FORT HOOD, TX--The United States Army Operational Test Command inducted long-time director Wayland Smith into the Testers’ Hall of Fame during a ceremony celebrating the 17th year of the program recently at west Fort Hood.
Smith, a 1959 graduate of Sweetwater High School, is the son of Stella M. Smith, formerly of Sweetwater, and the late Cleave A. Smith. He is a 1966 graduate of Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a 1968 graduate of Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in industrial engineering.
Director of the USAOTC’s Methodology and Analysis Directorate (MAD), Smith spent 38 of his 43 years of federal service at USAOTC, starting in 1971. He retired from the Department of the Army on Jan. 3, 2010. A plaque in his honor is on permanent display in USAOTC’s Stone Hall.
Brig. Gen. Don MacWillie, USAOTC commanding general, told the audience of local dignitaries, soldiers, DA civilians, contractors, retirees and family members that “Wayland wasn’t selected only because he’s a great professional and a great mentor, but also because he’s a superb human being with values and dedication to the Army that will be long remembered.”
Smith began his civil service career as an engineering intern for the Army Materiel Command, Red River Army Depot, Texarkana, TX, in January 1966. He served as a general engineer, an Operations Research Systems Analyst (ORSA), staff analyst, data manager and finally director of MAD. He conducted operational tests on major systems and developed training courses for military and civilian test officers and ORSAs.
“I never in my life thought I was of the caliber for this,” Smith said in his acceptance speech. “For as long as I walked down that hall, I never thought one day I would be there.”
Smith said he was particularly honored to have three former USAOTC commanders present: Retired General Robert Shoemaker, who commanded USAOTC when it was Project MASSTER (Mobile Army Sensor Systems Test, Evaluation and Review); retired Maj. Gen. Stew Meyer, who commanded the unit when it was TCATA (TRADOC Combined Arms Test Activity); and retired Brig. Gen. Anthony Trifiletti, who commanded the unit when it was TEXCOM (Test and Experimentation Command).
“It was General Trifiletti who started the Hall of Fame here,” Smith said. “I’m truly in awe of this day.”
Smith thanked his wife, the former Linda F. Christopher, formerly of Sweetwater, children and grandchildren for supporting him throughout his career.
“Wayland’s contributions to training, test documentation and reliable assessments will have a lasting effect on operational testing,” MacWillie said.
The Testers’ Hall of Fame originally opened on TEXCOM’s 25th anniversary, Oct. 4, 1994, with the induction of eight operational testers. A board of directors, governed by a set of by-laws, conducts the selection process annually with the ceremony scheduled as close to the Oct. 4 anniversary date as possible.