say things like 'we're looking for the needle in the haystack over here, because the light is better over here. The needle might actually be over there, but you can't see over there.'"
Also inducted were CECOM Command Sgt. Major (Retired) Ray D. Lane, who initiated the "Home on Home" service visit concepts used by today's organization to ensure that CECOM understands Army and Joint Service needs, and Lt. Gen. (Retired) Alfred J. Mallette, who influenced the direction of CECOM as a command with a war-time support mission.
Lane and Mallette entered the hall posthumously and were represented at the ceremony by family members.
The three CERDEC honorees join former CERDEC NVESD employee Dr. Stanley Kronenberg who was inducted April 7, 2016 as part of the Hall of Fame's inaugural class.
"These individuals … materially improved the readiness and Warfighting capability not only of the Army but of the U.S. military in general," Brohm said. "We owe them our sincere thanks. We owe them our admiration. We owe them our gratitude."
After the formal ceremony, the attendees gathered in the lobby of CECOM headquarters for the unveiling of an exhibit honoring the 2017 inductees. They were greeted by a host of CECOM and CERDEC leaders and Defense Department civilians.
Taylor called the inductees "professionals" whose works are increasingly relevant to the Army and the security of the nation.
"I know that we will be ready for the next challenge because we stand on the shoulders of giants, especially those giants that [we've recognized] today," Taylor said. "We can see much further and do much better because of the work and foundation that they built. Not only do we honor their past, but they inspire our future."
For more information on the Hall of Fame events, ceremonies and inductees, visit www.cecom.army.mil/halloffame.html.
The Communications Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities for decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint Warfighter and the Nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.